Remember when you used to need a TV Guide to know when your favorite shows were airing? Thanks to digital cable and the rise of streaming, it’s much easier to know when our shows are on air. But not everyone subscribes to the same set of channels or services, which can easily lead to confusion.
Of course, knowing what you want to watch is the easy part. Finding a streaming package that gives you access to all your favorites is a bit trickier. Tap or click here to see the top streaming services compared.
But you don’t have to waste time scrolling through your cable box menu or flipping through yellowed TV Guide pages anymore. Google is adding schedules and more for live sports and TV. You can even see which streaming platforms are hosting your favorite movies and shows right inside your search results page. Here’s how.
Google updates its search engine for live sports and TV
Google has published a new blog post outlining a range of features designed to make it easier to find live sports, live TV and other content that’s currently playing in your area or streaming online.
This move follows other recent updates to the platform that make it easier to see which streaming services are hosting movies and shows, but with the added twist of tracking air time and live events.
Here’s how it works: Open a new Google search window and type in “Where to watch [your favorite team] game” or “how to watch [your favorite team] game.” Google will then populate the results with live stats of games in-progress and links to where you can tune in and watch.
Searching by specific team names will also net you results for their current scores, stories and standings. But in addition to these mainstays, you’ll also see a new “Live on” button that shows the live TV choices to pick from in your local area.
Sports aren’t the only thing getting this new search-engine treatment, either. Now, when you search for “what to watch” on Google, you’ll get live TV listings for your area in addition to streaming service options. This is a big help if you pay for a cable subscription, or if you simply want to tune in with your in-home antenna.
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Google’s announcement went live on August 13, and a week-long time frame was given for these features to take effect. Within the next several days, you’ll be able to take advantage of these easy streaming and live-TV options right from your phone or desktop.
But do keep in mind: The desktop and mobile versions of these searches will look slightly different from one another. If it doesn’t match the images above completely, that doesn’t mean the feature isn’t working. That said, not everyone will have access to these new search options right off the bat, so keep an eye out over the next week or so for it to appear for you.
Bonus: Google adding travel trends as COVID-19 restrictions wind down
Countries of the world that already experienced the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic are finally starting to wind down their nationwide restrictions and return to semi-normality. And a big part of this re-opening comes from the lifting of travel restrictions.
Of course, not every country has fully normalized their travel system and air traffic, which means that travelers will need to pay a close eye on trends as they emerge. And that’s exactly what Google is helping users with thanks to its new Travel Trends search feature.
Over the next week or so (the same timeline as the live sports and TV search), when travelers search for plane tickets or hotel rates, they’ll see the percentage of open hotels with vacancy and flights operating based on Google Flights and Hotels data from the previous week.
This will help you gauge which areas are best to travel versus which ones are still under lockdown. You’ll also instantly receive any travel alerts, restrictions or bulletins at the top of your search in case the area you’re planning to travel to is not accepting U.S. visitors as of now.
The road to recovery may be long, but at least with Google’s help, we’ll have a better idea of how it unfolds. In the meantime, keep stashing away those travel savings. More likely than not, airfare will be cheap at first as airlines and countries try to restart tourism around the world.