Google Expanding Search Field Trial for Gmail, Google Search

Google began the expanded search field trial in August to make it easier to find just the right information and is now extending it to more users on a test basis.

Google is again at work trying to make it easier for users to find the information they are looking for, whether it is online in a Google Search or right in their Gmail in-boxes.

For the second time since August, Google has unveiled a new "field trial" to let users try out a new service—the ability to find their information faster when searching, whether the information is in a Google Search or even buried somewhere in the user's Gmail account.

Ultimately, Google is trying to make such searches easier and faster for users, Bram Moolenaar, a Google software engineer, wrote in an Oct. 15 post on the Google Inside Search blog.

"When you’re looking for something, you should be able to find what you need quickly and easily without needing to think about where it might be, whether it's in your email or out on the public Web," wrote Moolenaar. "That’s why this past August we opened a field trial allowing you to sign up to get information from Gmail right from the Google search box."

Google received lots of positive feedback about the trial feature, including from some users who even suggested that it be expanded to other Google services, such as the Google Drive storage repository. "It would be awesome if I could search my Google drive from Google search as well :),” wrote one user. The company took that idea and ran with it, wrote Moolenaar.

"So starting today, you can sign up for a new and expanded field trial that makes it easier to find your stuff across Google, whether you’re searching on or searching in Gmail," wrote Moolenaar. "In Gmail, as you begin to type into the search box, you'll instantly start seeing relevant emails from Gmail as well as results from Google Drive, Google Calendar, and more."

Conversely, users who search using will get search results that include relevant information and messages from Gmail, as well as from files, documents, spreadsheets and more from Google Drive, under the expanded new field trial.

To give the service a try, users must visit the updated field trial page and select the "Join the field trial" option, according to Moolenaar. The expanded trial is only accessible in English and for addresses at this point. It also presently will not work with Google Apps accounts.

The initial Google Search field trial began Aug. 8, when the company began allowing users to find answers to their search queries in their own Gmail accounts.

Google is always looking for new ways of improving search for its users. In August, Google also announced the pending arrival of Google Search's own enhanced version of an Apple Siri-like voice-recognition system for iOS users on Apple iPhones and iPads so users can conduct more accurate Google Web searches using voice commands.

The Google Voice Search service, which was already available for Android users, allows users to get an answer by verbally asking a question through a user's Android device, just like Siri does for iOS users.