Google on Wednesday, 18 November, announced that it would soon launch a new "stream" feature in its Google Search to help users stream apps and see results from then even if the app was not installed on their phones or had a website.
It's been a couple of years now that Google has launched the feature of showing app results while searching for something, provided the app is installed on phones or has a website. For example, if anyone is planning a trip and wants to check the hotels available, the results of the "HotelTonight" app can be viewed while searching.
This feature gained so much popularity that Google now has more than 100 billion deep links into apps in its index, including social networking sites' apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and many more — resulting in people looking at 40% app content while searching.
The new feature will have a "Stream" button right next to the app result, and with one tap on it the user will receive the streamed version of the app on their phones, so the requirements can be quickly and easily met. For instance, in case of the "HotelTonight" app, users can not only view the streamed results but also make a booking, as if the app is already installed on the phone.
Furthermore, if the user does want to instal the app, it will be only a click away!
The "Stream" feature will use a new cloud-based technology, which Google has said it is currently experimenting with.
The technology behind this new feature arrived from a startup called "Agawai", which Google secretly obtained in 2014. The company had been working to develop a way to stream apps on Google Search for quite a while now. It has worked alongside Google in the testing of the new feature that Google has said will mark the first time it has initiated such a consumer-facing streaming technology, reported TechCrunch.
"The app loads in a virtual machine on Google's cloud platform, and the client — the Google app that runs on your phone — sends up the touch interactions to the cloud machine. And that cloud machine executes those touch interactions, renders the app and sends the pixels back down to the client," said Rajan Patel, the director leading the app indexing team inside Google.
Initially, the feature will be available only in the United States and users will have to be on Google on their phone, running Android Lollipop or higher and having a Wi-Fi connection.
The new streaming feature will be enabled for nine apps as of now — HotelTonight, Weather, Chimani, Gormey, My Horoscope, Visual Anatomy Free, Useful Knots, Daily Horoscope, and New York Subway.
Google said it plans to expand its programme in other parts of the world as well.