Google seems to be improving its core Search product on a very regular basis these days. Naturally, with all of these enhancements and new features going into Search, it was bound to begin picking up features that other search engines may have already had for a while. Today's case in point is the sudden appearance of an internet speed checking function for some users, reported by Dr. Pete Meyers on Twitter. Although this feature is already live and rolling on Bing, it's nice to see it make its way over to the home of Google's loyal user base.
The new search option is powered by Google's deep-level internet connection and health analysis tools, known as the M-Lab suite. Various bits and bobs of M-Lab technology work behind the scenes in concert to create the simple speed test, ensuring accuracy and a quick test. According to flavor text attached to a screenshot of a test about to happen, users will see less than 40 megabytes of data usage in most cases, making the test both quick and thrifty. Unfortunately, nobody has actually managed to perform a test just yet, so the only picture available at the moment is one depicting what users will see before giving the green light to begin a speed test.
The tool is seeing an extremely limited, intermittent and broken presence on desktop at the moment, with no word on any sight of it in the mobile space. This most likely means that the tool is in extremely early beta or dogfood testing, meaning employees only, and somehow slipped out, but was quickly pulled back into the shadows. Whatever the case, things like exactly how it works, when it will roll out, what territories it will be available in and if it will make it to the mobile version of Google Search at all have obviously gone unanswered thus far. For the moment, Google users wanting to test their speed have little choice aside from Ookla's Speedtest.net or other third-party options not built into their favorite search engine, or they can dip a toe into Microsoft's waters by using Bing.