Between friends, family and work, we send dozens of messages a day. But there’s an easier way to do that than using your thumbs on tiny keyboards. Starting today, you can send messages using some of your favorite messaging apps on your Android by simply talking to Google, just like you can already do to send quick emails, Hangouts or text messages.

With the Google app on your Android, you can already say things like “Ok Google, send a text to Taylor: I’ll be in town for the weekend, want to meet up?”—the same way you can ask Google all your questions by voice on your phone. Now, you can do the same with some popular messaging apps.

Just say, “Ok Google, send a WhatsApp message to Joe”—after which you’ll get a prompt asking you to dictate your message. Or, you can do it all in one step: “Ok Google, send a Viber message to Josh: let’s do dinner tomorrow night.” In addition to WhatsApp and Viber, you can send voice messages via WeChat, Telegram and NextPlus (just make sure you have the latest version of both the messaging and the Google app). You’ll be able to do this in English initially (not only in the US though!) and we’ll be working to add more apps and languages in the future.
With all of us spending so much time in apps, we’ve been working to add new ways to surface the right content from your apps at the right time. Over the past few months, you may have seen Now cards from many of your favorite apps and new ways to also get things done across your apps by just asking Google something, like “Ok Google, Shazam this song” or “Show me apartments for rent near me on Zillow.” So type less and speak more—your thumbs will thank you.

No matter what you’re searching for, you should get the best answers—whether they’re on the web or in an app. Two years ago we announced a big first step in making Google Search even more useful when you’re searching on Android: we started showing links to content from apps you had on your phone, from reviews of the French restaurant you’re considering for dinner to last-minute seats for the Giants game. Recently we expanded this so that you can also find content in Android apps you don’t yet have, with links to install apps that might have a great answer to your question.

Last week, we announced the next step: developers can now get their apps indexed to appear in search results on iOS as well. This week, we’re rolling this out so you’ll start seeing in-app content from an initial set of partners among search results when searching with the Google app or in Chrome for iPhone and iPad (you need to be signed in). From there, just tap the search result to open that app.

Try telling Google “I need a reservation at Bombay Cricket Club” and you’ll see results from the OpenTable app.

You can also search for “DIY interior design” and easily explore pinboards on Pinterest. Try “buy Giants tickets” for results including one from the SeatGeek app, or even ask “what is the definition of googol” and see results from The Free Dictionary.

This is a small first step, with links to just a handful of apps: Eat24, Free Dictionary, Huffington Post, OpenTable, Pinterest, SeatGeek, Slideshare, Tapatalk, Yellow Pages, YouTube and Zillow in the U.S., Biblia JFA Offline and Letras in Brazil, Cookpad and Tabelog in Japan, Domain in Australia, and eBay Kleinanzeigen in Germany. Of course, we’re working on adding many more of your favorites.

Finally, in addition to helping you find content from the apps you already have on your iPhone or iPad, we’ve also made it easier to discover great new apps right in Google Search (the same way you can already do on Android). Now when you search for things like “word games” you’ll see a list of relevant apps in your search results that you can easily install from there.

Stay tuned as we’ll be expanding the ways we can help you find great content from more apps in the coming months.

Posted by Eli Wald, Product Manager

Your mobile phone does wonderful things for you, but it’s still not always easy to find a quick piece of information or get something done on the fly while you’re in the middle of something else—like listening to music, texting your friends, or reading your email. Too often, you have to leave what you’re doing just to look for what you need somewhere else on your phone. Making it easy to find what you need is core to our mission, and today at Google I/O we previewed Google Now enhancements to help remove some of this hassle.

Since we launched Google Now, we’ve been expanding the ways it can help and do more of the work for you. You can get notifications like where you parked your car, news stories based on your interests, or help with travel like your upcoming reservations. We’ve also gotten better at giving smarter answers to some of your questions (“Is my flight on time?”) and at helping you get things done across your apps (“Ok Google, play Sugar on Spotify”).

We’re working to make Google Now a little smarter in the upcoming Android M release, so you can ask it to assist you with whatever you’re doing—right in the moment, anywhere on your phone. With “Now on tap,” you can simply tap and hold the home button for assistance without having to leave what you’re doing—whether you’re in an app or on a website. For example, if a friend emails you about seeing the new movie Tomorrowland, you can invoke Google Now without leaving your app, to quickly see the ratings, watch a trailer, or even buy tickets—then get right back to what you were doing.

If you’re chatting with a friend about where to get dinner, Google can bring you quick info about the place your friend recommends. You’ll also see other apps on your phone, like OpenTable or Yelp, so you can easily make a reservation, read reviews or check out the menu.

When you tap and hold the home button, Google gives you options that are a best guess of what might be helpful to you in the moment. But if you need something specific, you can also get Google to help by saying “Ok Google” from any screen, and any app. For example, if you’re listening to Twenty One Pilots on Spotify, you can say “Ok Google, who’s the lead singer” and get your answer right away.

As you’ve seen across these examples, Google can show you apps from your phone that may help with what you’re doing based on your context—IMDb for movie reviews, OpenTable for reservations, and many more. This is another way developers can get their apps in front of their users at the right moment, when an app is relevant to the task at hand. And best of all, developers don’t need to do anything to integrate with Now on tap as long as they have their apps indexed by Google.

