Google Instant Launches: Logo Mystery Solved

Jill Baughman

Whenever Google deviates from the norm, people flip out.

Today was no exception. Though the logo has gone back to normal as of this afternoon, this morning the logo was black and white, and then morphed into the familiar colors we're used to seeing as you type.

And yesterday of course was the bouncing balls that you could mess with using your mouse and shaking your browser window (I admit, I was pretty enthralled by this one). Google said that the bubbles were "fast, fun, and interactive, just the way we think search should be."

Speculating about their announcement is the stuff geeks' dreams are made of. During their press event at 12:30 p.m. EST, in San Francisco's MoMA, Google made it official:

They're launching Google Instant! Today!!

Marissa Mayer, the company's vice president of search products and user experience, explained the process.

The search is interactive the entire time you're typing. The main Google page won't change, but when you search, you don't have to hit "Enter" or "Return." You get results with each key stroke based on popular search predictions.

According to Mayer, it isn't "search as you type." It's "search before you type." They're pretty much trying to eliminate the time you spend typing. It's Google for the extremely lazy -- you'll save "2 to 5 seconds per query." It may not seem like a lot, but for the Internet business, speed = success.

Here's what the streaming search results look like:

Google thinks it'll be much easier and provide the results you need before you type in your query. For example, they were able to find the weather in San Francisco by just pressing the "w" key. That was pretty cool.

Also, if you scroll down with the arrow key when the search predictions show up, you don't have to keep pressing "enter." The results pop up instantly as you scroll. They call this trick "scroll to search."

So, what's the point of the "search" button then? Well, if you type in "ny," it predicts that you're looking for "ny times." But if you hit the "search" button, you'll get what you always used to see: the maps, state and city information, etc.

You can actually go to Google now and try it out for yourself. It'll be on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE 8, and rolling out over the course of the day in the US. They'll also launch in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Russia within the week as long as you're signed in.

They also gave a sneak peek of what's coming out this fall: They're planning to put Google Instant on Droid, since typing on your phone can sometimes be a pain in the ass.

What do you think of Google Instant? Annoying or a better search experience?


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