Google today announced an update to its Google app for Android that should be welcome to people who at times lose their internet connections. If you run a Google search through the app now and you don’t have a connection, the app will capture your query and hold onto it, and just as soon as your Android device has an internet connection again, it will show you a notification saying that the results are ready.
This sort of thing could be useful in a variety of scenarios, including when you’re in airplane mode, when you lose a Wi-Fi connection and don’t have a standard data plan, or when you have no signal and no access to Wi-Fi.
“And if you’re worried about data charges or preserving battery life, don’t fret. This feature won’t drain your battery, and by fetching streamlined search results pages, it minimally impacts data usage,” Google product manager Shekhar Sharad wrote in a blog post.
For the past few years, Google has been trying to improve the capabilities of its core services in offline scenarios. For example, a few months ago Google made it possible for users to download certain geographical areas to an SD card in Google Maps for Android — and back in 2015, it started letting people download large areas for turn-by-turn navigation.
In May, Google said that it was starting to automatically save offline the Docs, Sheets, and Slides files that users most recently worked on.
And with the release of Chrome 55 in December, people on Android devices could start downloading websites and files for offline access.