Google announces Search by Image, Search by Voice for desktop, revamped mobile search


Google’s done a ton of talking about search at its Inside Search event today, and two of the biggest new developments are on the desktop. It’s just announced that Android-style Search by Voice is headed to desktop web browsers (with support for English only, initially), and that it will be joined by a new Search by Image feature. To use that latter, you simply drag and drop an image or cut and paste an image URL in the search box, and then Google tries its best to recognize it and deliver relevant results — including identifying the location in an old vacation photo, for instance (though Google notes it isn’t doing face recognition). Both features will be rolling out over the next few days, and they’ll each require Chrome (or a Firefox extension in the case of Search by Image). Head on past the break for a pair of videos demoing each feature.

In other news, Google’s announced Instant Pages (also demoed after the break), which promises to speed up browsing by prerendering results when its “confident you’re going to click them.” It’s available in the latest developer version of Chrome today, and will also be included in the next public beta. Lastly, Google took the wraps off a number of revisions to its mobile search offerings, including a new set of icons and enhanced local features when browsing on a phone, as well as some revamped search and image results that have been specifically tailored to tablets.