Google refines mobile search with quick answers

[Credit: Google]

Google has been hard at work refining search for years, from the integration of video and images in searches, to showing possible results as you type with instant search. Although mobile search is often just as sufficient as searching in a browser, some of the more recent improvements have taken their time reaching the mobile devices.

On Thursday, all that changed with quick answers, results that understand exactly what you need and deliver it in a cleaner, faster way. Quick answer results include “finance, currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday and sunrise times,” as well as weather forecasts, flight times, and a revamped calculator.

What search results for a flight looks like. [Credit: Google]

Not only do quick answers deliver information to your fingertips more quickly, they look pretty snazzy to boot. And in fact, it's quite similar in presentation to the interactive "search cards" in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. I spent a few minutes solving equations and converting the American dollar to every conceivable foreign currency, and the subtle, elegant quick answers are a notable improvement over the old mobile search. Having more relevant and interactive results makes all the difference in the world.

For my money, the flight results were the most impressive aspect of the update. After entering the relatively vague search “Dallas to Atlanta flight,” I was greeted with a full menu for departure and return dates, as well as the cheapest airline available for those dates. With a few more clicks, I was one button press away from booking a flight. Google still reigns supreme as the king of convenience.

The update is currently available on all English-language mobile devices, so check your smartphone or tablet and try it out for yourself. Quick answers will eventually make their way to the desktop and international users as well.

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