At its third annual Google for India event in New Delhi today, the company launched a new search experience for mobile users, in the form of an app called Google Go.
Part of the new suite of optimized apps for the lightweight Android Go platform, it not only lets you search the web, but also see what’s trending around you, and offers shortcuts to things like the weather, popular images, GIFs, and YouTube videos.
The idea is to help folks who are coming online for the first time discover the lengths and breadths of the web. That means that the company has to go beyond simply offering a blank search box.
That’s why all those shortcuts take users straight to popular content of various kinds. In addition, Google Go begins displaying search results as you type, along with buttons containing suggestions based on your query. For example, if you start typing ‘jackets,’ it’ll surface buttons labeled ‘for women’ and ‘in Bangalore,’ to help you refine your results without having to learn how to search like a seasoned pro.
There’s also a customizable row of shortcuts to your favorite services and apps for social networks, shopping, entertainment, news, banking, and more. It’s localized, so you’ll see links to services that are popular in your country and area.
Google Go also supports a second language, so if you set one when you install it, you can switch your query and results to that language with just a tap. There’s also an option to only browse lightweight webpages when you visit search results, so as to save on mobile data.
We first saw the app in testing back in August, when it was labeled ‘experimental’ and featured a spartan interface. Having tried it then and again today, it seems like a smart approach to building a launchpad for people who are just getting the hang of browsing the web, and experiencing it first on a mobile device rather than a desktop.
Google Go is presently available to users in India from Google Play; give it a go by grabbing it from this page.
There’s more where that came from; follow us here for more coverage from Google’s event.