Those who find Google’s search engine to be impossibly slow will welcome Google Instant, an upgrade to the company’s search results that it unveiled Wednesday.

People read more quickly than they type, Google says, and seeing preliminary search results under the search box means people will have to type less and can adjust their searches on the fly.

Google Instant saves two to five seconds per search, Google says. In a time-crunched world, Google says it will cumulatively save people more than 3.5 billion seconds every day, or 11 hours every second.

The instant results will be the new standard format for users in the United States and a few other countries who have sufficiently modern browsers. It will come to the company’s mobile search engine this fall.

Start typing “San Francisco” in the search box, and by the time you get through “San,” you will already see a map of the city, a collection of photos of landmarks and links to Alcatraz and the San Francisco visitors’ center. Or, without typing anything more, select Google’s next guess, Santa Cruz, and see a map, photos and links for that city. Type “the gi” and the search box shows “the girl with the dragon tattoo,” as if it is reading your mind.

“We’re actually predicting what query you’re likely to do and we’re giving you results for that,” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search products and user experience, as she demonstrated the feature at a press event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Google prides itself on offering faster and more relevant results than other search engines. While the behind-the-scenes engineering that generates those results is a big reason Google gets the majority of searches, it can be hard for average users to notice. The instant results make this much clearer.

Before the event, Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, took to Twitter, where he is usually very quiet, and wrote, “I predict big things happening today at Google. We’re already fast… fast is about to get faster.”

Source: bits.blogs.nytimes.com