The most immediately useful of these additions is support for fast-loading AMP pages to the app. Google previously teased this launch, which follows AMP integration into Google News and Search earlier this year, at its I/O developer conference earlier this month. Just like on those services, you can find AMP pages by looking for the lightning bolt icon next to an article.
As far as speed is concerned, Google also says the app now loads 10 percent faster. That doesn’t sound all that impressive and is probably barely noticeable, so Google decided to attach an additional statistic to that number. “Whether you can notice the difference or not, these small improvements will save app users a combined 6.5 million hours this year,” the company writes in today’s announcement.
The iOS app now also lets you watch sports highlight videos in Now cards and if you use a keyboard with your iPad, Google will now let you use keyboard shortcuts in the app as well.
I’m neither an iPad user nor a sports fan, so those updates don’t seem all that exciting to me. The last new feature Google added does highlight one of my favorite recent additions to Google’s local search, though. Local search results now immediately show you the busiest hours for shops, restaurants and other businesses that appear on the search results page. Until now, you had to tap to expand the result to see this info and because of this, quite a few people were probably unaware it existed.