New tool looks to open up realms of information that may otherwise be hidden away
Google has launched a new tool which it says will make it easier to track down the information you are searching for online.
The search giant will now be allowing Android and Google users to unlock so-called ‘app-first’ content by streaming information from apps into its search results. This could include looking up restaurant or hotel reviews, or searching for photos of a particular landmark or brand.
The function will work even if the user does not have the correct app installed, as Google has noted that 40 percent of searches people do on Android surface app content.
Google says it started indexing the content of apps two years ago, and now has over 100 billion deep links into apps in its our archive, including apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb and Pinterest.
Until now, Google search has only been able to show information from apps that had matching web content, but the company is responding to the growing amount of information that is only available in apps.
The company is also going to be introducing an option to “stream” information from apps that you may not already have installed, but that contain information that may be useful.
Provided you have a good Wi-Fi connection, tapping the “Stream” button next to an applicable app will provide a streamed version that will behave as if it was installed on your device, giving you full functionality from your browser.
And if the information has been useful, you can install the app with one click, thanks to a new cloud-based technology Google says it is currently experimenting with.
“When Google got started, Search meant sitting at your desktop and finding the best information on websites,” Google engineering manager Jennifer Lin wrote in a blog post announcing the news.
“Today, you’re more likely to be searching on your mobile device, and the best answers may be buried in an app … perhaps one that you don’t even have installed yet. Finding information in apps is still too hard. That’s why today, we’re sharing some new ways for you to get great content from apps — even without having to go through a download right away.”
Search engines have become big business in recent years, as companies compete for a slice of the market.
Earlier this year, Twitter was pleased to announce it had struck a deal that allowed tweets to be searchable on Google, and also has also recently introduced the introduction of quick functions that allow users to purchase a product direct from search results.
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