Google advances app indexing and app streaming, Microsoft puts Android support on hold, Dunkin’ Donuts enters mobile ordering fray and more
Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.
Google Advances App Indexing and Launches App “Streaming”
Last week, Google announced improvements to its app indexing, which no longer requires apps to have corresponding web content in order to be indexed by the search engine. The company also unveiled app streaming, which allows users to link to and use apps even if the app isn’t installed on their device. “Streamed” apps are hosted in Google’s cloud and are intended to function as if installed natively on a user’s device.
Additionally, Google is indexing the massive Facebook ecosystem. Searches from Android mobile devices will now include Facebook content from public Profiles, Pages, Groups and Events. Users who click on a Facebook link will be directed to the full content hosted within the Facebook app.
Google’s Voice Search Gets a Bit Smarter
Google also announced improvements to its voice search, which competes with digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Google’s assistant is now able to understand more complex questions and is better at interpreting natural language. The app is now capable of breaking down a query in order to understand the semantics and figure out the overall intent. That means users can phrase questions the way they might ask a human, and are more likely to receive an accurate answer.
Apple and Google Announce App Store Updates
Developers and industry analysts have noticed a number of changes in the way the Apple App Store returns search results. These results are now more extensive and relevant thanks to several updates, which have been quietly rolling out over the past few weeks. New app rankings are dependent on a mix of contextual keywords and partial keywords, along with competitor brand names.
In other store news, Google plans to expand its Google Play ad labelling requirements to go into effect for all apps by January 11. After this date, developers will be required to make an ads declaration before their apps will be updated in the store. That means users will be able to see if an app has banners or pop-up ads prior to installing. Additionally, Google has lowered the minimum cost of Android apps and in-app purchases in 17 countries.
Microsoft Puts Android App Porting On Hold
In April, Microsoft announced plans to allow developers to run Android and iOS apps on Windows. However, the company has put its Android app porting initiatives on hold. It is unclear whether or not Microsoft will pick back up on the project, but, in the meantime, the company continues to work on its iOS porting tools.
Dunkin’ Donuts Tests Mobile Ordering
Dunkin’ Donuts is testing on-the-go ordering and delivery services in an attempt to catch up with competitors, such as Starbucks, that have gone all-in on mobile to boost brand loyalty and increase sales. Dunkin’ will begin offering mobile ordering in 124 locations in Portland, Maine and will test delivery services in 19 locations in Dallas.