Google begins rolling out instant search

If results start popping up instantly the next time you type into the Google search box, don't be alarmed. You're looking at the new Instant Search feature, which Google has begun rolling out to some users signed into Google accounts.

The new feature basically lets you forgo hitting the enter key (or clicking the search button, if you're that kind of person), although it works only on newer browsers: Chrome 5, Firefox 3, Safari 5, Internet Explorer 8, and anything more recent. You also need to be checking the U.S., British, French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Russian version of the Google portal. At least with the U.S. portal, a bigger version of the Google logo heralds the change.

Lest you think Google is merely catering to the lazy, the search giant claims Instant Search can save two to five seconds per search. Extrapolating, it adds, "If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That's 11 hours saved every second." Too bad I usually initiate searches straight from my browser's address bar—I could use a few seconds of saved time.

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