Back in April, Google started indexing apps in Google Search to show relevant information from them in your results, even if you didn’t have the apps installed. Today, they are taking that experience a step further with the introduction of a couple of new ideas, one of which may blow your mind a bit.
First, in building off of the indexing of apps, Google has taken results a step further, by not only showing results that have matching web content (which was the case before), but by also showing information from apps that don’t have a matching web presence. This is a pretty big move if you think about it, because not all apps have web portals where they include the information that is found inside their apps. This move allows Google to show information from apps that are stand-alone properties.
Second, Google is beginning to test the idea of being able to “stream” an app through Google Search without actually installing it. You’ll see this in the GIF below, but basically, Google is using a new “cloud-based” technology that allows them to open an app as a search result, creating an experience similar to what you would see if you had the app installed on your device.
If you search for something and the results turn up an app option with “Stream” next to it, that means you can stream the app, as long as you are on WiFi.
Check it out.
How cool is that?
Google makes it sound like we are in the early, experimental stages of this new feature in Google Search, so you won’t find a whole bunch of apps doing this just yet. For now, they are working with HoteTonight, Chimani, Daily Horoscope, and New York Subway.