Friday, November 20, 2015

Google Wants To Make The One App To Rule Them All

So Google has this crazy idea where your smartphone would only need one, single app.....Google's. It used to be that when we wanted information we had to go to a library or read an encyclopedia. Then it transitioned into sitting in front of our computers and typing our queries into Google. Today, we simply open up our smartphone and verbally ask it questions and wait for it to find us the answers. In addition to that, other things aside from information have started getting their own apps. Looking for a good restaurant? There's an app for that. Looking for new clothes? There's an app for that. Trying to check out the latest in world news? App. However, Google wants to change all of that.

According to recent reports, Google wants to extend its domination in the search engine world to smartphones. Google wants to give you a way to use apps without having to actually download them onto your smartphone or tablet and they want to start this as early as next week. Sounds crazy right? I mean how am I supposed to use an app on my phone if the app isn't actually on my phone? Google's solution to this is actually very interesting.

If you search for something, like a cheap hotel, using Google's app on a smartphone running the Android operating system, you will receive search results from all over the internet, like normal. However, there will also be information from apps like Hotel Tonight or Kayak. If you tap a button, Google will open the app so that you can book a room on the app even if you don't have it installed on your device. This sounds like a ridiculous pipe dream to some and pure ecstasy to others, especially those people who don't download an app until the very moment they need it and then are in a time crunch waiting for it to download.

Google is using some shenanigans, though. The company is actually streaming a video to your phone from the internet while the app runs on a computer far, far away. In addition to that, there's also a catch. At the moment, Google can only achieve this feat with these nine apps: Hotel Tonight, Weather, New York Subway, My Horoscope, Daily Horoscope, Visual Anatomy Free, Useful Knots, Gormey (a restaurant finder), and Chimani (a national parks guide). According to Lead Engineer for Google's Mobile Search and App Indexing Team Rajan Patel, "We feel like it's our role to make sure we have answers. In mobile, oftentimes that's in apps."

So what does this mean for consumers like me and you? Well for starters it means a decrease in the time and hassle it takes to download an app and install it on your phone or tablet. You will also have the ability to use an app without having it take up space on your device. For Google, this could be an attempt to make mobile apps less relevant while also keeping Google at the forefront of smartphone users' minds. Even though Google is basically untouchable on the desktop market, the same can't be said for its mobile counterpart.

This is but one of Google's attempts to make mobile search better. Back in April the company changes the way it organized all websites and prioritized those that come up better on smartphones. In addition to that, Google has also been working on making information from inside an app more searchable on Google, known as deep linking. Google said that it now has over 100 billion links to information from apps.

Google streams these apps with technology it got from a startup called Agawi last year. In reality, you aren't really getting access to these apps from Google. Sure it feels as if you are in the program, but Google is actually streaming you an HD video that you can tap and scroll through like a normal app, according to a company spokeswoman. The only real  difference here is that in the Google version a banner runs across the bottom fo the screen that says "App streamed by Google".

This technology is currently only available on Android devices though Google did say that it will eventually come to iPhones and other Apple iOS devices though a timeframe has yet to be established.

Content originally published here

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