We hope Now on tap can make your phone a little bit smarter and help you get things done quicker and in far fewer steps. We’ll be sharing more details about all this as we get closer to the release of Android M.

Starting today, we’re bringing Tweets to Google Search on mobile devices. So now when you’re searching on the Google app or any browser on your phone or tablet, you can find real-time content from Twitter right in the search results.

Whether you’re interested in the latest from Taylor Swift, news about the #MadMenFinale, or updates on the NBA playoffs, you’ll have access to it directly from Google. Let’s use NASA as an example—just ask the Google app about “NASA Twitter,” and in the search results, you’ll see Tweets from @NASA:

Or if you heard today was Malcolm X’s birthday, you can ask the Google app and see what various people and organizations in the Twitter community are saying about it.

It’s a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.

To start, we’re launching this on in English in the Google app (on Android and iOS) and on mobile browsers, rolling out gradually. We’re working on bringing it to more languages and to desktop, so stay tuned.

Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog

Our phones help us find answers to questions large and small, stay on top of what’s happening in our day and in the world, and get things done quickly. The Google app can help you do all that, faster, and in one place. And Now cards in the app proactively bring you information at the right time without you even having to ask.

Earlier this year, we started showing Now cards from some of your favorite apps on Android devices. Now, we're working with 70 new partners to bring you even more Now cards from the apps you have on your phone.

For example, if you book a Zipcar out for a day hike, you can keep track of your return time and get directions to the drop-off location with Now cards – checking them is as easy as a simple tap on the Google app.

Or need a good a playlist on a Friday night? Now cards can recommend playlists and stations from Spotify, TuneIn or YouTube based on your preferences.

Here are a few other ways Now cards from your apps can help you out:

  • Get breaking news about the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake from ABC News, Circa, or feedly
  • Know when your pad thai is about to arrive with reminders from Eat24 that the food you ordered will soon be on your doorstep, or get inspired with the recipe of the day from Allrecipes
  • Keep your fitness goals front and center with gentle nudges from Runkeeper, Jawbone, or Adidas
  • And if you’re out to dinner, simply tap on a Now card to pay your bill with OpenTable

Make sure to update to the latest version of the Google app and your other favorite apps that work with this feature – then look out for helpful Now cards from those apps on Android over the next few weeks. Stay tuned as we add more apps and functionality in the future!

Posted by Aparna Chennapragada, Director of Product Management

We’ve all been there: you’re on your phone and click through to a website, only to find it’s hard to read or burdensome to navigate because it isn’t formatted for a mobile screen. With mobile phones increasingly becoming the primary way for people to search the Internet, we want to ensure that when you search on Google you find content that is not just relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.

A lack of mobile friendliness is also a problem for web publishers: visitors abandon websites that aren’t mobile friendly at higher rates. And research shows 74% of users say they are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site.

That’s why we’ve been encouraging webmasters to create sites that avoid the pitfalls of small text and hard to navigate formatting in order to provide a great experience for mobile visitors to their pages. Back in November, we introduced a “mobile-friendly badge” to notify users when a link in search results led to a mobile friendly-page, and provided resources to help webmasters become mobile-friendly. And today we’re starting to roll out a change that we announced two months ago to take into account whether a site is mobile-friendly when we rank search results on mobile phones.

Note that this is just one of over 200 signals we use to evaluate the best results. Non-mobile-friendly sites won’t disappear from mobile Search results—they may still rank high if they hold great content the user wants.

If you use Google search on your mobile phone, you can now more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling. In just the two months since we announced this change, we’ve seen a 4.7 percentage point uptick in the proportion of sites that are mobile friendly, and we hope to see even more in the coming months.

Our mobile ranking will now use mobile-friendliness as a signal that weighs in favor of pages that are formatted for mobile phones, like the image on the right.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming: it could be as simple as adjusting website settings or picking out a design you like. Even if you opt to fully redesign your site, a small business website with 10-20 pages could be completed in a day or so.

Webmasters can check if their site is mobile-friendly by examining individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test or checking the status of the entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools. Once a site becomes mobile-friendly, we will automatically re-process those pages (and webmasters can expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index).

If you’re done filling out your bracket for the NCAA Tournament, the Google app is here to help you keep up with every second of the action. Whether you’re searching for an updated bracket, the score of the Kentucky game, or live streams of each game (powered by Turner Sports), you can find it all in the Google app on your Android or iOS device.

Check in with the Google app for the latest tournament coverage
Just say “Ok Google, show me the latest on March Madness” to get real-time coverage of every game throughout the tournament. You’ll see a bracket with in-game and recap videos, and with one tap you can get a detailed box score and livestream link for each game. And for those times you can’t sneak away from work to watch a game live, cards in the Google app will show you in-progress scores throughout the games.
Find content directly from your favorite apps
If you want up-to-date news on your favorite teams or to catch up on highlight videos in the apps you love—like NCAA March Madness Live or Bleacher Report—the Google app can help you find it all quickly and easily. On Android devices, clicking on search results from mobile apps you’ve downloaded will now take you straight to that content. (It takes about a day for newly downloaded apps to appear in your search results.)
As you join the frenzy this March, the Google app is the ultimate sports buff to help you in your office pool or to keep up with your alma mater. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to see which teams and players are trending in Search, posted in real-time throughout the tournament.