Searching on Android Just Got Quicker

    October 9, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has launched what it refers to as a "fast and versatile new system-wide search experience" for Android. it’s called the Quick Search Box or QSB and it was announced for developers back in September. It appears on the home screen of Android devices.

The QSB provides search suggestions as you type, not unlike Google Suggest. However, the QSB allows users to search not only the web, but other content on their device like apps, contacts, browser history, and different types of web content like local business listings, stock quotes, weather, flight status, etc. This is all without opening a browser.

Quick Search Box

Quick Search Box

"QSB even learns from your habits and provides faster access to the items you search for and use most often (by, for example, moving them higher on the suggestions list)," explains Google software engineer Mike LeBeau.

Users can tap the microphone button by the search box to search the web and call contacts by voice as well (this only works in English right now). "The next time you want to search the web or call a friend, try speaking your query, like ‘pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset’, or the name of a contact, like ‘Call Dave Burke, mobile phone’, to save even more time. Note that voice search currently only works in English," says LeBeau.

Quick Search Box - Voice

The QSB does search apps, but only certain apps support it. Google says you can look on Android Market for apps that support it and enable their suggestions from the system search settings.

Developers have had access to code for the QSB for about a month, so you should be able to find some apps out there that support it. Developers looking to add support can find information about how to do so here. To see the Quick Search Box in action, check out the following clip.