Google is rolling out an update for mobile search that displays answers to certain queries before you’ve finished typing them. Although instant search results have been available on desktop and mobile for a while now, this tweak puts results directly into the autocomplete bar instead of updating the whole page. The update was first spotted by The Next Web, although we’ve yet to hear anything official from Google itself.
We tried the function out with a number of queries, and when it works, it seems like a smart and obvious way to deliver simple facts. However, there were quite a few misses (notably nothing for “how” questions such as “how many centimeters in an inch”) and the suggested results had an odd obsession with Paul Walker — leaping to tell you when he died even if you’d only typed the words “when did” into the search bar. The update seems to be pretty uneven so far though, with the new, instant(er) search results appearing for some people in Google’s dedicated app, and for others only in mobile browsers.