Google uses an on-device model to provide search suggestions on slow network connections. This is currently available on “Android/iOS google search apps and some YT clients” The Chrome team is bringing this to Google Chrome’s omnibox too.
This is the tracking bug for adding on device head model suggest for omnibox on Android/iOS, this will help users under poor network connection to quickly get top suggestions using a small on device model.
According to the commit log, the team has added the initial version of this feature and they are testing it:
Add the initial version of on device head provider to omnibox. Tested in Nexus 5X and iPhone X.
You can watch a video demo of this feature here on Google Photos shared album. You will see omnibox suggestions working on a slow 2g connection.
When this feature is stable and ready, it will be a good addition for the Google Go devices and anyone else who regularly or occasionally experience slow network connections.
Who knows, we might even see insights from this exercise helping the team improve the main version of Chrome omnibox suggestions!
So, what do you think? Is this a helpful feature? Happy to see Google’s efforts to bring more server-level powers to devices, locally?