Google used to tell you how to do something. Now, it’ll just do it for you.
In the last week, the company has added two small but important features to their famous search bar. You can type “find my phone” and Google will locate it on a map (and offer to call it); you can also type “send directions” and an interface will appear to beam directions to your phone.
No, neither of these functions is going to change the world overnight—especially as you’ll need an Android phone connected to your Google account for them to appear. But when you place them next to previously added mobile features—like being able to ID a song, set an alarm, or create a reminder using the search bar—and look at them in the context of the last 16 years of Google search, it feels a lot more like the evolution of search interface than a pair of random features.
Search Has Been Evolving
When Google launched, you’d type your query into the search box, and the engine would list an endless stream of links—what you might call, possible answers.
Google got better and better at this. It learned to recognize questions posed in your natural language rather than the verbal programming of Boolean logic, and later, the search engine became prescient enough to complete the question you were about to ask while you typed it.