Google Search is turning 15. Remember what it was like to search in 1998? You’d sit down and boot up your bulky computer, dial up on your squawky modem, type in some keywords, and get 10 blue links to websites that had those words. It seemed like magic (and it was way way faster than card catalogs and microfiche!).

The world has changed so much since then: billions of people have come online, the web has grown exponentially, and now you can ask any question on the powerful little device in your pocket. You can explore the world with the Knowledge Graph, ask questions aloud with voice search, and get info before you even need to ask with Google Now.

But 15 years on, we’re just getting started. We want to help you make more of each day. Here are a few of the latest features you can try out:

Comparisons and filters in the Knowledge Graph

We keep expanding features of the Knowledge Graph so it can answer more questions—even those that don’t have a simple answer. Let’s say you want to get your daughter excited about a visit to the Met. You can pull up your phone and say to Google: “Tell me about Impressionist artists.” You’ll see who the artists are, and you can dive in to learn more about each of them and explore their most famous works. If you want to switch to Abstract artists, you can do that really easily with our new filter tool:

Or let’s say you want to compare two things: How much saturated fat is in butter versus olive oil? Now you can simply tell Google: “Compare butter with olive oil.” Our new comparison tool gives you new insights by letting you compose your own answer:

You can try this for some other things you might be curious about, such as dog breeds (“compare pekingese vs. chihuahua”) or celestial objects (“compare earth vs. neptune”)—and we’ll keep adding more.

Get things done with Google across your devices

Having a “conversation” with Google should also be more natural. Ideally, you wouldn’t need to pull out your phone or tap buttons to use Google. We’re not quite there yet, but you can already do a lot with just your voice. In the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to download a new version of the Google Search app on iPhone and iPad. With this update, you can get notifications across your devices. So if you tell your Nexus 7, “OK Google. Remind me to buy olive oil at Safeway,” when you walk into the store with your iPhone, you’ll get a reminder. We’ll also show you Google Now notifications so you’re not late to your cooking class.

A simpler, more unified design on mobile devices

You’ll also notice a new look and feel for Google Search and ads on your phones and tablets. It’s cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you’re looking for.

We’ll keep improving Google Search so it does a little bit more of the hard work for you. This means giving you the best possible answers, making it easy to have a conversation and helping out before you even have to ask. Hopefully, we’ll save you a few minutes of hassle each day. So keep asking Google tougher questions—it keeps us on our toes! After all, we’re just getting started.

Posted by Amit Singhal, SVP, Google Search

Cross-posted from the Google Translate Blog.

When you’re trekking around a new place or trying to communicate with someone who speaks a different language, Google Translate helps break down the language barrier. Today we updated and optimized the Google Translate app for iOS 7, where you’ll see a fresh new look, handwriting support, and 70+ languages.

If you’re on vacation in Kyoto, and want to learn more about an exotic flower arrangement, use text-input to type in your question and translate from English to Japanese with ease. You can also hear your translation spoken back to you in Japanese.

If a shopkeeper in Paris wants to talk with a visitor from Spain, they can tap the microphone, speak naturally, and quickly translate from French to Spanish with a few simple taps.

If you are an expat living in China and want to know what’s on the menu, use the Handwrite feature to discover a tasty new treat. Tap the Handwrite icon, and input natural handwriting in nearly 50 languages.

Google Translate is useful in many situations, especially while you’re on the go. We hope you enjoy the new design and features.

Posted by Masakazu Seno, Software Engineer, Google Translate

If you're anything like me, you move among devices and Google products on a regular basis. You might check Gmail on your phone, for instance, then organize your Calendar via laptop, then browse Google+ photos from your tablet.

Regardless of your routine, getting around Google should be seamless, and once you're inside an app, you don't want any distractions. So we're introducing an updated Google bar that streamlines your experience across products and devices:

Your Google products are now accessible under a new app launcher, located at the top right of the screen. Just click on the familiar 'Apps' grid, also present on Android devices and Chromebooks:

As part of this design, we’ve also refined the color palette and letter shapes of the Google logo. We'll be rolling out this update across most Google products over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out and let us know your thoughts.

Cross-posted with the US Public Policy Blog, the European Public Policy Blog, and the Google Research Blog.

Last year, we launched two improvements to Google Patents: the Prior Art Finder and European Patent Office (EPO) patents. Today we’re happy to announce the addition of documents from four new patent agencies: China, Germany, Canada, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Many of these documents may provide prior art for future patent applications, and we hope their increased discoverability will improve the quality of patents in the U.S. and worldwide.

So if you want to learn about a Chinese dual-drive bicycle, a German valve for inflating bicycle tires, attach a Canadian trailer to your bike, or read the WIPO application for pedalling with one leg, those and millions of other inventions are now available on Google Patents.

Thanks to Google Translate, all patents are available in both their original languages and in English, and you can search across the world’s patents using terms in any of those languages. When there are multiple submission languages, you can move between them with a single click on the tabs at the top of the page, as shown in the screenshot below:

Happy patent searching!

Whether you're looking for trending celebrities, a monthly recap of what's hot, or power tools to make your own discoveries about what's piquing the world's curiosity - today you'll find new features in Google Trends to make it easier to explore hot topics in Google Search.

Trending Top Charts.
In May we added a new feature to Google Trends called "Top Charts," where you can explore real-world people, places and things ranked by overall search interest in the United States (with more countries coming soon). These "Most Searched" lists span dozens of areas from athletes to cities to cocktails. We've heard great feedback from people who want "Trending" lists -- not just what's most searched overall, but what's spiking compared with usual search volumes. Starting today, you can explore these new Trending Top Charts for a number lists across entertainment, sports, politics and more.

For example, while it may come as no surprise that the United States is the most searched country among people in the U.S., it's more interesting that Syria and Russia were the two top trending countries last month. To see the new "Trending" charts, click the arrow icon at the top of any supported Top Chart.

Past 30 Days view of Hot Searches.
Top Charts is a great way to see a monthly recap of the hottest people, places and things in a given category (politicians, cities, cars, etc), but what if you want to see a recap of what was hot overall? Now you'll find a new view of hot topics from the past thirty days. Click the new calendar icon at the top of the Hot Searches page for any of our thirteen supported countries. Hover on a topic for some quick information and a link to see more search trends from the day.

Updates to the Explore page.
For power users, the best part of Google Trends is the ability to look up search data for any topic, and slice and compare the data by region, time series, category, and more. Today we're rolling out some updates to make this a better experience. We've shifted refinements for countries, categories, and Google products (like Web Search, YouTube, etc) to the top navigation, making it a more consistent Google experience. We've also made it easier to discover power tools to compare countries and time ranges.

Posted by Itai Bar-Sinai, Software Engineer