‘An app a day’ – Day 4 – Google Search

An app a day – Day 4: Google Search

app google search

Cost: Free

Suggested user group: Students

About the app: The Google Search app allows users to quickly search the internet using text or voice input. However, it is now much more than just a search engine due to the incorporation of the Google Now feature. Android users have had this element incorporated within their app since last year, but it is a very recent inclusion for Apple users and is generating a lot of interest amongst technology bloggers. The Google Now feature draws on your personal information to let you know the local weather forecast, traffic conditions prior to commencing your journey and much more. A short introductory video appears within the app the first time you launch it to provide you with a quick overview of what the app can do.

Read more about the Google Search app and the Google Now feature here: http://www.google.com.au/landing/now/

What to do now:

  • Download the appropriate app for your device from the links below (If you are reading this post on your device, tapping the link will redirect you to the Apple App Store/Google Play Store)
  • Open the app (and sign up if required)
  • Spend a bit of time today experimenting with the app to get used to how it works

Apple app: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/google-search/id284815942?mt=8

Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox&hl=en

What to do later today:

Now that you have had experiences with the app, it is time to share your thoughts and ideas with your colleagues about how the app can be useful to teachers and/or students. Feel free to express your opinions by clicking on ‘LEAVE A COMMENT’ at the bottom of this post and filling in the required fields in the pop up box. Please note: posting comments allows you to claim participation towards your PD hours.

The following are some suggested comment starters but feel free to discuss anything of interest:

  • How could you use this app to assist yourself in your personal work duties?
  • How could you use this app with students?
  • If you are already using this app, how have you been using it yourself/with students?
  • Do you have any alternative apps that fulfil the same purpose that you would recommend? Is one app preferable to use?
  • What are your general thoughts about the usability of this app?

Hope you all enjoy experimenting with this app today and we look forward to reading your comments!


6 thoughts on “‘An app a day’ – Day 4 – Google Search

  1. I’ve always relied on searching the internet using Safari on my iPhone, but having a Google-specific app is very handy, especially with the voice recognition feature, which is, (in my experience) a lot better than Siri. The Google app found all of the test searches that I conducted using the voice recognition feature.
    In terms of my personal work duties, I still use a desk top and a laptop for my day-to-day tasks, so I see it as less useful for me, but for someone who is on-the-go and uses mobile devices for work purposes, it would easily replace an internet search using the standard browser app. I can see it as being useful for students who aren’t strong spellers.

    The other nifty feature of this app is the photo-taking option, (called Goggles) which allows you to do a Google search of the item photographed, but only as long as Google recognises it. I thought it would be great for art students to take a photo of an artwork and then do a Google search for information about that work, but the first few that I tried it on were quite famous paintings and the results were CDs or book covers that featured that particular painting. I found that it only brought back information about a particular painting if it was a lesser known artwork, which is a bit of a shame, because it could have been a wonderful tool for this purpose. (If only this image technology was available for searching educational search engines, like Sweet Search, or if you could specify on the Google app to only search a specific domain like .edu for the image taken!)

    I’m keen to see what the Cards feature comes up with as I build up my searches. This personalised searching reminds me of products like hunch and StumbleUpon, so it will be interesting to find out what comes back after I’ve used it for a while.


    • Thanks for the great overview Crystal. I’m especially looking forward to testing out the Goggles feature but thanks for the warning that it may not work as effectively as we may want it to!

  2. I like this app because it feels like it’s my personal assistant! Once I opened the app, I pressed the voice icon (in the middle of the screen) and said “Hello, hello”. The next page came up with digital search results for written articles containing the words “hello hello”. When using this app, students could thus press the voice icon and say their search terms rather than type them. This could save students time and also help students who do not have use of their fingers.
    Moments later, I saw two cards appear – one for an address to where I have a meeting tonight and one for a hotel that I searched a few hours ago as a Mother’s Day option. Students could hence use this app to generate cards / Google Maps to show the directions to appointments they have in the future – say a sporting field or a venue for a music lesson.

  3. Google search enables you to do all your usual googling but at the tap of the app rather than having to go through an Internet browser. The built in google now tool is very clever and could be very useful. Not sure if i would use that part of the app very much at present! It would appear, and from reading some posts on the web, that this will be the replacement for igoogle when it is put to rest in November this year.

  4. I have a few reservations about the personal location and search information aspect of this. I don’t see a major advantage of this over the browser search (Though the voice search is good). It would chew up lots of download for students who may not have unlimited. Also, I’m not sure that I am comfortable with the personal information which is stored. Personally, I don’t need or want to be connected all the time. Search results still need to carefully evaluated of for research and I’m wary of the quick fix which perpetuates superficial overviews rather than deep meaning. As a personal tool, I can see that some would love it.

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