Google Search to add personal touch by tapping into your Gmail, Calendar
14th Aug 2013 | 21:08
Use voice search for even quicker searches
As much as our smartphones have become miniature personal assistants, there's still the matter of having to dig through our calendars to find out appointment times, or scan through our emails for those pesky package tracking numbers. Ever have to dig through emails to figure out your flight info? We've been there, too.
With all the buzz around the Moto X and its "always listening" capabilities, it makes sense Google is bringing some of that functionality to Google Search.
Over the next week, Google will start offering personal results in Search based on information culled from your accounts in Google+, Gmail and Google Calendar.
Now, no matter what kind of device your using (desktop, smartphone or tablet), you can sync your account to provide specific results based on your everyday life. Say or type in a question like, "What's my flight status?" or "When will my package arrive?" and your answers will populate in Search.
Google Now already offers similar features for Android users, but now Google is opening up these kind of results to U.S., English-speaking users, no matter what their platform. There's no word yet on international availability.
As long as you're using the Chrome browser or Google Search itself and you've synced your account, you can get the most recent results just by asking.
Search will respond to questions about flight plans, reservations (restaurant and hotel), purchasing orders, photo and plans listed in your calendar to start.
Google promised more possible query options were coming later, but these basic questions should more than suffice until a deeper set of searches comes along.
The company also promised this type of personalization would be secure, and only available to you as long as you were signed in to Google.
Of course, you can also choose to opt out of giving Google access to the details of your daily life with just a few clicks.
You can opt out temporarily by clicking the little globe under your name on the search results page, but you'll have to do this every time you search for something new.
The best option for more private people would be to go into your search settings (found in the gear icon beneath your name), and scroll down to Private Results section.
There, you'll see a box for Google to not use private results when searching, which you can click to disable the option entirely.
Privacy has become a major concern for many consumers of late, and even though Google's new Search abilities could come in handy, that's an awful lot of info to trust to a third party.