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Google Search

Latest Google app update will now separate news from upcoming events

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Google is making a small yet significant change to its Google app for Android. The company will begin rolling out an update to the app today that will break up the info into two tabs; one for news and trending topics and the other for any upcoming personal events you have on your schedule.

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The news feed will be the default tab in the updated Google app. It will offer users a customized brief on the news they care about, including the latest sports scores, entertainment gossip, and more. Google will begin adding a card in the news feed for U.S. users that will allow them to pick specific topics they’re interested in seeing in the search app.

The upcoming events tab will be designed to give users a chance to check their calendar for upcoming meetings and events, along with items like the latest travel time estimate for the office. It will also give out info like when your package is supposed to be delivered, when your busy holiday flight is scheduled to depart and more.

It’s interesting that Google has decided to refresh its app so that it can become more of a one-stop shop for all of a person’s daily interests and events. The update is rolling out starting today on Android, and iOS users can expect the same update to arrive in the near future.

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Google wants to show you how crowded a store is ahead of Black Friday

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This week is one of the most anticipated, and also one of the most dreaded, times of the year for shoppers. Black Friday used to be just one day, but retailers are now offering huge discounts on certain items all this week. That means crowded shopping centers and stores, and long delays at registers. Today, Google announced some new additions to its Search app that should make life a little easier for shoppers who want to go to their favorite store at the best possible time.

See also: The best Black Friday deals of 2016

Previously, the Google Search and Map apps showed the estimated popular times for restaurants or stores, but with today’s update, those search results will now display real time numbers on how crowded they are. That hopefully means you can choose to avoid going to that location at that time and wait until it isn’t quite as busy.

Another new addition for Google Search is an estimate of how how long people usually stay at a shop, restaurant or other location. This is also ideal, especially if you don’t want to wait a while to eat at your favorite steak house, burger joint or nightclub.

Finally, there are some businesses that close certain sections before the entire store closes up, like pharmacies at department stores or service sections at auto dealerships. Google Search can now display the specific opening and closing times of those kinds of departments alongside the main hours. Will these new features be helpful for you, especially for this coming Black Friday week? Let us know in the comments.

 

Google’s stranglehold on search is only going to grow

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I’m sure you’re aware of Google’s dominance in the internet search space and you likely know that Google Search tends to be more popular on mobile than it is on desktop. This is largely because Google Search appears on pretty much every mobile device. But with recent changes in internet usage, Google’s lead is only going to grow even further.

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September 18, 2016

When it comes to desktop search dominance, Google comfortably takes the number one spot in the U.S. with 81.42 percent of browser traffic. But on mobile, that lead jumps to a near ubiquitous 92.91 percent on mobile, helped in large part by making Google the default search engine on iPhones as well as Android.

Google represents over 90 percent of mobile search traffic

In fact, Google has represented over 90 percent of mobile search traffic all year.

Considering the attempt at a Google shut-out in countries like China and Russia, that’s very impressive.

In the desktop space however, Google isn’t quite as dominant (and it should be noted that the U.S. isn’t even in the top ten most Google-dependent countries where desktop usage is concerned).

With mobile internet access surpassing desktop for the first time ever, Google's dominance is only going to grow

But with a recent report noting that mobile internet access surpassed desktop usage for the first time ever and mobile predicted to represent 75 percent of global search traffic next year, Google’s cornering of the mobile market means its lead is only going to grow even larger.

The difference between 80 percent and 90 percent may not seem like much, but that’s the entire space in which Google’s search rivals exist.

Google’s stranglehold on search is only going to grow Statista

As Google’s market share inevitably grows in the wake of the transition to mobile internet usage, it will put increasing pressure on competitors like Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and AskJeeves.

Eventually of course, there simply won’t be enough residual search traffic to share around and one or more of these alternative search providers will collapse. Google may be great at what it does, but competition is always good.

Eventually there won't be enough residual search traffic to share around and one or more alternative search providers will collapse

This monopolistic outcome is exactly why the EU Commission is always going after Google for anti-competitive behavior. While I can’t see Google dropping the ball on delivering the best search engine possible, regardless of how many competitors it has, an internet dominated by Google alone is a little worrying.

Do you use other search engines than Google? Are you OK with Google squeezing out competition?