Multisearch could make Google Lens your search sensei

Google searches are about to get even more precise with the introduction of multisearch, a combination of text and image searching with Google Lens. 

After making an image search via Lens, you’ll now be able to ask additional questions or add parameters to your search to narrow the results down. Google’s use cases for the feature include shopping for clothes with a particular pattern in different colors or pointing your camera at a bike wheel and then typing “how to fix” to see guides and videos on bike repairs. According to Google, the best use case for multisearch, for now, is shopping results. 

The company is rolling out the beta of this feature on Thursday to US users of the Google app on both Android and iOS platforms. Just click the camera icon next to the microphone icon or open a photo from your gallery, select what you want to search, and swipe up on your results to reveal an “add to search” button where you can type additional text.

This announcement is a public trial of the feature that the search giant has been teasing for almost a year; Google discussed the feature when introducing MUM at Google I/O 2021, then provided more information on it in September 2021. MUM, or Multitask Unified Model, is Google’s new AI model for search that was revealed at the company’s I/O event the same year. 

MUM replaced the old AI model, BERT; Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. MUM, according to Google, is around a thousand times more powerful than BERT.

Google Lens Multisearch

(Image credit: Google)

Analysis: will it be any good?

It’s in beta for now, but Google sure was making a big hoopla about MUM during its announcement. From what we’ve seen, Lens is usually pretty good at identifying objects and translating text. However, the AI enhancements will add another dimension to it and could make it a more useful tool for finding the information you need about what you're looking at right now, as opposed to general information about something like it.

It does, though, beg the questions about how good it’ll be at specifying exactly what you want. For example, if you see a couch with a striking pattern on it but would rather have it as a chair, will you be able to reasonably find what you want? Will it be at a physical store or at an online storefront like WayFair? Google searches can often get inaccurate physical inventories of nearby stores, are those getting better, as well?

We have plenty of questions, but they’ll likely only be answered once more people start using multisearch. The nature of AI is to get better with use, after all.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Multisearch could make Google Lens your search sensei

Google searches are about to get even more precise with the introduction of multisearch, a combination of text and image searching with Google Lens. 

After making an image search via Lens, you’ll now be able to ask additional questions or add parameters to your search to narrow the results down. Google’s use cases for the feature include shopping for clothes with a particular pattern in different colors or pointing your camera at a bike wheel and then typing “how to fix” to see guides and videos on bike repairs. According to Google, the best use case for multisearch, for now, is shopping results. 

The company is rolling out the beta of this feature on Thursday to US users of the Google app on both Android and iOS platforms. Just click the camera icon next to the microphone icon or open a photo from your gallery, select what you want to search, and swipe up on your results to reveal an “add to search” button where you can type additional text.

This announcement is a public trial of the feature that the search giant has been teasing for almost a year; Google discussed the feature when introducing MUM at Google I/O 2021, then provided more information on it in September 2021. MUM, or Multitask Unified Model, is Google’s new AI model for search that was revealed at the company’s I/O event the same year. 

MUM replaced the old AI model, BERT; Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. MUM, according to Google, is around a thousand times more powerful than BERT.

Google Lens Multisearch

(Image credit: Google)

Analysis: will it be any good?

It’s in beta for now, but Google sure was making a big hoopla about MUM during its announcement. From what we’ve seen, Lens is usually pretty good at identifying objects and translating text. However, the AI enhancements will add another dimension to it and could make it a more useful tool for finding the information you need about what you're looking at right now, as opposed to general information about something like it.

It does, though, beg the questions about how good it’ll be at specifying exactly what you want. For example, if you see a couch with a striking pattern on it but would rather have it as a chair, will you be able to reasonably find what you want? Will it be at a physical store or at an online storefront like WayFair? Google searches can often get inaccurate physical inventories of nearby stores, are those getting better, as well?

We have plenty of questions, but they’ll likely only be answered once more people start using multisearch. The nature of AI is to get better with use, after all.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Google Chrome 100 won’t break the internet – but could change how you search it

Searching for a query in Google Chrome could soon get much easier, thanks to an upcoming feature that adds a sidebar as you browse the web.

With Google's Chrome web browser approaching version 100, we're already seeing some features that can help change the way you use the browser, such as improvements to closing tabs in Android, and it's likely that we may see other features appear as we approach the big release.

