Google o≠ers ‘short­cuts’ to data, tools

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Michael Liedtke

san fran­cisco» Google wants to make it eas­ier for you to find an­swers and rec­om­men­da­tions on smart­phones with­out hav­ing to think about what to ask its search en­gine.

Its new fea­ture, called short­cuts, will ap­pear as a row of icons be­low the Google search box. In­stead of hav­ing to pon­der and then speak or type a re­quest, the short­cuts will let you tap the icons to get the lat­est weather, movie show­times, sports scores, restau­rant rec­om­men­da­tions and other com­mon re­quests.

The short­cuts will be­gin ap­pear­ing Tues­day in up­dates to Google’s app for iPhones, An­droid phones and its mo­bile web­site. The An­droid app also will in­clude var­i­ous tools such as a cur­rency con­verter, a lan­guage trans­la­tor and an ATM lo­ca­tor, which you can also sum­mon with a tap. Those tools even­tu­ally may make it to the iPhone as well.

The changes are the lat­est step in Google’s quest to turn its search en­gine into a sec­ondary brain that an­tic­i­pates peo­ple’s needs and de­sires. The search en­gine gleans these in­sights by an­a­lyz­ing your past re­quests and, when you al­low it, track­ing your lo­ca­tion, a prac­tice that pe­ri­od­i­cally raises pri­vacy con­cerns about Google’s power to cre­ate dig­i­tal pro­files of its users.

Based on the knowl­edge that Google al­ready has ac­cu­mu­lated, its short­cuts fea­ture al­ready may list your fa­vorite sports teams or rec­om­mend nearby restau­rants serv­ing cuisines you pre­fer.

A smart­phone screen grab shows the new short­cuts fea­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.