San Francisco — In a surprising turn of events, Google has updated its field trial of new search features with further Gmail integration: Those who have signed up for the experimental features can now unearth relevant information from their inbox on flights, restaurant bookings, or purchases directly into search results, as long as you are logged in.
The new capabilities are now an indispensable part of Google’s search “field trials” that began earlier this year, and are limited to @gmail.com users in the U.S. You can sign up for it here, and you should be able to use the new features after you receive a confirmation email.
Once accepted, testers can use the keyword “my flights” on Google.com to get the latest information and updates for upcoming flights. So, when you are logged in to your Google account, from the main Google Search page you can perform some specific search queries that will look through your emails and display the information in a card-like interface, similar to the Google Now service that debuted on Android.
Moreover, users can also type “my purchases” to view their online purchases from select merchants and track if they have been shipped. Users can also search relevant Gmail messages and shared links, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and even hotel and restaurant reservations.
“With our field trial to find your stuff faster in Search, we have heard positive feedback and requests for new features. So now instead of digging through your email, you can find a lot more useful information from your Gmail when you search on Google.com,” Google said. If you desire, you can test the feature here.
Google initially debuted the search field trial in August, when it debuted basic Gmail integration for email, Google Drive documents, and flights.
Going forward, more pronounced Gmail integration will certainly rile privacy advocates, it is clear that Google eventually wants to make its search engine about more than just what is on the web. With Google Now on Android devices, Google is bringing similar integration to its mobile devices — Google Now learns your habits to warn you about potential traffic delays, and it automatically tracks packages for you.
Among other things, the results will also be available on mobile devices, as long as you have the SSL option on by default. Google says it works on iOS 6 devices and from the search box on the home screen of Android JellyBean devices.