Google's continuing to transform its search product into a knowledge engine, as evidenced by the new Google Search app on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and its Google Now features. Today some of that functionality is starting to bleed over into the company's mobile search offering, with the launch of rich "interactive answers" to mobile search queries.
Google mobile search now supports quick answers to a variety of queries, including flight numbers, weather, finance, currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday and sunrise times. All of this stuff is presented in attractive framed boxes clearly cut from the same cloth as the latest Google Search apps for Android and iOS. In some cases, the answer boxes even provide some form of interactivity -- for example, there's a weather slider you can move to view weather information for certain times of day, and the unit conversion box lets you edit fields and convert measurements of any kind.
All of this highlights the next step in the evolution of Google Search, in which it's changing from a tool you use to find pages with answers, to a web app that'll directly give you information you're looking for. Increasingly, web search results fall into the background as an alternative to the information Google directly serves up.
To try out the new Google mobile search features, just head on over to google.com in your favorite mobile browser.
Source: Google Inside Search blog