Thursday, November 19, 2015

Google starts streaming apps in search results

The boundaries between apps and web apps are continuously shifting and Google's latest trick will blend everything even more, as it allows you to use apps you don't even have installed in your smartphone.

Deep linking allows search results to throw you into an app, so you can - for instance - see a movie you've searched for directly on the IMDB app; but now things are going a step further. When you do a search on Google, you'll be able to see some results in apps you don't even have installed, that are being streamed in real time to your device.

The app isn't running on your smartphone, you're just using remotely, and it's an excellent way to give you access to the benefits of an app you'd rarely use without the hassle of downloading it first, using it once, and then delete it afterwards. Also, you can easily imagine the benefits for trying out apps; or even become the preferred way of running multigigabyte apps when you have no free space on your smartphone (and, as it has all the power of Google's servers, it may even be faster and better than if it were running on your smartphone).

For now this is still in beta and with a few dozen apps... but if it all goes according to plan, this is the first step of something that will become quite common in the future. (And on the plus side, that also means your smartphone will last longer, as there would be no more CPU intensive apps running, it would simply be showing the streamed content and sending back your touch information.)

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