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article imageGoogle can now peer inside your apps to get search results

By James Walker     Aug 31, 2016 in Technology
Google has announced that it can now use your installed apps to power search results on mobile devices. It means that searching with the Google app will show you links to content in other apps, such as music tracks in Spotify and notes in Keep.
The new search mode is called "In Apps." It can be selected in the carousel of categories displayed above search result listings in the Google app. Unlike the existing Apps tab, In Apps searches for content inside your installed apps. Apps finds either the app itself or links to new apps in the Play Store.
For compatible apps, Google will now surface content from the app directly into search results, making it easier to find content. You'll be able to find your contacts and messages with a single search. Alternatively, it'll be possible to find music in Spotify, watch a video in YouTube or find a saved task list in Todoist from the Google search bar. In short, content from any supporting app can be found by Google.
Google can now find content within your installed apps
Google can now find content within your installed apps
The feature is available now as an update to the Google app on Android. It is currently compatible with Gmail, Spotify and YouTube. Confirmed future additions include Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Evernote, Glide, Todoist and Google Keep, keeping you on top of conversations, business relationships and notes from a single unified search bar.
Google has sought to avoid any privacy scares that In App searching could create. It said that all searching of personal data and installed apps occurs entirely on your phone. The feature does not send any of your data to Google's servers. This enables In App searching to work even when you're offline, allowing you to find personal results from apps wherever you are.
Initial user comments on the feature are mixed. In comments on Google's blog post, users noted that it currently takes several taps to get to In App searching, reducing its usefulness. You need to open the Google app, start a search, tap "Search phone" and then swipe over to "In Apps" to see results. However, other people appear pleased with the addition, praising it as an easier way to find local content.
Google can now find content within your installed apps
Google can now find content within your installed apps
Google hinted that In App searching could become more prominent in the future. It said that the upcoming LG V20, the first smartphone to launch with Android 7.0 Nougat, will include a dedicated shortcut to In App searching on its home screen and Second Screen. That will certainly make the feature easier to access.
Google suggested this shortcut will expand to other devices in the future, describing the V20 as "the first" phone to support it. It suggests the company will more tightly integrate searching for on-device content into a future version of the Google app, making it easier to find personal files instead of lists of web results.
The feature should be available now, although it may take some time to rollout to all users. It seems to be another step in Google's commitment to making Android easier to navigate, begun with the integration of services such as Google Now and Android 7.0's new Google Assistant.
More about Google, Google Search, google app, Apps, Mobile
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