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Report: Google Now on Tap is adding a 'select word' option for instant searches

Derek Walter | June 2, 2016
The interface update isn't live for everybody, but it'll definitely speed up a lot of everyday searches.

Google Now on Tap is pretty cool, but it’s not quite the life-altering technology that was promised.

However, a new feature that’s popped up for some could change your opinion. According to a Reddit post some Android users have started to see an icon to select a specific word when holding down the home button. You can then pick out some text and get an instant Google Now on Tap search, which seeks out relevant content from the web and other Google apps.

now on tap word selection 
Now on Tap might throw up an icon to let you select some specific text. Credit: Reddit

Right now you can select text and do an then do an instant search, which usually brings up a definition or Wikipedia entry. To launch On Tap, you have to select the text and then press and hold the home button. Allowing you to highlight a word after invoking Now on Tap is probably a more straightforward and useful way to refine searches.

now on tap
Most will see this, with Now on Tap doing an instant search but no option to select text.

The impact on you: This could be some A/B testing on Google’s part, or part of a planned rollout. With such work on Google’s server side we’re never really quite sure, but the best way to find out is to keep trying and see if you notice a change. If Google makes some official announcement we’ll be sure to update you here.


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