Google Introduces ‘Offline Search’ For Unreliable Mobile Networks
Developing countries, like India and China, need applications that can run in the background, offline, in case of poor and spotty network. A lot of companies have optimized their apps to run on slow connections, but only a few have worked to actually make the apps work offline.
Continuing the legacy of offline apps like Google Maps and YouTube, Google Search also now supports ‘offline search’ for spotty connections. Now on the Google app for Android, even if your search fails, Google will deliver your results as soon as a connection is available, so you can keep searching with a single tap.
So the next time you’re travelling between two cities and have to go through a patch that doesn’t support your network connection, Google will immediately take the search offline as soon as your smartphone goes out of the coverage area. It will save your search information and make it available as soon as the connection comes back.
This can also work well when you’re about to take off in a plane, and the network goes out completely. The search keeps queuing up so that the next time you are able to access the network, the search results load automatically.
Google’s blog mentions, “So the next time you lose service, feel free to queue up your searches, put your phone away and carry on with your day. The Google app will work behind-the-scenes to detect when a connection is available again and deliver your search results once completed.”
Would it drain the battery?
This is the first question that comes to my mind when I read about offline search. Eventually your smartphone will drain the juice by keeping the search in the background and searching for a network to restart the search app.
However, Google says that this feature will not drain the battery and will deliver results via streamlined search results feature, that display information in a simple format readable to you. This feature automatically kicks in as soon as it experiences a slow internet speed and uses less data.
There will be a new ‘Manage Searches’ tab in Google app that will keep all your search queries in a queue before the connection is available next, and request you to clear this tab out once you’re done searching.
It is quite thoughtful on Google’s part to add such a small but helpful feature on its search app, especially for a country like India that faces patches of no network even in large cities.