The Google Mobile app for BlackBerry rolled out a new trick earlier this week and is now searching your contacts and messages as well as the web. While this immediately seemed like a nice addition to the functionality as I’ve been using it the new functionality seems more like a logical addition, but not one that I’ll be using that often.
On the search screen of the app search results from your contacts and messages are auto filled just like any other term. For example a search for the term Carlos turns up my buddy Carlos’ contact info as well as the search suggestion of Mr Santana. If Carlos would email my work address once in a while those would show up as well. From the auto fill you can click directly through to call or text your contacts.
In the search results the number of contact and email results appear as icons above the web results. Clicking on those icons displays the full set of results. In the full results you can also call or text your contacts as well as forward or reply to emails. I’m not sure how emails are selected to be forwarded or replied to in the link, but it doesn’t really matter. The emails actually open in the app and it takes a second menu selection to bump you into the native message application and editing the email.
Voice search works for this feature and it is an option, so if you get tired of it, feel like it clutters your search results or just don’t want Google nosing in your data you can easily turn off the feature from the Options screen.
The issue with this new functionality is that I’ve been trained that if I need to look up a contact I do so from the Address book or Call Log. If I need to search for an email I do that from the Message app. I don’t know what it will take to get me to switch. It’s also not searching Gmail or giving you options to call or email with Google Voice, which is a curious gap. Perhaps those additions are coming. Time will tell if this feature becomes a benefit or just another one that I never use.