Currently, application activities are limited to Google applications which are YouTube, Spotify and Gmail, and will soon extend to popular applications like LinkedIn and Facebook Messenger.
How does it work?
In App is an offline feature as it searches on the Android device and not on the internet or cloud. It is similar to Apple’s Spotlight which allows the user to find data directly on the phone. Until now, Google has used Firebase app indexing to help app developers make it easier for Google to search for information online and get redirected to the application. This type of search allows the user to view the app content directly. With in-app search, the user’s search becomes more targeted, as they will only find relevant app information stored on their device.
Let’s discuss 4 ways Google’s in-app search will affect Android app development.
Direct access to the app
When a user enters a relevant search keyword into the app search, all offline data stored on their device in the app is displayed in the results. This not only makes the results more concise, it also allows the user to open the application and go directly to the functionality they are looking for without making more inputs.
Find relevant content where it is stored
Often the searched content is saved in mobile applications and the user does not need to search the web to find it. In the past Google has built indexing apps for web search, with In Apps, this functionality has been brought to the limited range of the user’s device. The user can search for activities, messages, media, contacts and other app-specific information in one place and get faster results. For example, just like the search function on WhatsApp, if the user is looking for some specific information, such as information shared with a friend on Facebook Messenger or a specific note passage stored in Evernote, they can find it directly in the In-App.
Decide on which apps in Apps will work
The user has the ability to decide which applications the In App function will work on. Users also have the ability to add the apps they want to extend the search function to by activating or deactivating the various apps in the Google app Settings. Since then, the app will work offline; the user is protected from sharing their data with Google since private information will not be sent to the server. This gives the user more effective control over their personal data and allows them to decide which information to share and which not. This is especially crucial in the case of sensitive applications such as payment gateways, mCommerce apps and banking applications where the user can safely save their financial details.
Concentrated research efforts
In the past, Google has provided a number of search indexing options that were largely web-dependent. With the new in-app search option, they have finally entered a more concentrated search spectrum that gives users more control over their data. Currently, In App is only available on specific Android devices, but will soon roll out on a larger scale.
Android developers can take advantage of in-app search by integrating this Google device feature directly into their application rather than creating a separate search function within their applications. this will create easier access for the user as well and help the app blend organically with the device.