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.


Source: Danny Sullivan (Twitter)
Via: Android Police

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!