In order to make it work, you’ll have to go into the app drawer (App Store icon) and enable the iMessage extension. Once enabled, all you have to do to use Google search is to tap on the Google shortcut icon to get the search box. Even better, the update includes shortcuts for watching trending YouTube videos, scoping out nearby restaurants, checking out local weather conditions, and even a handy GIF search. There’s also a quick news search option.
If you search for restaurant recommendations, the new app makes the results easy to share in the conversation you’re having. Although curiously, this feature doesn’t carry over to YouTube videos or news. Even so, it can be situationally useful.
In a similar vein, Google’s keyboard app, “GBoard” also now has search built into it. In fact, you don’t even have to have GBoard installed. As long as you’ve got the core Google App, the search extension will appear in iMessage’s app drawer.
These are small changes, but if you spend a lot of time texting, you’ll find them invaluable. Think back to prior text conversations you’ve had. There have probably been a number of occasions when you found yourself wishing you could do a quick search on whatever topic you were talking about.
It’s great to see these kinds of changes as the cellphone market continues to grow. When the iPhone first burst onto the scene, apps were few and far between. Now, not only are there untold thousands of apps on the market, but they are becoming increasingly integrated. That’s very good to see. Watch this short video that discusses the app drawer with the first feature: