Google on Tuesday unveiled several tweaks to its core search product, including the ability to search by voice or image. Image-based searching has been around for quite a while now, but Google intends to popularize the alternative search method by supporting it right from within the main Google Images search engine. Users can initiate searches using images hosted on the Web, or they can upload images from a PC to start a search. Searches initiated by a photo will return both text and image-based results. The second major feature announced on Tuesday might have slightly less utility among the majority of users — voice search for Google’s desktop site. The service works just like Google’s mobile voice-based search service, but it is integrated with the company’s desktop search engine. We’re not sure what benefit voice-based desktop searches provide for the typical user, but the feature is live and ready to try in the latest version of Google’s Chrome browser. Hit the break for videos highlighting Google’s new voice and image-based search services. More →
Today, Google announced enhancements to their Google Images search page that aim to be: more image-oriented, accurate, and efficient. The new look brings with it the following enhancements:
- Dense tiled layout designed to make it easy to look at lots of images at once. We want to get the app out of the way so you can find what you’re really looking for.
- Instant scrolling between pages, without letting you get lost in the images. You can now get up to 1,000 images, all in one scrolling page. And we’ll show small, unobtrusive page numbers so you don’t lose track of where you are.
- Larger thumbnail previews on the results page, designed for modern browsers and high-res screens.
- A hover pane that appears when you mouse over a given thumbnail image, giving you a larger preview, more info about the image and other image-specific features such as “Similar images.”
- Once you click on an image, you’re taken to a new landing page that displays a large image in context, with the website it’s hosted on visible right behind it. Click anywhere outside the image, and you’re right in the original page where you can learn more about the source and context.
- Optimized keyboard navigation for faster scrolling through many pages, taking advantage of standard web keyboard shortcuts such as Page Up / Page Down. It’s all about getting you to the info you need quickly, so you can get on with actually building that treehouse or buying those flowers.
Google notes that the updates are “rolling out in most of their local interfaces worldwide over the next few days.” More →