Google Search is getting a massive upgrade – including letting you search with video

Google IO 2024
(Image credit: Google)

Google I/O 2024's entire two-hour keynote was devoted to Gemini. Not a peep was uttered for the recently launched Pixel 8a or what Android 15 is bringing upon release. The only times a smartphone or Android was mentioned is how they are being improved by Gemini

The tech giant is clearly going all-in on the AI, so much so that the stream concludes by boldly displaying the words “Welcome to the Gemini era”. 

Among all the updates that were presented at the event, Google Search is slated to gain some of the more impressive changes. You could even argue that the search engine will see one of the most impactful upgrades in 2024 that it’s ever received in its 25 years as a major tech platform. Gemini gives Google Search a huge performance boost, and we can’t help but feel excited about it.

Below is a quick rundown of all the new features Google Search will receive this year.

1. AI Overviews

Google IO 2024

(Image credit: Google)

The biggest upgrade coming to the search engine is AI Overviews which appears to be the launch version of SGE (Search Generative Experience). It provides detailed, AI-generated answers to inquiries. Responses come complete with contextually relevant text as well as links to sources and suggestions for follow-up questions.

Starting today, AI Overviews is leaving Google Labs and rolling out to everyone in the United States as a fully-fledged feature. For anyone who used the SGE, it appears to be identical. 

Response layouts are the same and they’ll have product links too. Google has presumably worked out all the kinks so it performs optimally. Although when it comes to generative AI, there is still the chance it could hallucinate.

There are plans to expand AI Overviews to more countries with the goal of reaching over a billion people by the end of 2024. Google noted the expansion is happening “soon,” but an exact date was not given.

2. Video Search

Google IO 2024

(Image credit: Google)

AI Overviews is bringing more to Google Search than just detailed results. One of the new features allows users to upload videos to the engine alongside a text inquiry. At I/O 2024, the presenter gave the example of purchasing a record player with faulty parts. 

You can upload a clip and ask the AI what's wrong with your player, and it’ll provide a detailed answer mentioning the exact part that needs to be replaced, plus instructions on how to fix the problem. You might need a new tone arm or a cueing lever, but you won't need to type in a question to Google to get an answer. Instead you can speak directly into the video and send it off.

Searching With Video will launch for “Search Labs users in English in the US,” soon with plans for further expansion into additional regions over time. 

3. Smarter AI

Google IO 2024

(Image credit: Google)

Next, Google is introducing several performance boosts; however, none of them are available at the moment. They’ll be rolling out soon to the Search Labs program exclusively to people in the United States and in English. 

First, you'll be able to click one of two buttons at the top to simplify an AI Overview response or ask for more details. You can also choose to return to the original answer at any time.

Second, AI Overviews will be able to understand complex questions better than before. Users won’t have to ask the search engine multiple short questions. Instead, you can enter one long inquiry – for example, a user can ask it to find a specific yoga studio with introductory packages nearby.

Lastly, Google Search can create "plans" for you. This can be either a three-day meal plan that’s easy to prepare or a vacation itinerary for your next trip. It’ll provide links to the recipes plus the option to replace dishes you don't like. Later down the line, the planning tool will encompass other topics like movies, music, and hotels.

All about Gemini

That’s pretty much all of the changes coming to Google Search in a nutshell. If you’re interested in trying these out and you live in the United States, head over to the Search Labs website, sign up for the program, and give the experimental AI features a go. You’ll find them near the top of the page.

Google I/O 2024 dropped a ton of information on the tech giant’s upcoming AI endeavors. Project Astra, in particular, looked very interesting, as it can identify objects, code on a monitor, and even pinpoint the city you’re in just by looking outside a window. 

Ask Photos was pretty cool, too, if a little freaky. It’s an upcoming Google Photos tool capable of finding specific images in your account much faster than before and “handle more in-depth queries” with startling accuracy.

If you want a full breakdown, check out TechRadar's list of the seven biggest AI announcements from Google I/O 2024.

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Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.