Google may soon offer another useful tool built right into its search results: an internet connectivity speed test.
Such tools baked right into the search results not only make it easier to find what you're looking for, but they can also save time. If you want to convert centimeters to inches, for instance, you can simply type "cm to inches" in the Google search bar and the search results will allow for instant conversion rather than sending you to another site.
The same could soon apply to speed tests so you can instantly check how fast your internet connectivity is at a certain point. For now, if you want to conduct a speed test, you can either access a site you already know, or conduct a Google search for "speed test" to get a number of links to speed-testing websites. It's still useful, but it would be more convenient to get that speed test result right into the search results, without having to access other websites.
Fortunately, Google seems to be working on just that, building such a tool in collaboration with Measurement Lab (M-Lab). Twitter user Pete Meyers noticed that Google seems to be building an internet speed test tool right into search, albeit it doens't seem to be widely available just yet. Meyers shared a screenshot of the feature and also found a Google Support page that explains how the tool works its magic.
Looks like Google is testing their own internet speed test (query = "check internet speed") - not seeing it live -- pic.twitter.com/wjsPIlEbFv
— Dr. Pete Meyers (@dr_pete) June 27, 2016
"The test takes about 30 seconds. It figures out your Internet speed by measuring how much data can move through your connection in that time," notes the Google Support page in question.
The post further points out that the speed test will use different amounts of data depending on the connection speed and your location. A typical test in the United States, for instance, uses roughly 9.4 MB of data, while a test outside of the U.S. uses roughly 4.4 MB of data. M-Lab's site offers more details.
Google's new tool might be the company's answer to the Netflix Fast.com internet speed test website, which launched back in May. Netflix's tool allows users to check the speed of their internet connectivity simply by accessing the Fast.com website and waiting a few seconds to get their results.
It remains to be seen just how Google's speed test tool will perform or how accurate it will prove to be, but the prospect is exciting nonetheless. It's also worth pointing out that the tool barely has a presence on desktop at the moment, with no word on when it will also hit mobile. The Google Support page does note that mobile data charges may apply, so that's a sign that Google plans to make it work on mobile too.
More details will surely hit the surface once the feature becomes more widely available, and we'll keep you in the loop as soon as we learn more.