If you have multiple tabs open at once, this could be a great feature for searching as you browse. However, it looks like the sidebar will only show in one tab – it won't stay in the same place as you switch between different tabs.

However, this is still a feature in testing, so the sidebar could change before it appears in a final version of Google Chrome.


How do you enable the side search bar?

Google Chrome Canary showing how to enable Side Search

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As it stands, the sidebar isn't available in Google Chrome 99, but it is in the test version of Chrome, called Canary.

Go to chrome://flags when running Google Chrome Canary version 100, and you'll be brought to the flag page, where you can enable many features in testing.

In the search bar, type in 'Sidebar' and you'll be greeted with three options. Enable all of these, then close and open up the browser.

Search for a query and select the first result. A 'G' icon will appear alongside the address bar. Click on this, which will make the sidebar appear. You can then use this to search for anything else while you browse in the main window.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Google Chrome 100 won’t break the internet – but could change how you search it

Searching for a query in Google Chrome could soon get much easier, thanks to an upcoming feature that adds a sidebar as you browse the web.

With Google's Chrome web browser approaching version 100, we're already seeing some features that can help change the way you use the browser, such as improvements to closing tabs in Android, and it's likely that we may see other features appear as we approach the big release.

If you have multiple tabs open at once, this could be a great feature for searching as you browse. However, it looks like the sidebar will only show in one tab – it won't stay in the same place as you switch between different tabs.

However, this is still a feature in testing, so the sidebar could change before it appears in a final version of Google Chrome.


How do you enable the side search bar?

Google Chrome Canary showing how to enable Side Search

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As it stands, the sidebar isn't available in Google Chrome 99, but it is in the test version of Chrome, called Canary.

Go to chrome://flags when running Google Chrome Canary version 100, and you'll be brought to the flag page, where you can enable many features in testing.

In the search bar, type in 'Sidebar' and you'll be greeted with three options. Enable all of these, then close and open up the browser.

Search for a query and select the first result. A 'G' icon will appear alongside the address bar. Click on this, which will make the sidebar appear. You can then use this to search for anything else while you browse in the main window.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

DuckDuckGo wants to be more than a search engine

DuckDuckGo may be best known for its privacy-focused search engine but following the success of its all-in-one privacy apps and extensions, the company is now developing its own browser.

Since making the decision to move beyond private search in 2018, the company's privacy apps and extensions have been downloaded over 150m times. In addition to providing users with a search engine, DuckDuckGo's mobile app also allows you to browse the web privately.

Now in a new blog post, DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg has revealed that the company is working on a desktop browser that will redefine user expectations of everyday online privacy. Unlike with other browsers, DuckDuckGo for desktop won't have any complicated settings, misleading warnings or “levels” of privacy protection. Instead, the company's browser will feature robust privacy protection that works by default across search, browsing, email and more.

While browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave and others use Chromium, DuckDuckGo is building its desktop app around OS-provided rendering engines just like the company does on mobile. This will allow it to strip away the clutter that has accumulated over the years in most major browsers.

DuckDuckGo year-in-review

While we'll likely hear more about DuckDuckGo's desktop browser next year, the company spent 2021 strengthening its all-in-one privacy solution with new improvements and features designed to help users take back their privacy.

The company announced the beta release of its free email forwarding service Email Protection this year which removes trackers in your email and protects the privacy of your personal email address without asking users to switch to another email service.

Just last month, DuckDuckGo released its App Tracking Protection feature into beta in its Android app to block third-party trackers from companies like Google and Facebook that often lurk in other apps. Interested users can join the waitlist through the company's DuckDuckGo Android app to test App Tracking Protection out for themselves.

Finally, DuckDuckGo made a lot of improvements to its search results this year including giving its search results page a more simple and modern design while it continued to refine and improve its local, maps and directions results. However, other improvements made by the company include a new translations instant answer, revamped definitions and weather answers, custom data range filtering, more filters on images and upgrades to advanced search.

With 2022 just around the corner, you may be trying to come up with a New Year's Resolution and if you're struggling to think of one, why not improve your privacy and security by giving DuckDuckGo a try, installing an antivirus, using a VPN and storing your credentials securely with a password manager?

We've also highlighted the best browser, best VPN and best SEO tools

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More