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Google just announced a brand new feature to its search engine — the ability to search for all kinds of personal information such as your flights, photos, purchases, reservations, and much more.  No more digging through your email to find your flight number and then having to look to see if it’s on-time before you head to the airport.  No more having to find that tracking number in your email and then pasting it into Google search.  Nope, none of that.  Now you can just ask Google.

There’s one small catch to all this though: the data has to be available in your Gmail, Google Calendar, or Google+. For example, just ask or type, “What’s my flight status?” or “When will my package arrive?” and provided that you have a confirmation email from your airline or a delivery notification from a shipper the details will magically appear in your search results.

The new set of features will be rolling out to all U.S., English-speaking users on desktop, tablet and smartphone, with voice search (so you don’t have to type) over the next several days. Here are just a few of the time savers that will be available this week, with more to come:

  • Flights: Ask Google “Is my flight on time?” to get info on your upcoming flights and live status on your current flights.
  • Reservations: Ask for “my reservations” to see your dining plans or “my hotel” to get your hotel name and address. With one tap, you can get driving or public transit directions straight there, saving you lots of steps.
  • Purchases: Ask for “my purchases,” and you’ll get the status of your current orders, so you know whether your mom’s birthday present will arrive on time.
  • Plans: Ask Google “What are my plans for tomorrow?” to see a summary of upcoming flights, hotels, restaurant reservations and events—very useful when you’re traveling.
  • Photos: Say “Show me my photos from Thailand” to see the photos you uploaded to Google+. You can also ask for “my photos of sunsets” if you want to show off the shots you’ve taken over the year; Google will try to automatically recognize the type of photo you’re asking for.

google-search-personalized

In terms of privacy and security, the feature is only available to you when you are logged in to Google and data is secure and encrypted.  If you do not want this feature, you can also turn it off.  Whenever you don’t want to see it, simply click the globe icon at the top of the search results page to turn it off for that search session. To turn it off permanently, visit the “Private results” section in search settings.

Did you get the new search features? What do you think of them?


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