Google has long been running a number of experimental Search and Gmail field trials anybody can sign up for and today it’s launching a few nifty new search features for searching your Gmail inbox from Google.com on the desktop and your iOS or Android phone. Previously, Google already let you find you flights by using the [my flights] search operator, but now you can also use queries like [my purchases] to find your latest Amazon acquisitions and track they packages they are coming in.
In addition, you can now search for various reservations through new search parameters like [my hotel reservation] or [my restaurant reservations] to bring up your travel plans and OpenTable bookings. In addition, you can also use [my events] to, as Google says, “see information from Ticketmaster or Eventbrite about your upcoming concert, sports game or other event.”
It’s worth noting that Google already uses some of this information, including your hotel and flight reservations, in its Google Now product on Android 4.0 and higher so it can alert you of flight delays and when you need to check out of your hotel. Today’s update brings a bit more Google Now to the web.
Interestingly, Google is actually a bit late to the game here. Microsoft’s Hotmail introduced what it called Quick Views in 2010. Quick Views is actually a bit easier to use than Gmail’s search operators, as they are highlighted in the sidebar of what is now Outlook.com and just take a click to select. Unlike Google’s implementation, though, Microsoft’s email service can’t be used to easily retrieve event updates and restaurant reservations.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...