Gmail Search’s Autocomplete Gets Smarter Predictions, Using Past Searches To Help You Find Things

The Gmail team announced some improvements for search within its product today, calling out better predictions for autocomplete based on who you contact the most and what you’ve searched for.

Given that Google is the king of search, this is a welcome and obvious improvement. Additionally, Gmail users and Google Apps for Business users will start getting some features that they didn’t have previously, including thumbnails from contacts.

Autocomplete and suggestions have been a huge part of Google’s main search product for a while now, and it’s pretty accurate based on trends that are going on in the world along with what you’ve searched for in the past.

Here’s what the Gmail team had to say about the improvements today:

If you’ve searched your email for “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or other lengthy phrases, it just got easier to find what you’re looking for. Autocomplete predictions in Gmail may now include your past Gmail searches.

Past searches as well as the new contact thumbnails shown below are rolling out to all Gmail users globally, including Google Apps for Business customers, over the next few days.


A good example of why this might be useful is if you search for emails from a specific person, like your boss, or if you’re someone who travels a lot and does searches for flight itineraries. It’s no Gmail Blue, but it will definitely save you time and effort.

Since Gmail’s goal is to collect all of your email communication without you having to worry about what to delete, with its archive feature, search is a key component that makes its service attractive. Globally, Gmail is the leading web-based email service, so it’s trying to roll out tweaks and new features like the refactored compose screen to help you get more done.

The company is putting more weight behind giving the service a better mobile experience as well, launching version 2.0 of its iOS client last December to mostly decent reviews.

In essence, Gmail has been in beta since it launched nine years ago, completely recreating the email experience that we were all accustomed to until 2004. With things like search, archive and threaded conversations, Google hopes to continue to make email faster and more responsive so that your inbox doesn’t become bloated with things that you’ll never read. And when you do need to read something, you can just search for it.