Google has announced a bunch of updates to help people stay up-to-date with the happenings of the 2018 FIFA World Cup that is kicking off later this month. Among other changes, Google Search will include a new experience to give updates ongoing tournaments. There will also be the option to let fans watch live matches of their favourite teams. Google Assistant will also be uplifted to enable updates right with voice commands. The search giant will also add a dedicated World Cup Tracker on the Google News app along with a special 'spotlight' feature. Likewise, Google Maps will also be updated to help World Cup attendees find best local places to watch the games.
While Google Search already offers real-time score tracking, Google reveals in a blog post that during the FIFA World Cup, there will be a "new experience" on Search to let fans explore group tables, stats, and trending players all under one roof. The search engine will also include video recaps from select broadcasters featuring goals and highlights of major match moments within 30 minutes of the end of each game. Further, there will be the options to watch each match live and view scores updates using Google Search on mobile devices. A detailed timeline with updates, including in-game moments, live images, stats, and tweets, will also be surfaced on Google Search throughout the tournament.
Android users will get an option to pin real-time scores on their phone screen directly from Google Search using a web browser or from the Google app. Importantly, Knowledge Graph cards will include a 'Pin Live score' button to enable pinning of live updates. There will be a pill-shaped UI that will include country flags, scores, and match duration. The users will be able to place this new UI on anywhere on the homescreen. A single tap on the UI will open the full search list. Further, dragging of the UI to the bottom of the screen remove it from the screen.
Information from local broadcasters and national teams will appear via Posts on Google. Similarly, special Google Doodles will be available specifically in the countries that are competing in the forthcoming World Cup.
Google Assistant will additionally be upgraded to offer match-related answers. Google News app on Android, on the other hand, will have a dedicated World Cup Tracker that will include the 'spotlight' feature to visualise live scores, highlights, results, and schedules in an easy way. There will also be direct YouTube links to let football lovers watch video highlights of different matches. Notably, the tracker within the Google News app will be available for users in the U.S., Germany, France, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia.
YouTube will list FIFA World Cup moments and select video highlights from official FIFA broadcasters in over 80 countries. Also, YouTube TV in all its supported markets in the US will offer live broadcast of matches. Google Maps and Google Search will additionally include the "good for watching sports" highlight on business listings to help users find their best local places to watch the matches. This will be available starting June 14.