Google today announced it is piloting a new experiment that will enable users to stream apps on their smartphones rather than installing them. Till now, Google Search had deep linked app content and could show it in the search results but increasingly many services are going app-only for smartphones and won’t have related web content for Google to show in its search results. The only option for users then is to install the app. Google wants to change that.
With the new feature whenever a user makes a search query and if the solution is in an app, Google will give the user the option to stream the app and get the solution without having to install the app.
For instance, if you’re searching for a hotel booking, the search result might display content from HotelTonight. As the website of HotelTonight only lets you book a hotel via its app, Google will stream it to your smartphone. You can not only explore the listings, but also make a booking, all this while the app is still isn’t installed on your phone.
As of now, app streaming only works with nine apps in the US. It requires you to be connected on Wi-Fi network and a smartphone running Android 5.0 Lollipop and above. The list of apps include HotelTonight, Weather, My Horoscope, Useful Knots, New York Subway, Daily Horoscope, Gormey, Chimani and Visual Anatomy Free, TechCrunch reports.
In the blog post, Jennifer Lin, an Engineering Manager at Google mentioned that the search giant is looking for ways to display ‘app-first’ content in search results. While it is only available in the US as of now, Google plans to expand this program to other regions going forward.