Google is to start displaying content from within apps as part of its search results, and will enable content to be delivered to smartphones even if a user does not have the relevant app installed.
According to TechCrunch, Google will “stream” hosted versions of apps running on its cloud platform to mobile users who do not have an app installed. While it is rolling out the service now, it is currently doing so with a limited number of partners.
Google has placed a lot of emphasis on app indexing in recent months, as a way to surface content that is housed in an app which could otherwise be overlooked. Offering access to content without the need to install the app takes this a step further, although presumably it will also be used as a tool to drive downloads.
It is believed that the offering is being enabled by technology from Agawi, a company which Google acquired earlier this year.
According to TechCrunch, the service is currently only available in the US, and is also dependent on their being a Wi-Fi connection, as a result of bandwidth requirements. It was suggested that it is also “more of an experiment” at the time being, with Google looking to user response before planning further rollouts.