Google has just released its annual wrap of aggregated searches in Australia. In 2017, we took to the web to search for enlightenment on fidget spinners, the same sex marriage vote, Cyclone Debbie, Beef Stroganoff and political tension in North Korea.
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Google has changed the way you can localise searches. While the default option has usually forced you to the local search site - enter google.com and you get redirected to google.com.au - it has been possible to push Google to other locations. (If you wanted a localised British search you could go to google.co.uk, for example.) But now, the company will automatically direct you to your local Google regardless of the address you enter.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
The Pixel 2 comes packed with new features you won't find on regular vanilla Android 8.0, and a big part of that is the home screen. Google redesigned its calendar widget to show upcoming events, and as a result it moved the search bar down to the bottom of the screen under the dock where you can access it even faster.
It's become common for companies such as Google to do targeted software releases, limiting access through region, platform or device. For Google Search Lite, a snappier and slimmer version of the current Search app, is currently restricted to just a few locations... and none of them are Australia. Fortunately, you can manually install the APK if you want to give it a try.
In 2010, Google's then-VP of Search Products Marissa Mayer called Instant Search a "fundamental shift in search," and the media marveled at this new time-saving feat of engineering. Now that shit is dead, because technology has a fundamentally shifted once again.
As anyone who's ever spent time Googling celebrities -- or themselves -- can tell you, diving down the internet rabbit hole will sometimes bring up some weird results in that right-hand box. So what's an armchair fact-checker to do? If you know for a fact David Spade is not Dana Carvey, or your birthday is definitely not the same release date as Van Halen's Women and Children First, you can tell Google yourself.
If there's something you don't like about yourself on the web, usually Google isn't going to remove it from search results. If you complain, though, Google will remove web pages that include your bank account numbers and other sensitive information. And recently, they added medical records to the list of things they will remove upon request.
When Google's engineers aren't busy upgrading the serious stuff inside Google's email apps or mobile OS, they like to leave little treats and games inside Google's products -- everything from humorous search results to hidden creatures. These are some of our favourites for when you've got five minutes or five hours to waste.
Google has become synonymous with online search - to the point where it's the only search engine that many people have ever used. If you still haven't asked anyone but Google to answer your search queries -- it's time to rethink your approach to web browsing.
iOS/Android: Google has been tiptoeing around the travel game for a while now with useful tools like Google Flights and their hotel search function. Today, they completely jumped in with a new app that manages and helps plan your trip from start to finish.