Google Makes BlackBerry App More Useful

Google has been very smart to push search on mobile handsets in a number of different directions beyond its PC sibling. These have been in an effort to make it more useful and more engaging.

Google, as you know, has invested heavily in voice to make search query input easier, leveraged the location-awareness of the handset to make browsing (Near Me Now) a powerful and simple alternative to searching. The company has also introduced a flawed but promising Visual Search (Goggles) capability.

It's also doing more with the search box itself. For example, Google made the home-screen search box on Android handsets into a much broader tool that can access contacts, apps, etc., similar to the iPhone. Now Google has done something along those same lines with an upgraded version of its mobile app for the BlackBerry

Just type (or speak) your query - perhaps the name of the person who sent you the mail or a phrase from the text - and Google Mobile App will search through the emails and contacts on your device and return the results. You can quickly reply to an email or forward it on . . .

You can also quickly call, SMS, or email contacts by typing the first few letters of your contact's first or last name, and then pressing the corresponding button. Google Mobile App will suggest contacts as you type and you can scroll down to select one. Google Mobile App will promote the people you contact frequently to the top of the suggestions list.

This kind of functionality makes the search box much more useful and a more frequent feature of the mobile experience, thus habituating people to its continued use. 

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Related: Another way in which Google makes search more mobile friendly is through location-specific suggestions. See Google Optimizes Suggestions for Location