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Google overhauls image search and makes Slides available offline

24 Jan 2013
Google search image overhaul changes

Google has announced more improvements to its services, including offline access to Slides and an overhaul of its image search page.

The Slides service, its rival to Microsoft's PowerPoint tool, can now be accessed without a web connection to create, edit and comment on presentations, akin to its Docs feature, although this is only possible in its Chrome browser.

"Any new presentations or changes you make will be automatically updated when you get back online," said Michael Frederick, a software engineer for Google Slides.

"So you can continue polishing slides on your next flight, and head to your upcoming presentation without worrying about whether there's going to be Wi-Fi."

Google also said it would be working to makes its Sheets tool - an Excel rival - available offline too.

Meanwhile, Google has also announced that it will be rolling out an overhaul to its image search function. This will provide a more prominent display space for selected images and a new scrolling function to make it easier to look at results.

"Based on feedback from both users and webmasters, we redesigned Google Images to provide a better search experience," said Hongyi Li, associate product manager in a blog post.

"You will be able to quickly flip through a set of images by using the keyboard. If you want to go back to browsing other search results, just scroll down and pick up right where you left off."

More information on the results will also be displayed, including metadata, the page hosting the image, its size and domain name, This is designed to increase click-through rates to the sites hosting the images.

Google said in its own tests it's seen an average increase in the click-through as a result of incorporating this information more prominently.

The moves underline the firms continued moves to refine its tools as it seeks to grow its enterprise presence and maintain its search market dominance. Earlier this week a report showed its UK search share dropped to its lowest level in five-years.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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