Mobility

How to use the Google app's handy offline search feature

If you've ever been without a network connection and needed to google something, with the new offline search function in the Google app, those search results are just a notification away.

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Image: Jack Wallen

In the Google app's latest iteration, you can enter a search phrase and, if you don't have a network connection, Google will save the result; once your connection is reestablished, the app will open an alert that your search results are available. This feature is called offline search, and it's really handy.

Say, for instance, you're on a flight and your device is in Airplane mode, so there's no connection. During the flight, you think of a term or an idea that you want to look up. You could either take a note or set a reminder to search for the term later. With the new offline search feature you can run the search and allow the Google app to present the results the moment your device has a network connection.

SEE: Remote Access Policy (Tech Pro Research)

How does it work?

First and foremost, you must have the latest iteration of the Google app. To make sure your app is updated, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Swipe right from the left edge.
  3. Tap My Apps & Games.
  4. Locate and tap the Google entry.
  5. If you see an UPDATE button, tap it.
  6. Allow the update to complete.

With the latest version of the Google app, you're ready to test this feature.

If you have a network connection, place your device in Airplane mode (swipe the Notification shade down and tap the Airplane button). Open the Google app (this does not work with the Google search widget on your home screen) and enter a phrase in the search box. You'll be informed the Google app will remember your search and notify you when it's ready. Tap OK to continue (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Allowing the offline search to do its thing in the Google app.

You'll be prompted to Get Notified When Results Are Ready (Figure B). Tap that notification entry, and Google will save the search.

Figure B

Figure B

Offline search is almost ready on a OnePlus 3.

As soon as you return to network connectivity, Google will alert you that the results are ready (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Your search results are now just a tap away.

Enable this feature now

You may never use this feature, but if you need it, you'll be glad it's available. Enable this feature now, so you'll have it at the ready should you find yourself without a network connection and want to search the great and powerful Google.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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