Google launches new search, shopping and maps features

Google has announced a boatload of new search features across Google Search, Google Lens, Shopping and Maps all aimed at bringing search to more users in more helpful ways. These improvements cross over Multisearch, Google Leons, Google Shopping and Google Maps.

Note that some of these were announced at the Search On event a few months ago.

Find food through Multisearch

See a food dish you think looks tasty and it makes you hungry? Well, now with Google Lens, you can take a photo of that dish and add then type “near me” in Google Multisearch to have Google show you restaurants where you can order that dish off their menu.

“This new way of searching will help me nd local businesses in my community, so I can more easily support neighborhood shops during the holidays,” said Cindy Huynh, Product Manager, Google Lens.

This feature is launching today in English in the U.S. mobile search results.

Here is a GIF of that in action:

Search for specific dishes

In addition to searching by photo for dishes near you, you can also type in your search to find those specific dishes. Google will show you nearby restaurants to find this dish and Google will also give you more information about pricing, ingredients and additional menu information.

This feature is also launching today in English in the U.S. on mobile devices and in the Google app on Android and iOS.

Here is what it looks like:

Google Lens translate getting an upgrade

Google is rolling out a big update to the Google Lens augmented-related translate capabilities. This update lets searchers translate text on more complex backgrounds. Instead of covering up the original text, Google will erase the original text and recreate the pixels underneath with an AI-generated background, then Google will overlay the translated text on top of the image.

Google is using generative adversarial networks, also known as GAN models, to present the translated text better. It is the same technology Google uses in the Pixel devices as the “Magix Eraser” feature on photos.

Here is a sample showing how Google Lens is overlaying the translation in an easier way for searchers to comprehend:

This is launching later this year, before the end of 2022.

Google Shopping with AR shoes

Google is also released shopping features to help you see shoes in AR, augmented reality, over your own shoes. Google said this new shopping AR experience for sneakers, allows you to spin, zoom and see shoes in your space. This will work across brands such as Saucony, VANS and Merrell.

Starts rolling out in the US today, Google said.

Here is a screenshot of what this looks like:

New shopping models for AR beauty

Also, Google has added new augmented reality search features for you to try product on models with various features, skin tones and more. Google added a new photo library with 150 models representing a diverse spectrum of skin tones, ages, genders, face shapes, ethnicities and skin types to help you accurately test over 2,000 foundation shades from a wide selection of brands.

This is a feature we covered a while back but now it is going live today in the US.

Google Maps live view search

Now you can search and explore neighborhoods with augmented reality using the Google App on your phone. You can now take the Google Maps app on your phone, click on the camera icon and look through the screen to see overlays of what is right near you in real-time.

Google has been demoing this feature for some time but starting next week, this feature will start rolling out in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo.

Here is a screenshot of what this looks like:

Google Maps adds EV charging filters and wheelchair accessibility

Google also added the ability to filter Google Maps for charging stations with fast-charging plugs, or stations with plugs compatible with your EV. This can show CSS and CHAdeMo charges that do 350kW or even 50Kw, plus Google may even show their availability. This will be available globally on Android and iOS wherever EV charging stations are available.

Plus, Google added filtering Google Maps for if a place has a wheelchair-accessible entrance thanks to the wheelchair icon on Google Maps. This will be available globally on Android and iOS wherever EV charging stations are available.

Why we care

If you or any of your customers are in any of these businesses and can leverage any of these features, you likely should as you may get more exposure from Google Search for doing so. As a searcher, these features are not just fun and useful but also, many are downright cool.


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About The Author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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