Google Tests Streaming Apps From The Cloud - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile // Mobile Applications
12:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Google Tests Streaming Apps From The Cloud

In a bid to make content that's buried in apps searchable, Google will stream apps to Android smartphones.

Pricey Smartphones: 8 You’ll Never Own
Pricey Smartphones: 8 You’ll Never Own
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google is taking a new angle of attack in the fight to find information. The company says tons of content is hidden inside applications and that it has found a way to make that content searchable and, more importantly, actionable, thanks to app streaming.

Google says it began indexing the content of apps two years ago. This way, searches discover content not only on the Web, but also within applications. Google has amassed more than 100 billion deep links to apps, including some of the most popular such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Wholly 40% of searches performed on Android smartphones now discover content that's inside other apps.

There's a small problem, however: Google can't show information from within apps unless it finds matching content somewhere on the Web. Google's tricky thinking found an interesting way around this issue.

Moving forward, Google plans to highlight app-first content in search results. For example, those seeking a hotel room may find results listed on as well as HotelTonight -- an app that helps find hotel rooms at the last minute. How are people going to access the app-based results if they don't have the app installed on their phone? Streaming.

"With one tap on a 'Stream' button next to the HotelTonight app result, you'll get a streamed version of the app, so that you can quickly and easily find what you need, and even complete a booking, just as if you were in the app itself," according to Google's November 18 blog post. "And if you like what you see, installing it is just a click away." In other words, Google will make it simple to download the app that returned the results.

(Image: Google)

(Image: Google)

The idea of app streaming is compelling. It will allow people to access and use a variety of apps that they may otherwise never choose to install. The move benefits developers, too, who may see an uptick in usage and installs.

[Read about the new mobile Google+.]

For now, app streaming is limited to Android smartphones operating on WiFi.

Google didn't say why it carries that limitation, but it likely has to do with latency issues. Google didn't explain how it is streaming the apps, either, and only said it is experimenting with new, cloud-based technology.

The company is dipping its toe into the app-streaming waters slowly. App streaming is only available for a small handful of applications, including HotelTonight, Chimani, Daily Horoscope (because horoscopes are so important!?), and New York City Subway MTA Map. Google expects to expand the selection of streaming apps over time.

**New deadline of Dec. 18, 2015** Be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Time is running out to submit your company's application by Dec. 18, 2015. Go to our 2016 registration page: InformationWeek's Elite 100 list for 2016.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2015 | 9:27:23 PM
More pipes needed
Better build bigger pipes. Instant app downloading into phone memory so the user can access data in a particular app may one day rival Netflix movie streaming as a traffic generator. If so, there won't be much dark fiber left in the near future.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll