Google's just announced Google Instant! They say it's going to transform search forever—making it faster, better, stronger. But what is it, exactly?
Should you activate Google Instant Search, you'll start seeing search results as soon as you start typing. You'll also be shown a range of possible queries in grey to refine your options, all before you ever hit the "Search" button.
Google estimates that Google Instant will save people an average of 2-5 seconds per search. The reason? We read faster than we type, and predictive search pretty much takes typing out of the equation. If every Google user around the world switched to Instant, we'd save 3.5 billion seconds a day, or 11 hours per second.
While the normal SafeSearch filters—like those used in Image searches—apply, Google Instant draws the line at "pornography, violence and hate speech." Which means that when you try to autocomplete a generic "porn" search, you're stuck with this:
There's a good chance you've already got Google Instant up and running, but if not, don't feel too left out; it's going to take a couple of days for the service to hit all Google users. And a bit longer than that to hit mobile—Google says that it's not available in the immediate future for phones, but that it should be coming in the next few months. Ditto for the search bar in your browser. In any case, if you don't like it you're not forced to use it; next to every search box will be a link that lets you turn Instant off or on as you please.
When Google Instant is activated, the right arrow key acts as the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. Glad to see that a healthy sense of adventure has been maintained.