As reported by TechCrunch, changes are coming to Google’s mobile search.
Now: video previews
Now, whenever your Google search query returns video results, Google will automatically play a six-second video clip on the results page to give you an idea of its contents.
Don’t worry: the preview will be silent. Your search results will not be broadcasted to the world.
The video previews will not simply be the first six seconds of every video since the first six seconds of any video aren’t necessarily the most accurate reflection of the contents of the full video. That’s why Google has devised a program which can sift through the whole video and select a sex-second clip which, hopefully, gives you a better idea of what you’re about to watch. For each video, the same six-second clip will load for every user.
Google’s servers individually set the previews for each video, so not all videos will have previews yet. But the majority of videos people are likely to search will already have video previews ready. It may take a bit of time for newly-added videos to have previews available to load.
The new feature will work with most major video servers, including Google’s own YouTube.
Google hopes this new feature will give users an idea of what a video has in it, without any need to scrub through the video manually. It will also help users filter out videos that only ever show a single frozen image.
Currently, the preview feature is only available for mobile users via the Chrome and Google apps.
Upcoming: Google’s data-friendly search app
Video previews are not the only change Google has brewing for its search page. Google has been testing a data-friendly version of its search app, as Android Police reports.
The advantages of the new app are pretty straightforward: low data usage, high offline capabilities, and workability with slow connections. It won’t include as much pre-loaded data. It won’t include all the bells and whistles of the full Google search app, but it should work well for users who only need or can support the basic functions.
The app has also been designed to be simple and easily accessible.
The app is not yet available to the U.S. — a pilot version called “Search Lite” is currently being tested in Indonesia.