Android phone users just got a great Google upgrade

Unusually for Google, Apple users got this one first – and they got it ages ago

A Google Pixel Android phone
(Image credit: Unsplash)

Google has been big on the updates this month: after releasing a collection of cool free upgrades for all Android phone users, it's turned its attention to the Google app for Android. It now enables you to delete the last 15 minutes of your search history with a single tap.

I'll be honest, I didn't know Android users didn't have that feature: it's been in the iOS app for months. But better late than never, eh?

How to wipe your recent Google history in the Android app

As with other server-side updates, the new feature isn't coming to everybody at once – but Google says it'll be rolled out completely within the next few weeks. To see if you've got it, open the Google app on your phone and tap on your profile picture at the top right hand corner. If you've got the feature, you'll see "Delete Last 15 minutes" and a big blue NEW indicator immediately below the Search History and above Recent.

For now this is a mobile-only feature but given it's on iOS and now Android, it's likely to make its way to the main Google desktop experience too. 

If you're wondering why being able to delete 15 minutes is a good thing, it's because it enables you to quickly rewind time without having to wipe your entire search history. The classic example is when you're shopping for your significant other on a shared device, but as someone who often searches for details of products I'm writing about it's handy for me too: by erasing the last bit of my search history I might not be followed around the internet by ads for vacuum cleaners or sheds.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).