Google Search gains location awareness, answers contextual questions
Android’s voice search features are already pretty powerful, and with word of Google Now on Tap arriving at I/O the other week, it sounds like the voice-driven Android experience is only getting better. But while we’re still waiting for Now on Tap to be ready for public release, Google’s got another big upgrade it’s deploying right now, as it brings location awareness to Google Search.
With location services enabled on your phone, Google can now answer questions with contextual awareness of where your are at the moment. That means that if you’re in a mall and wonder how much longer you have left to shop, you can just ask your phone, “What time does this place close?” Search will use your location data to understand what “this place” means and deliver the appropriate response.
It’s not just business that are supported, and Google Search should be able to answer questions about monuments, local attractions, and public services.
Maybe the best news is that it’s already live – at least in the US. While there still seem to be some limitations as to the sort of answers it’s able to provide, location awareness is still a major step forward for Google’s voice search efforts, and we’re sure we’ll only be seeing more along these lines as we get Now on Tap with Android M.
Location Aware Search is live unannounced feature in Google Search App. Ask about things nearby without naming them pic.twitter.com/ML7APC6Msc
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) June 9, 2015