After watching E3, Computex and WWDC hog the headlines for the past few weeks, Google reminded digerati journalists that they were still, you know, one of the biggest freakin' companies in the world at the "Instant Search" event in San Francisco today. The party's barely underway and the Goog's already announced three majorly nifty features coming soon to a search engine near you.
First off, Google Voice is coming to the desktop. Mobile users have been able to blurt out search terms for a while now, but home-bound PC users have been relegated to henpecking out their search parameters manually, at least if they don't feel like dropping $200 on Dragon NaturallySpeaking or booting up Windows' built-in voice recognition utility. According to ZDNet, the newly announced Google Voice for desktop includes support for approximately 66 percent of the world's population via 27 different languages or dialects, plus it can translate on the fly.
Another nifty new tool announced today is an image search function. Drag any picture on the Internet into Google's search bar and the search engine will scour the Internet for results related to the picture. Don't like dragging-and-dropping? You'll also be able to cut-and-paste image URLs into Google to the same effect. Google's even going to let you upload pictures from your hard drive if you want to find some search results for an image that you can't find anywhere else on the web. The improved search should launch today, although we aren't seeing it yet.
Finally, the company showed off "Instant Pages," a new feature that loads a Web page immediately – like 0.0 seconds immediately – when you click on its link. Users with decent broadband connections don't have to wait very long for a page to load anyways, but Instant Pages could shave some serious time off of a Google power user's day.
The combination of Instant Pages and the improved image search already has our mental wheels spinning as we think of new ways to screw around at work throughout the day. Thanks Google!