Earlier this week, Google announced a new experiment that lets Android users “stream” a select handful of apps through mobile search without downloading them.
The growing dominance of mobile means that the best content to fulfill your query might be inside an app. That’s why Google has spent the last two years convincing app makers to “index” their content to allow it to be searchable by its algorithms in a process called “deep linking.”
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Now that Google will show app-only content in search, you’ll be more likely to get better results since it can talk to both the apps and the websites. And with streaming, you won’t be limited to the “mobile-friendly” version of a service’s website, which could lack features. Instead, you’ll get the full experience as if you were really using their app, without the commitment or smartphone space required to download.
Google hopes that showing app-only content in search results and letting users view the info in their mobile browser without downloading the app will help its search engine remain users’ main gateway to online content in the era of smartphones.