In August, Google expanded its basic search to encompass Gmail for a small number of field trial users. It was a huge challenge for them to launch this to all Gmail users which is why they have released a field trial version first.
This feature is not automatically enabled, in case anyone is looking over your shoulder, but can be shown by clicking “show results”. There are a couple of cool features included with this field trial; if you include “Gmail” in the search terms then it will display results from your email first instead of displaying them on the righthand side.
In addition to this, it can pull your upcoming flight information from the web by searching “my flights”, which is very useful for frequent flyers. Google has announced that it will first release this for the desktop, then mobile version later. It is much harder to develop for mobile than desktop due to SSL.
Recently, Gmail search integration has added purchases, reservations, and events to the new mix of things. Instead of going through multiple irrelevant emails, users can now search for “my reservations”, “my purchases”, or “my events” to find relevant information. Here is a current rundown from Google about available searches:
- Receipts from your email (Purchases from amazon.com, bestbuy.com, ebay.com, half.com, etc.)
- Emails relevant to your search (Search for [holiday party emails] to find all emails relevant to the tag)
- Files from Google Drive
This would be particular useful for those that do a lot of sharing and project work. Examples: [Spring Break Plans], [Lake Tahoe Snowboarding], [Scuba Diving Vacation], [Engineering Senior Design Project]. Other examples of possible searches include:
- Booked Events (Search Terms: [My Events],[Lakers vs. Clippers], [Rockets vs Knicks], [Radiers vs. Patriots], [Van Halen Concert])
- Hotel Reservations (Search Terms: [My Hotel Reservation],[Hotel reservations in Vegas], [Times Square Hotels])
- Restaurant Reservations (Search Terms: [My Restaurant Reservations],[Peter Luger Steakhouse], [The Strip House], [Reservations for New Year’s day])
However it is obvious the downfalls of such a search system, Google will know much more about your life than you will want it to know. Privacy advocates will most likely be against this and opt out of it. On the flip side, it is very convenient if you don’t mind it. It is important to note that if you’re already using Google now, it is already tracking your habits and information.
For me personally, it warns me about potential traffic delays on my commute home and tracks packages for me. I have already opted in for the field trial. Will you?
You can join the Gmail Search Field Trial by visiting Google’s signup page here. You’ll receive an email confirmation when your account is ready to see Gmail results within your Google searches.