Now you can perform offline Google searches… sort of


There must have been times when you’re in an area with no Wi-Fi and terrible phone reception. It’s almost certainly when you find yourself in this situation that you think of something you want to look up. With no signal to perform a Google search, you may mentally log your query and pledge to run it later — but of course you will forget.

Google has a solution. The latest version of the Google app heralds the arrival of pseudo offline searching, so you can perform searches with no signal, or if your phone is in airplane mode.

Of course, there is a catch. Google has not found a way to magic up a data connection out of nowhere. If you’re stuck on a plane with connectivity switched off, or stuck in a tunnel on the bus, you’re not actually going to be able to fire up Google and perform a search regardless of your lack of bars — but searches can now be queued up for when you next have a signal so you don’t have to remember what it was you wanted to look up.

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In a post on the Keyword blog, Google says:

Mobile networks can sometimes be inconsistent or spotty, which means that even if you have a connection when you start your search, it might fail before you get your results back. With this change, search results are saved as soon as they are retrieved, even if you lose connection afterwards or go into airplane mode. 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.

If you are concerned about the effect this might have on your battery life, Google issues a slightly patronizing “don’t fret”. The company goes on to say: “This feature won’t drain your battery, and by fetching streamlined search results pages, it minimally impacts data usage”.

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