Google brings video previews to search results on phones

In Google's Android app and in Chrome for Android, you'll now have an idea of what's in a clip before you bother playing it.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer

You'll now be able to see what you're getting into.


That video there on your screen, the one demanding to be watched -- is it basically just gonna eat a few minutes of your life for no good reason?

That's the question Google wants to help you answer with a new search feature announced Friday for its mobile app on Android and its Chrome browser on Android.

Now, if you do a Google search on your phone in either the app or Chrome, results in the video section will show not a static thumbnail image, but a snippet of the clip. The idea is to help you decide if you should click to the video or not. After all, more and more of the content we ingest online is taking the form of short film clips.

Google started rolling out the change on Friday and said the feature would be available more widely next week. The snippets play only if you're on a Wi-Fi connection, so they shouldn't affect data fees from your phone company.

What's that you say? Autoplay videos make you wanna scream? Relax (and don't scream); Google says you can simply turn off this feature by way of the settings menu in the Google app or in Chrome.