Have you ever heard of the Google app before? Or to rephrase the query, have you ever used the Google app before? For most owners of Android, an affirmative answer is most likely for the first question than for the second. Unfortunately, I don’t fall into any of the two groups. It is to my eternal shame that until today, I never knew or heard of an Android app known as Google app let alone use it. I know many people out there are afflicted with the same sort of ignorance.
It turns out there is actually an app on for Android smartphones that is different from the popular Play Store, and people all over the world have being using it. I guess me and a lot of other people need to update our knowledge of all things Google.
That is a story for another day I guess. The gist here, which happens to be a big thing for users of the Google app is that, users of the app can now install apps directly from search results. How it used to work was that, after searching for the app you want to install on the Google app, you are redirected to Play Store to complete the installation process.
But according to Android Police, after searching and finding your app, the new feature brings up a small permission window and an install button the way Play Store does. This feature, for now, appears to work only when you are using the Google app. That is, if you search for the app on your Android phone using Chrome browser or other popular Android browser like Safari and Firefox, it won’t work. You would instead get routed to the Play Store.
Apparently this new feature is still in the beta or testing phase, so only some selected devices have being enabled to do it. It seems Google is trying to keep this development under the radar because those able to use this feature did not get any notification from Google.
Because of the silence from Google about this new feature, it is not clear when the service will become general. Or if the whole experiment would be binned as one of those unworkable but bright ideas. It won’t be a new occurrence if the idea is cancelled. Google normally does that a lot to new ideas. If the idea does not work out, it is quietly scrapped without any fanfare.
But the ability to install apps directly from the Google app would make a lot of sense to Google’s business model which depends on a lot of traffic to stay at the top (especially now that the restructuring of the company would see shareholders rewarding any initiative that increases income). This would strengthened the search engine arm of Google to stay relevant on mobile phones. In a world where mobile apps are very dominant in the software niche, it is the financially astute thing to do. Doing this would mean more people would spend more time using the Google app, and of course, more people equates to more money from ads.
For now, the sensible thing for me to do is to go ahead and install the Google app on my phone. It’s about time.