Google engineers have been experimenting with auto-updating search results for a while now. The new technology basically displays search results as the search engine user types. The new feature is currently rolling out to users on Google domains in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Italy and Spain, but only if they use one of the supported web browsers. The browsers that are currently supported are Chrome 5 and up, Firefox 3 and up, Safari 5 for Mac and Internet Explorer 8. Sorry Opera fans, no love from the big G for your browser at this time.
Instant Search can be tested on this Google search domain immediately, and on the regular search page once the roll out has been completed.
Google offers some insights on the benefits of instant search. According to their research, Google Instant saves between 2-5 seconds per search by speeding up the process. Predictions have been improved, with the top prediction now appearing in gray text in the search form.
Some users have expressed concerns that Google Instant will slow down their Internet connection. The new service has an impact on the connection, no doubt about that. Google tried to counter that by disabling Google Instant on very slow Internet connections and reducing the data send per new request.
Users who do not want to use Google Instant can turn it off by clicking on the "Instant is on" link next to the search box, or making the changes in the Preferences. The second option requires a Google account.
Google Instant is currently only available on the systems and for the languages mentioned above. Google plans to add domains and languages over the next months. A mobile release is planned as well.
What's your take on Google Instant? Real time saver or a nice looking gimmick?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.