As more of the world’s population comes online for the first time, Google is focusing on making its services more accessible. That means smaller sized apps for budget devices with limited space, and offline support to help deal with intermittent, spotty or weak internet connections.
We’ve seen the likes of YouTube, Google Maps, Google Translate and others given emerging market-friendly features, and today the Google (search) app for Android got a nifty addition that performs your searches when you’re offline.
Well, kinda, not quite, almost. Offline search is impossible, but Google has come pretty close. The app will now take your search query while you are offline, save it, then deliver the result as soon as your connection is reestablished. As Google itself pointed out in a blog post, that’s a nice little addition for when you find yourself without network in a channel, on an underground train or way out in the sticks.
“And if you’re worried about data charges or preserving battery life, don’t fret. This feature won’t drain your battery, and by fetching streamlined search results pages, it minimally impacts data usage,” the company added.
The feature is live on the Android version of the Google search app, which is significant seems how Android is the main operating system in emerging markets where new internet users are coming from. There’s no word on when, or even whether, it will roll out to the iOS version.