One more experiment launched from the Google Moonshot project. “App Streaming” is a whole new way to make the mobile search more useful.
What is Google’s App Streaming Project?
Google has come up with another feature of its own, to surprise the Android user’s. The new feature, “Stream” allows the user to search for a few handful of apps using Google on mobile without having to download them.
Google has already partnered with these 9 apps: Hotel Tonight, Weather, Chimani, Gormey, My Horoscope, Visual Anatomy Free, Useful Knots, Daily Horoscope, and New York Subway.
Mobile Google search shows these apps’ content like a part of the search engine result. It can so happen that the web results shown are entirely based on the app and not on the Content from the nine apps that Google partnered with will now show up in mobile search results, even if it doesn’t exist on the company’s website, and users will be able to click a “stream” button to get the full app experience without installing anything.
To take an example, if you search “Hotels in Chicago” Google will now pull up the ‘app-only’ content from the app Hotel Tonight, to let you find a hotel of your choice and to book it without downloading the app.
This is made possible by Google, by letting the apps run remotely on virtual machines through its Cloud platform (you’ll need to be connected to wi-fi for the process to work).
The new move in the chain of efforts that Google has made to convince the app makers to “index” their content so as to allow it to be searchable by its algorithms in a process known as ‘Deep Linking.’
The latest feature added to it plays a trump card for Google. Now, when any relevant content is searched in Google, it only shows the content of the app even if that isn’t a part of the actual website. And all this, without having to download the app perse, in the device. This is the move that, according to Google, will help it’s search engine remain the main way for users to access to information.
While Google’s other moonshots have been much sexier than this recent release, like driverless cars or internet-bearing balloons, but this moonshot will have a deeper impact of Google and the user’s themselves.
Impact of App-Streaming Feature
#1. Saves users’ time and space
- Fixes some of the issues that arise in a mobile search.
- It is a good way of convincing the app makers to “index” the content of their app to be searchable by algorithms, as a part of the process called ‘Deep Linking.’
- Till now, Google could only use the information that was given in the website, correlated to that particular app.
- While streaming the apps’ result, the same content that is a part of the app gets shown in the mobile search result, which means there is no need for the user to download the app, and thereby saving that much space in the phone itself.
- Because of this feature, more and more services will be offered in a mobile search, assisting the user to avoid space-hogs.
#2. More exposure for developers
Even though this sounds very controversial, as with this sort of a technology, the app downloads will get lesser in comparison, the developers will actually get a lot of exposures and newer experience.
Looking at it that way, the developers will have the chance to learn newer things and become experts in them. Two such techniques that these developers will learn a new area, app indexing and deep linking in every app.
#3. Keeping Google search relevant on mobile
- Google recently announced that more than half of its search queries come from mobile. But that stat actually merges into one another, as another data represents: that people spend most of their time on smartphones within specific apps – so much that app usage now represents 86% of time spent on mobile, according to analytics company Flurry.
- Google wants the users to opt to search for the “best hotels in Chicago” or “Nikon camera” instead of opening apps like HotelTonight or Amazon, so that Google can sell ads against those searches.
Google is trying to make the mobile platform a basis from where most of its searches happen. In doing this, Google is not only trying to increase its own importance as a search engine for smartphones but is also trying to allow a platform for the developers to explore and learn more.
So, if your app content is not indexed for making it searchable and you are not using deep linking for your mobile apps, it’s time you get it done.