Meet Google assistant
Google has unveiled its next-gen Siri competitor and the “next evolution” of Search: Google assistant. Yup, that’s ‘assistant’, not ‘Assistant’. The lower-case name is important, because Google isn’t trying to brand this as a new standalone product or feature, but simply an integral part of Search going forward. “It’s not enough to give them links. We really need to help them get things done in the real world. This is why we’re evolving search to be more assistive,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said at the recent Google I/O event. The conversational new tool will appear in Google Home and Allo, and no doubt other products down the line.
Search, meet emoji
Emoji fanatics need worry no longer: Google has now caught up with Microsoft, and will allow users to search using emoji as input. Bing introduced the feature way back in 2014, but the big G has been slow to keep up on this one, despite the growing ubiquity of emoji – they’re even getting their own film next year. Perhaps the reason it’s taken Google longer than Bing is that it incorporates emoji-related pages into the results – searching for the apple emoji will show results related to the emoji, not just results related to apples.
The big 2-000,000,000,000
Google has just announced that it’s crossed a major threshold, and handles more than 2 trillion searches per year. We don’t know exactly how many, just that it’s “at least” 2 trillion, but the last specific number was 1.2 trillion annually back in 2012, so that’s a pretty big increase. Then again, it’s all a lot more than the 1 billion it hit per year in 1999, which seemed like a lot back then. With its market share remaining pretty similar for much of the last few years, this is mostly a reflection of just how many more searches are happening across the market, fueled in part by the unstoppable rise of mobile.