Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Amps Up Personal Search to Combine Gmail, Calendar, Drive and More

Google is slowly but surely combining its various products so that users can find all their stuff in one place.

Starting today, Gmail users will be able to search across their mail, contacts, Google Drive documents and Google Calendar appointments, all from the search bar at the top of the Webmail application. But that’s only if they choose to opt into a “field trial” of the new product.

This builds on top of an existing field trial that combines Gmail and search on Google.com. That experiment launched in August and as of today also includes Google Drive documents, spreadsheets and files. Users who opted into the first field trial will have to opt in again.

Back in August, Google noted its Gmail index is as large or larger than its Web corpus, but with much higher and more complicated privacy requirements.

All of these personal search experiments are available only in English and for personal Gmail accounts.

Unified personal search is something start-ups like CloudMagic are working on as well. But, as usual, Google combining various personal and public services will creep some people out. That’s why this is being implemented in such a tentative way.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik