Google has made it possible to stream certain apps through your web browser, giving an insight into what a Chrome/Android hybrid might look like.
In a post on the Google Search Blog, the company announced that information previously ‘buried’ in apps will now appear in search results on web browsers.
What's more, you can now ‘stream’ apps that aren’t installed on your device through your browser.
The announcement of the new service follows speculation over Google merging their desktop operating system ChromeOS with the mobile counterpart Android, prompting fears that ChromeOS could be phased out.
Although the company denied the demise of ChromeOS, the new ability to view mobile apps within your browser hints at what a merged OS might look like.
Today, you’re more likely to be searching on your mobile device, and the best answers may be buried in an app
Announcing the change, the company says in the blog post: “When Google got started, Search meant sitting at your desktop and finding the best information on websites. Today, you’re more likely to be searching on your mobile device, and the best answers may be buried in an app.”
It then goes on to give an example of how the app streaming will work: “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.”
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Previously, Google search results would only show information taken from apps as long as it had matching web content.
The new features are apparently made possible by a new ‘cloud-based’ technology which Google say they are ‘experimenting with’.
At the moment, the new service will only work with nine apps including HotelTonight, Chimani, and Daily Horoscope, but Google promises that more will be included soon.
Whether the ability to stream apps in your browser will lead to less or more app downloads remains to be seen, but the inclusion of ‘in-app’ information in search results has the potential to introduce more users to apps they otherwise wouldn’t encounter.