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At its annual I/O developer conference this week in Mountain View, Google announced a refresh of Google Search on mobile. On tap are navigable 3D models in augmented reality (AR), a robust news recommendation tool called Full Coverage, and podcast management.
Now, when you search for something like “muscle flexion” in Search, you’ll see a related 3D model directly from results, which you’ll be able to place in 3D space via your phone’s. The same goes for products: Browse for New Balance shoes, for example, and you’ll get sneakers you can view from all angles (by tapping and dragging) and project onto the real world through your phone’s screen.
Google says it’s working with partners like NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, and Wayfair to surface their content in Search.
“Seeing it action, right in front of you … very handy,” said Aparna Chennapragada, Google Lens director of product.
As for Full Coverage — a carryover from Google News — it’ll show stories reported from multiple sources and include local coverage, videos, FAQs, social media commentary, a timeline of events, and even fact-checking from the likes of Snopes. You can click into any of them, which will surface a breadth of content that’s likely to pique your interest.
“Having a productive conversation or debate requires everyone to have access to the same information,” explained Google in a blog post last year. “That’s why content in Full Coverage is the same for everyone — it’s an unpersonalized view of events from a range of trusted news sources.”
Last but not least, Google said users will soon be able to search for podcasts and save episodes for listening later on other devices, like smart speakers. Google says it’ll begin to index podcasts so that it can surface relevant episodes of a given program, based on the content rather than just the title.