Google's knowledge graph card tests a feature that lets you like or dislike movies and TV shows. For example, when you search for "It's a Wonderful Life", you can click like or dislike and check the percentage of Google users who liked it.
The same buttons show up when you search for a TV show like "Saturday Night Live".
When you search Google for [Christmas], [Hanukkah], [Kwanzaa], [Festivus] or other related queries, you'll see some special decorations related to each holiday. Festivus is "a holiday celebrated by those seeking an alternative to the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas holiday season."
Christmas trees, Santa Claus, the Christmas star adorn the Google search page and bring the hoiday spirit.
The Hanukkah menorah and Kwanzaa's Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) are lighting up Google's search pages.
Google's desktop search pages have a new interface for navigating between search results. The search box is bigger, there's a new search icon and Google now only shows 2 or 3 specialized search engines next to "all", down from 4. Apps and shopping seem to be missing from the list of search engines, so you can only pick from image search, video search, Google News, Google Maps, Google Flights and Google Books.
The settings dropdown is now placed below the search box and it includes the option that lets you hide private results. You can still change search settings, languages, turn on or turn off SafeSearch, use advanced search options, open Web History or go to the help center.
Search tools are now simply called tools and they include the same options: search by date and verbatim.
Image search lets you quickly go to the saved images page and change SafeSearch setting.
Google Shopping is broken. While the homepage still loads, when you click a product image or search for something, Google shows an empty page.
Here's the old Google Search interface, via Wikipedia:
Did you know that "male lions defend the pride's territory while females do most of the hunting"? Did you know that "the name humpback whale describes the motion it makes as it arches its back out of the water in preparation for a dive"? What about this one: "ostriches have the largest eyes of any land living animal and they measure 50 mm (2 inches) in diameter"?
Google now shows random facts about animals in the "did you know" section of the Knowledge Graph card. They're extracted from various sites and Google actually links to the source.
Some example of queries that return random facts: [cat], [lion], [tiger], [alpaca], [giraffe], [ostrich], [duck], [elk], [raccoon], [shark]. It's worth pointing out that you can get another random fact by reloading the page or searching again for the same animal.
Google Knowledge Graph has more than one billion entities and more than 70 billion facts about these entities (people, places, things). It's huge and it brings a different dimension to search: understanding concepts and the relation between them.
Mobile Google Search now has a section called "found in related search", which shows a few entities frequently mentioned in other related searches. For example, I searched for [ethanol molar mass] and Google showed 2 lists of organic and inorganic compounds: one of them was found in the related search [properties of alkanes] and the other was for [polar solvents]. Ethanol is a polar solvent which can be obtained from alkenes, while alkenes can be derived from alkanes, so Google's suggestions are somewhat useful.
This feature is not limited to chemistry, it also works for other topics. Here's a different query: [tour eiffel design], which shows other "towers of the world" and "tourist attractions in France".
I noticed an interesting Google Search experiment in the mobile/tablet interface. When searching for [alcohol with the highest boiling], Google converted my query into a question: "Which alcohol has the highest boiling point?", then it tried to answer the question using a snippet from a web page and then it added a "more results" link. Google's link sent to me to the search results page for the question inferred by Google.
When you search Google for [directions] or [get directions], you get an error message: "No results for that place. Try entering it below to get suggestions." Google shows a special card for directions with cool features like autocomplete, but the error message is out of place because you haven't typed a location.
Suggestions aren't very smart. For example, I typed "Brisbane, Australia" as the starting point and then I started to type "Mel" as the destination. Google suggested 3 places from California, strictly based on my location, while ignoring that Melbourne is a much better suggestion.
Google shows directions inside the card and you can pick between driving, walking, cycling or using public transportation.
To see the directions, just click the text that describes your favorite route. If there is only one route, pick that one. Another option is to click "directions" and go to the Google Maps site.
I'm not sure if this is a new feature, but it must be pretty recent. Google Maps for Android lets you add home screen shortcuts to directions directly from the app. Just search for directions, tap the menu icon and pick "add route to Home screen". This works best when you select the current location, but it's not a requirement.
You may also see this message: "Go here often? Add this route. Tap here to add a Home screen shortcut to this route."
Another option is to add the directions widget, which lets you pick the shortcut name, whether to start turn-by-turn navigation and more.
Google has a special card that's both a color picker and a color converter. For example, you can search for HEX color codes like #123456 and Google shows the color and converts it to other formats: RGB, HSV, HSL, CMYK. Google's card also shows up when you search for RGB values like rgb(255,0,255). The most interesting feature of the card lets you pick a color interactively.
This is not a new feature, but it's worth pointing out that Chrome has its own color picker and converter in the developer tools. Click a color in the styles tab to open the color picker and shift-click a color to convert it to a different format.
"Today, with photo upload tools in Google Maps and our Local Guides program, we are providing easy ways for you to share your photos with an active and growing community. As such, we've decided to move forward with closing down Panoramio," informs Google. If you've linked your Panoramio account with a Google account, you'll be able to find your photos in Google Album Archive and they'll not use your storage quota. You can also export your photos in Google Takeout.
Google encourages Panoramio users to join the Local Guides program for Google Maps and share photos, add reviews and information about places. "It's all about that warm feeling you get from helping others discover new, enriching experiences. That, and the benefits. Every place you improve on Google Maps gets you closer to unlocking something new - from early access to new products to exclusive contests and events."
If you don't like Google's options, you can delete your Panoramio photos or go to Panoramio's settings page and delete your account.
Google acquired Panoramio in 2007. It was a Spanish startup which had a site that enabled "digital photographers to geolocate, store and organize their photographs and to view those photographs in Google Earth and Google Maps."