The line between the Google experience on desktop and mobile is beginning to blur as the company may introduce a Discovery Feed to its search engine for web browsers.
This nugget of information comes from tech news site MSPowerUser, which recently discovered the update. The feed is similar to what you see on Bing and the Google smartphone app although it does add a bit more. In addition to displaying headlines from articles, you get the local weather forecast, stock market information for three corporations, and sports scores on the right side. A Google representative told TheVerge this is nothing more than an experiment “currently being run in India”. No word if the redesign will make its way to other countries.
This wouldn’t be the first time the tech giant has messed around with the clean front page of its search engine. 9To5Google has an interesting timeline showcasing various tweaks that have been made to the front page. At one point, there was even a section dedicated to displaying news stories on the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest difference with the older styles is they consisted of a few widgets at the bottom of the screen.
The current test has content taking up large portions of the screen, pushing the search bar to the top of the window. The layout becomes way more cluttered.
This wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way to disable the feature, or at the very least, tweak it. Unfortunately, this might not happen. Android Police in their report points out Google’s Discovery Feed on smartphones cannot be disabled or even customized. It’s totally at the mercy of website owners who want their content to reach the right audience. The feed will show articles related to a person’s interests, but that’s as far as it goes regarding customization.
If you can't beat them…
Of course, there’s no guarantee the experiment will become official, although it is an interesting insight into what Google is thinking of introducing to its search engine. On October 12, the company began testing an “image generation tool on the AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE).” Again, similar to Bing, it gives the search engine the ability to create images according to a text prompt.
It is a little funny to see Google chase after Bing like this. For years, it’s always felt like Bing was always playing second fiddle, but now with the advent of AI, the tables have seemingly turned. What else will Google adopt from Microsoft if it’s willing to go further? Maybe we’ll see a Chrome version of Microsoft Copilot someday soon, though it will still be called Google Assistant.
While we’re on the topic of AI, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best AI art generators in 2023.