Google now warns Chinese users certain queries may interrupt connection

In a blog post on the official Google Search blog, Google’s Senior Vice President, Knowledge Alan Eustace today provided some insight into ongoing issues Google Search users in mainland China have been experiencing. As highlighted in the video above, we can see Google observes specific search queries appear to be providing error messages and interrupting the connection. Specifically, users in mainland China over the past couple years have reported frequently experiencing “This webpage is not available” or “The connection was reset” error messages for specific search queries and browsers.

After looking into the issue, Google confirmed the problem doesn’t appear to be originating on its end and has decided to implement notifications to warn users of problem search terms:
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Google Search iPhone app completely redesigned for speed and full screen searching

Google updated its Google Search iPhone app to version 2.0.0 today, which introduced a completely redesigned app that focuses on improvements to speed and full screen browsing features. Among the new features are an auto full screen mode that hides controls when scrolling down and reveals when scrolling up, and a new full-screen image search view.

The updated app also includes “major speed improvements,” a built-in text finder for webpages, and quick links to Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and search options such as images, places, and news. The iPad did not receive the same update, but both the iPhone and iPad will now be able to save images to the iOS camera roll.

A full list of features is below, while the updated app is available on the App Store now.

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Google rolls out autocomplete predictions to Gmail search

Following an update to Gmail last week that brought improved search results and integration of contact information and Google+ Circles, today Google announced on the Official Gmail Blog that it is now including autocomplete predictions when searching from within your Gmail inbox.

Much like Google Web search and many of its other services, when beginning to type in the search bar from within Gmail, you will now see suggestions or autocomplete predictions matching content within your emails. Google explained:

Now when you type something into the Gmail search box, the autocomplete predictions will be tailored to the content in your email, so you can save time and get the information you want faster than ever before. For example, you might now get lax reservation or lax united as predictions after typing “lax” if you have received an email with a flight confirmation for your trip to Los Angeles in your inbox recently.

The new feature will roll out to English Gmail users over the next few days, but Google noted support for additional languages would roll out over the coming months. The feature is also not yet available to Google Apps users.

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Google News updated with realtime coverage, larger images, and Google+ integration

Google announced on the official Google News blog three new features coming to the U.S. edition of the site, including: new larger images on the main news page; real-time updates that will cover only the latest content; and new integration with Google+ content.

The realtime coverage page provides access to “every news story as soon as they become available to Google News.” The page will also include “Google+ Discussions” to the right, which will even display on the refreshed News homepage. The discussions will only appear to those signed into to Google+ and will consist of comments from journalists, politicians, and those in your Circles currently discussing breaking news.

The Google+ discussions, new realtime coverage page, and larger images will roll out over the next week, but you can upgrade now (here). Google also provided the following instructions to turn off the Google+ integration:

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Google banks four times more revenue from iOS devices than Android devices

Google gave a testimony to Congress last year claiming it earned two-thirds of its mobile revenue from iOS devices, but now it seems as though the company’s estimate might have been low.

Google made less than $550 million in revenues for Android between 2008 and 2011, while making four times as much revenue during the same period with Apple products that employ Google services like Search and Maps.

According to The Guardian, the settlement offer provided yesterday by Google to Oracle depicted Android’s revenue streams. Settlement discussions ordered by Judge William Alsup were derailed when Oracle rejected Google’s low offer to pay royalties on Android if alleged patent infringements deem true in court.

Reuters reported yesterday that the settlement stems from a 2010 lawsuit where Oracle claimed its Java-related patents were infringed by Android. Oracle acquired the intellectual property in question when it purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010.

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Report: Apple plans to reduce Google’s iOS presence by adding Baidu to mobile search options next month

Reports surfaced in China that claim Apple plans to integrate Baidu into iOS next month as the country’s possible default search function—suggesting iOS aims to become less dependent on Google’s services.

According to Chinese news website Sina Tech (machine-translation):

Sina Technology News on March 26 morning news, according to informed sources, Apple iOS operating system next month will be formally introduced Baidu search, Baidu and Apple between cooperation component in the China region.

Google’s Susan Creighton revealed last fall that two-thirds of the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s mobile search comes from Apple iOS devices.

Meanwhile, recent speculation claims Apple is moving to an in-house Mapping solution that would replace Google Maps. The firm also recently removed its publish to YouTube option in QuickTime for Mountain lion. If these latest rumors deem true, Apple’s move to Baidu would further indicate a significant effort to reduce Google’s presence in iOS.

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Google posts ‘College Hoops 2012′ basketball guide, builds bracket based on search queries

Earlier this week, we got the official “NCAA March Madness” Android app, and now Google just posted a “College Hoops 2012″ website acting as a resource for all things college basketball during the tournament. At the top of the page (pictured above), Google allows you to filter the bracket based on “Search Picks” or “Actual Results.” Clicking “Search Picks” will get you Google’s picks based on the teams with the most search queries. Actual results will get you the real/updated results from the tournament, and clicking any of the teams will send you to Google search with the latest news and scores.

On the page, Google also outlined a few ways to stay in the loop during the tournament. On Google+ you can join the conversation with hashtag #GoogleHoops, and there are even a few upcoming Hangouts with ESPN analysts and others in the weeks to come. As for scores, Google reminds us that typing the name of your team followed by [score] will get you results without leaving the search results page. We also get virtual tour of the stadiums during the tournament through Google Maps.

Swing by Google’s “College Hoops 2012” website for more information.
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Report: Google plans to reinvent search by understanding words

Google is reinventing its Web-search technique with direct information for queries to better maintain the majority market share.

The Wall Street Journal said Google aims to replace some Web links with summarized answers and facts. The search formula transition will roll out over the next few months as the search engine begins to merge relevant results with semantic search, which attempts to understand the meaning of words versus keyword identification. One source said the change could influence 10 percent to 20 percent of all search queries.

Under the new strategy, a search for “Mount Everest” will display key attributes, such as the mountain’s location, altitude, or geographical history, aggregated from Google-indexed websites. Longer queries might uncover a real answer instead of links to websites. For example, the question “What are the 10 largest mountains in the United States?” would subsequently reveal a list of mountains and not ambiguous links to various state parks or hikers’ fan pages.

Google’s top executive Amit Singhal told WSJ that the new search results are the product of hundreds of millions of “entities” stored in a database. The company’s Metaweb team of 50 engineers painstakingly gathered particulars on people, places, and things over the last two years to build an immense collection for associating different words through semantic search.

More information is available below.

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Google I/O registration opens 7 a.m. PDT March 27, last year it took less than an hour to sell out

Google opens its registration for its annual I/O conference on March 27. Remember, tickets sold out last year in under an hour so set your alarms!

The conference also moved from May to June this year where Google will debut many new technologies, including some Glasses hopefully. While we do not have official word on the Glasses “Project WingFront,” we were told by a Google employee that this year’s I/O was going to be “totally insane.” Perhaps so insane that Google moved from a two-day format to three days this year.

 

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Google also updated its I/O website with some fun and games. Read more