An app-centric future, where we glean all of our information from self-contained programs, isn’t good news for Google.
The company, whose profits still mostly arise from serving advertisements within Search results, would much rather you obtain that information from a good old fashioned Google Search.
To combat this, Google has already indexed the content from over 100 billion deep links into apps from the likes of Facebook Instagram and Airbnb. However, unfortunately for Google, this approach only works for apps that have “matching web content.”
So, the next solution is to stream the entire app’s content directly from the web, rather than having users download it to their devices. So, Google is testing a solution that allows users to run a web search and be taken straight to a streamed version of an app like HotelTonight.
On Wednesday the firm announced a streaming button using a “new cloud-based technology that we’re currently experimenting with,” will arrive in some Google search results in the near future.
“You’re also going to start seeing an option to “stream” some apps you don’t have installed, right from Google Search, provided you’re on good Wifi,” Jennifer Lin, Engineering Manager, wrote on the Inside Search blog.
“For example, with one tap on a “Stream” button next to the HotelTonight app result, you’ll get a streamed version of the app, so that you can quickly and easily find what you need, and even complete a booking, just as if you were in the app itself. And if you like what you see, installing it is just a click away. This uses a new cloud-based technology that we’re currently experimenting with.”
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Google is testing the stream button with a few partners right now, but will be hoping more and more developers agree to have their app content streamed directly from Google searches.
The potential scheme was first mooted back in July, when it was reported Google would be offering try-before-you-buy access to content from the app stores.
You can see today's demo (via SlashGear) in the video below.