Google wants search to motivate mobile users to search for everything it its app, instead of digging around in other apps to find the content they’re looking for.
Back in April, Google announced that its mobile app can also serve as an app launcher, meaning that whenever you search for something specific in the Google app, the search engine will send you directly to relevant content in the correct app. Now, Google is expanding that feature to several music-streaming apps.
For example, if you want to listen to Shakira’s latest album on Spotify, instead of going directly to the Spotify app, you can search the Google app for Shakira and it will suggest a list of streaming apps. Then, you simply tap on Spotify and voila! You’re playing Shakira’s latest single, “Dare.”
Essentially, Google has turned its search engine into a launcher for music-streaming apps. The new feature works with Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Rdio, YouTube, or Google Play. Unfortunately, this new function only works on Android devices in the United States.
The goal is to divert searches for music and artists from streaming apps back to Google’s own app. Although most mobile searches are still made on the popular search engine’s app, mobile users are turning to their favorite streaming apps to find new music more and more instead. With its new focus on mobile “deep linking,” Google hopes to avoid the loss of mobile searches, especially ones for music.
However, Google will have to work harder to convince mobile users that they still need to use its search app. After all, mobile users are accustomed to searching in the relevant app to find the book, song, movie, or product they are looking for, and they are unlikely to change their habits. Most app makers have greatly improved their in-app search functions at this point, so it’s no longer an exercise in frustration to find the content you want in the app itself.
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