A few hours ago, Google’s main Google Plus page posted #searchtip for Instant Preview on mobile to help you find what you are looking for faster. Google Search will now return results with a small blue magnifying glass icon with “more” dots for each result as a button to “Instant Preview.” The post denotes, “This feature is available for Android (2.2+) and iOS (4.0+) devices across 38 languages.” If you look closely at the screenshot of the post on the right, you will notice some links at the bottom of the contextual data for the Instant Preview feature. The links listed are Cached, Similar, and “Add to Google Keep”. I ran a search to see what this might be because I have not come across it before. This wouldn’t be anything related to past similar products like notebook or bookmarks since they have already existed or made their way out. Could this be a feature to read it later? I can only speculate that it might save a more readable version to Google Docs and cache it locally for offline use. Google would have released something like that at their latest event if it was something that simple?
I think this is possibly a new offline feature for Chrome to store a copy of this page or site offline to “Keep” for later. Notice the functionality of the other links it is paired with. The Cached link pulled a cached version, a saved copy or version of the site from an earlier point in time, from Google’s servers. Similar is a feature of the Google Search engine that will find results and pages that are related or similar to the result you are clicking. Add to Google Keep is not just “save this” or “make offline” because it has a unique name. Many new features at Google I/O 2012 seemed to include faster access to the data you want through Google even when offline. Examples of other Google offline type features announced recently are the new offline voice features of Android Jelly Bean 4.1, the new update Google Drive apps that include offline document viewing, and Google Map features to save specific areas of maps offline.
This new unreleased feature must be a combination of “Caching” and “Make Offline” and most likely not a simplified readability save it later sort of feature. Can we look forward to browsing a full version of the website contextually with basic graphics while offline to help with being “mobile” and while traveling? Google is investing in making everything more accessible on the go and would be perfect for those getting on an airplane, taking a train, or in a subway. This will also be great for dead zones and areas with bad data and cell coverage. But what would be the point of going to all or even a few of your favorite sites to “Keep” them for later if you have to remember to “Keep” them up?
Google Now, Google’s new almost instant and automatic voice search result system, is a great example of how they are approaching automation in a human way. We will see Google Keep I think once Google Now catches on. Google Keep will be a feature where you can select the sites you want to “Keep” updated to be in the “Now” and not some static offline version point in time. You will be connected even when you are disconnected, and that I predict will be Google’s motivation for moving more into a successful Android platform that users will want to “Keep”
Written by Carlos M Bedia