“Streaming” apps is a new thing that Google has been working on in order to improve the search apps on its Android devices. This basically lets Google show you information regarding your search that can be found within apps and isn’t available on the web. But a few questions arise to the matter, especially when talking about the privacy of your data and how will Google’s “streaming” apps affect it.
Google makes money primarily from web searches, therefore arises the constant need to improve their services and to attract more customers. Searching apps is one solution Google is looking into (100 billion in-app links so far), but it isn’t perfect yet and it is still in development. Sources say that Microsoft is working on something similar but their design is not as advanced as Google’s.
How does this innovation affect the customer is another question that has came up. Well, it’s simple, over the last period apps have gained more and more popularity, and there is an app for virtually anything, the browser and open web search are loosing popularity and people don’t use it the way the used to do. The thing about apps is that you either have them and can enjoy all their features (including in-app search), either you don’t, in which case they may as well not exist. In the new design, Google lets you search for results available within apps, even if the app is not installed on your device, presenting the result in a familiar app-like context. Leaving you the decision to install a certain app only if considered necessary.
The downside of app streaming is that at this moment it only works on a few apps that are participating in Google’s app-indexing API, and for an even smaller number of apps that don’t have a Web equivalent. Even more you need a really strong Wi-Fi signal for this to work, by definition this will only work when you are connected, and will consume quite a lot of bandwidth each time you use the streamed version of the app, considering that it has to download the UI and other features every time you access it.