Apparently, Google’s slightly outgrown the internet: The Google app for Android can now search for things without an internet connection.
Of course, Google is neither downloading the entire content of the internet nor operating via dark magic. Instead it will simply queue up your search terms while you’re offline, and notify you about the results later.
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Sure, it sounds like an extremely minor feature, but I can already see how it might come in handy. There are times when I need to look up information about a location while I’m on the subway, but have no signal. By the time I get out of the train, I’m in a hurry and in motion – not a good scenario for using a six-inch phone. Other times, I’ll forget I had to look up some important bit of information. Being able to have the information already ready for me is a welcome change of pace.
You can store as many searches offline search as you want, and view your queue in a new ‘manage searches’ section on the sidebar of the Google app. You can also turn off offline retrieval if you’d prefer, but don’t worry about data or battery life: Google says it “won’t drain your battery, and by fetching streamlined search results pages, it minimally impacts data usage.”
The feature is rolling out to the latest version of the Google app today.