Official Google app revamps voice search interface and Google Now cards

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In addition to refreshing the layout for Communities and Collections on Google+, the search monster today also rolled out an update to its iOS search app.

Available at no charge in the App Store, the native Google search experience on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad now includes an overhauled voice search interface with a nicely animated logo.

More important than that, the layout of your Google Now cards has been reworked and updated to better organize and surface content for you. Read More


Google to stream apps you don’t have installed on your phone, right from search results

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

Google on Wednesday announced that its search engine has now begun to surface app content and said that it’s started experimenting with a cool new app-streaming technology to let mobile users accomplish tasks as if they were in the app itself.

“This uses a new cloud-based technology that we’re currently experimenting with,” wrote the Internet giant. App streaming will kick in when a user taps on app content in search results but doesn’t have the app installed on their device. Read More


Microsoft completely overhauls Bing for iPhone, implements iOS deep links and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In an effort to increase pressure on Google, Windows giant Microsoft today pushed a completely overhauled Bing for iPhone into the App Store. The software features a new branding identity reflected on the app’s Home screen icon and a matching new-look interface with tight iOS integration via deep linking.

In addition, the app now works offline so you can go back to your bookmarks and search history even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

“We designed the app to bring together the information you need, connected to the apps you trust, to help you ‘find’ and ‘do’ faster and easier than ever before,” wrote the team. Read More


How to quickly search iDB using Launch Center Pro

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 16, 2015

My colleague Timothy Reavis shared a slick little Launch Center Pro action with me, and it was so good that I felt obliged to share it with you guys. Launch Center Pro is, of course, the long running app that brings all sorts of handy shortcuts to your iOS device.

With 3D Touch, Launch Center Pro is even more powerful, because you can quickly execute actions directly from the iOS Home screen. As such, it’s possible to initiate a search of iDownloadBlog from anywhere on the Home screen of a 3D Touch-equipped iOS device. Read More


Facebook deep links will begin to soon surface in Google search results

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

As reported by The Wall Street Journal this morning, your Google search results will soon start to serve deep links based on content from Facebook’s mobile app which, when clicked, will take you straight to the relevant part of the Facebook app.

A spokeswoman for Google parent Alphabet has confirmed the feature will begin to roll out soon.

Last month, the Internet giant announced integration between its search engine and iOS 9 apps via so-called App Indexing feature and today’s announcement delivers on that promise. Read More


App Store search results are now smarter and more relevant

By Cody Lee on Nov 13, 2015

Apple has been working hard in recent weeks to make App Store search results smarter and more relevant, reports TechCrunch. The outlet points to comments from high profile app developers, who began noticing changes to the search results earlier this month and a major algorithm update on November 12.

“I just searched Twitter on the App Store and Instagram is gone,” Contrast’s David Barnard pointed out on Twitter. “Tweetbot is #4, Twitterrific #5, and more relevant results overall.” Tapbots developer Paul Haddad also spotted the change, noting that the change has had a significant impact on his app searches. Read More


New Apple TV lacking Siri search for Apple Music and App Store apps

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2015

As the new Apple TV is scheduled to hit Apple’s retail stores tomorrow, first reviews are now in. Journalists who were given a chance to spend some quality time with review units are praising evolutionary improvements to the living room experience while highlighting untapped potential for the refreshed $149 device.

One of the common complaints focuses on Siri and its inability to search apps for the Apple TV in a dedicated App Store. In addition, reports are noting that users won’t be able to search Apple Music with their voice at launch, the omission Apple claims will be addressed with a software update due at the beginning of next year. Read More


Facebook search results now include public posts

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2015

Facebook announced yesterday it is now including public posts into search results while bringing personalized suggestions and highlighting popular stories with expanded search functions.

“Today, we’re updating Facebook Search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you,” wrote the social networking firm.

Enhanced search features are currently available across Facebook for iPhone, Android and on the web, to US English users only. Read More


Google launching deep integration between search and iOS 9 apps by month’s end

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2015

Google announced today that Apple fans who are running iOS 9 on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices will soon start seeing app content in their search results in the Safari browser.

The company’s so-called App Indexing feature is now compatible with HTTP deep link standards for iOS 9. Owners of iOS 9 devices should expect app content to begin surfacing in search results by month’s end. Read More


Apple promises to open up universal search on Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 5, 2015

When the new Apple TV launches toward the end of this month, it will allow viewers to use their voice to search movies and television shows across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and HBO. Fans of the device were initially concerned that the new box would offer preferential treatment to the aforesaid services. Thankfully, that won’t be the case.

As CEO Tim Cook noted in an interview this weekend with BuzzFeed News’s John Paczkowski, the new box will allow apps beyond launch partners to expose and make their content discoverable and searchable via iOS 9’s universal search feature.

It’s a crucial confirmation: content from other broadcasters and studios such as NBC, Disney and CNN must be exposed through the Apple TV’s Siri-based search if the device is to streamline the user experience. Read More


How to convert units and currencies and get exchange rates with Spotlight on iPhone and iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2015

In addition to running simple math with a little help of iOS 9’s vastly improved Spotlight Search, your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad also lets you run unit and currency conversions, and get live exchange rates, right from any Home screen.

