Google today announced a big update to Google Search for Android that will make it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for, even if it’s not on the Web. In short, the company has added app listings, meaning you can now get results based on information inside apps on your device as well as see apps on Google Play.
You can download the new version now directly from Google Play. Yet the best part is that Google also says app listings will show up directly in Chrome and Android browsers (when they’re relevant), no Google Search app required.
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There are two types of app listings, which will appear depending on whether or not you already have the app in question:
- Open in app: For apps you already have on your phone, all you have to do is touch the “Open in app” and you’ll be taken to the page in the app relevant to your search. For this type of app listing, you need to be signed in to your Google Account so Google Search can know which apps you already have installed.
- Google Play buttons: If your search results include relevant apps from the Google Play store, you’ll see them grouped together in an Apps section. Touch the price button to go to the Google Play store, where you can install the app. If you search for the exact name of an app, you’ll see a card with information about the app, and the option to touch “Download” to go to the Google Play store.
It’s worth noting that the “Open in app” feature is currently supported by just 13 apps: AllTrails, Allthecooks, Beautylish, Etsy, Expedia, Flixster, Healthtap, IMDb, Moviefone, Newegg, OpenTable, Trulia, and Wikipedia. Google says that after you download one of these apps, “it may take a day or two for the Open in app button to appear in your search results.”
Furthermore, finding apps in search results is currently only available to Android 2.3+ users in the US who have their language set to English. We’ll keep you posted as Google adds support for more apps (if you’re a developer, you’ll want to sign up here) as well as expands availability to more regions and languages.
Google is making a big move here: the company is trying to make it easier for its users to find information across apps they already use, while also promoting apps they don’t yet have. “Google Search can make your life a little easier by fetching the answer you need for you — whether it’s on the web, or buried in an app,” the company claims.
Google is still very much the king of search, and so this step is by no means a surprise. This feature is great news for Android users, even though it’s still clearly very early in development. Given how many apps most people have installed nowadays, users of other mobile platforms will likely want to know if and when Google will bring it to them too.
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