Our thirst for knowledge extends beyond the time we spend in front of our desktop computers. At Google, we are seeing mobile search grow at an exponential rate, increasing five-fold worldwide in just the past two years - a rate comparable to the early days of desktop Google Search. Today on mobile, we can get whatever information we’re looking for anytime, anywhere.
And I'm not just talking about looking up basic information like the weather or a stock quote, which is what people used to do in the early days of mobile search. As mobile devices have become more powerful and connected to faster networks, smartphone users are doing a surprisingly diverse set of search tasks -- from simple lookups, to tasks that involve multiple complex searches.
But it's not always easy to search from a mobile device, especially with the smaller screens and keyboards. We’ve worked relentlessly to make mobile search faster, easier, and more intuitive with features like autocomplete, Voice Search, Google Goggles, Google Instant andInstant Previews on mobile. Our work in mobile has now inspired desktop innovations likeVoice Search and Search by Image, two new ways to search from your desktop, announced today at our Inside Search media event. We’re also excited to introduce two new mobile features designed to make mobile search even better.
With more searches happening when people are on the go, we’ve noticed an increase in searches for nearby places. To make it easier for people to search for what’s around them, we’ve introduced new shortcuts to commonly searched local categories, like restaurants, coffee shops and bars, in the form of icons on the mobile google homepage (www.google.com):
Shortcut icons appear at the bottom of the mobile homepage. Tap “More”, to select from additional popular categories like shopping, ATMs, gas stations, etc., a new part of our simplified Places homepage (www.google.com/m/places).