Google just added tappable shortcuts to their Android and iOS mobile app.
The new shortcuts will give users a way to casually browse different topics without having to explicitly search for something. The main topics will be sports, weather, food & drink and entertainment which will give users a way to quickly find out what’s happening in those interest groups. For example, tapping sports will bring up a sports section that will include scores from last nights games, videos and more all centering around sports. The content will be localized as well so tapping food & drink will give you a quick view of what’s around you along with details about each restaurant or bar. Other utilitarian shortcuts will appear as well including translate, nearby attractions, flights, hotels, internet speed test, currency converter, flip a coin, solitaire and of course Google has include the I’m Feeling Lucky shortcut that will surprise with it’s results. The new tappable shortcuts will be available in the U.S. today on Android and iOS and rolling our internationally in the coming days and weeks.
Tappable shortcuts are a really great way to get users in the habit of using the Google app for more than just searching for a specific term. I always use Google to search for the latest sports score and having a shortcut is much easier than typing in something like “march madness scores.” Google has also been a place to search but searching is an active behavior that always doesn’t come naturally. Making their knowledge available through passively browsing certain topics or interests adds a layer of usefulness to the app. This is just another way Google will keep users in their app longer which has been the goal recently. Google Assistant already does a stellar job of surfaces things that would be of interest to the user and making more content available via shortcuts is a great step for the app.