This convenient feature is another great time-saver provided by iOS 9, even more so if you resort to third-party apps for live currency conversions on the go.

With Spotlight in iOS 9, you can convert dollars to euros, feet to meters, pounds to kilograms, hectares to acres and much more, here’s how. Read More


How to prevent Spotlight from searching certain apps on iPhone and iPad with iOS 9

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 17, 2015

iOS 9 sports an easily overlooked yet significant enhancement to Spotlight, permitting you to search and discover content buried deep within the apps on your device right from Spotlight’s search field on the Home screen.

This was made possible because the iOS 9 SDK gives developers the tools to expose content stored inside their apps to the operating system in order to make it searchable and linkable within Spotlight.

But as you install apps from the App Store that support Spotlight, they get automatically added to Spotlight, whether you like it or not.

And with too many apps feeding their content to Spotlight, the feature shows the tendency to run slower than usual due to indexing. Of course, not each and every app needs to be searched this way.

In fact, it might be prudent to turn off ones that pollute your search results and make Spotlight run slower than usual. In this tutorial, we’re going to explain how you can selectively exclude content from specific apps from surfacing in Spotlight search results. Read More


Bing for iPhone picks up Interests and News, gains private searching, Apple Watch app and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2015

Microsoft’s Bing for iPhone app was updated last evening with several new features such as Bing Interests, Bing News, a private searching mode, the Popular Now section on your Apple Watch and other enhancements.

I typically use Google’s native search app on my iPhone, but Bing saw some rather interesting improvements in recent months. In my personal opinion, Microsoft’s search-based app is better designed than Google’s with richer descriptions and prettier images.

More importunely, Bing’s popular searches feature produces way more relevant results than Google, at least for me. Read More


New Google for iOS update adds always-listening “Ok Google” to in-app browser and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2015

It’s been a while since Google last refreshed its native search application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with meaningful new features, but today Google for iOS got bumped to version 7.0 in the App Store.

Most notably, the app now supports the always-on “Ok Google” feature within in-app browser, but not only that—it understands what you’re searching for in the context of the webpage you’re browsing.

Before today, “Ok Google” was only available on the app’s search screen and you weren’t able to use it if you navigated away from search results. Read More


Instagram bringing place, people and hashtag search to the web

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 20, 2015

Following an update last month that added expanded search options to its mobile app, Facebook-owned Instagram has now started rolling out place search and other search-related enhancements for its web version, the company announced Monday.

The new search features are currently rolling out to a subset of Instagram’s installed base before going live for everyone so they may not be available to you just yet. Read More


Here are Google’s plans for frictionless shopping straight from mobile search

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 15, 2015

The next time you use Google Search on your iPhone, you may notice a brand new “Purchase on Google” button, a feature that has been rumored for several months and confirmed today at the company’s presser in New York City.

According to Venture Beat, it will let consumers purchase items directly from ads in Google search results using the payment information linked to their Google account.

The new button will begin rolling out in the next few weeks. Read More


How to find great quotations without visiting any Google Search results

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 15, 2015

The Internet is the perfect place to research some of the greatest quotes from the world’s most insightful people, but often searching for a quote feels like finding a needle in the haystack. What if you could find great quotations without having to click through a bunch of links in search results like an animal? Well, now you can as Google has quietly rolled out handy Quotes cards that inject your search results with—you guessed right—quotes.

In this post, I’m going to teach you how to retrieve quotations on your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad without visiting any Google Search results. Read More


Spotlight gets smarter in iOS 9

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 8, 2015

Spotlight search has been completely redesigned for iOS 9, and it brings with it a new interface, a new search API, deep linking to search results, and more. With an interface that harkens back to the pre-iOS 7 days, search is now a powerful new tool in iOS. Read More


You’ll soon be able to open iOS app content straight from Google Search

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2015

Google will soon start indexing iOS apps, allowing you to open content in your favorite apps straight from Google Search, the company announced Wednesday.

Google has been indexing content from Android apps for a while and now it’s about to help Apple fans discover relevant content from iPhone and iPad applications, right inside search.

“Starting today, we’re bringing App Indexing to iOS apps as well,” the company announced. “This means users on both Android and iOS will be able to open mobile app content straight from Google Search.” Read More


Google and Twitter team up to provide Tweets in mobile search results

By Cody Lee on May 19, 2015

Google and Twitter announced on Tuesday that they are partnering up to bring Tweets to Google Search on mobile devices. The move means that now, anytime you perform a search using the Google app (iOS or Android) or mobile browser, you’ll see real-time content from Twitter in your results.

The search results are triggered by “Twitter” keyword searches, and include both hashtags and accounts. So you can either search for feedback on the new #TaylorSwift album or #MadMenFinale, or you can track down NASA’s Twitter account, and view their recent Tweets without leaving Google. Read More

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