Google Search update bridges the gap between its Android browser, apps

Google search update for Android
Playing nice with apps

Google Search for Android has been updated today, making sifting through search results easier when the content you want is locked away in an app.

"Starting today, Google can save you the digging for information in the dozens of apps you use every day, and get you right where you need to go in those apps with a single search," wrote Scott Huffman, Google VP of engineering.

Racking your brain to figure out the name of "that holiday movie with James Stewart in it?" Searching for exactly that will bring up results for "It's a Wonderful Life."

This includes a search result for movie database IMDB, which features a convenient "Open in app" button.

There's an app for that, and here it is

Even better, when you don't have a particular app and it's relevant to your search, the results will include a Google Play price button on the page.

If it's a free app, it'll just say free, and if it costs money, it'll spell out the price. This leads to either the company's app store in the Google Play store app or goes through its Chrome browser, your choice.

Google search update

Downloadng apps you need is now easier too

Compatibility rolling out

So far, Google's new app-infused search results functionality is compatible with 12 other well-known apps including Allthecooks, Etsy, Expedia, OpenTable and Wikipedia.

However, it's only available in the US and on devices with the language set to English and running Android 2.3 or higher.

We asked Google when it'll arrive in the UK and Australia, and we'll update this story as soon as we receive a reply. Seeing how video and music content aren't a factor, hopefully that answer is "soon."

The company also warned that it might not work right away after downloading one of the compatible apps, as the results can take a day or two to show up for the first time.

These are small prices to pay for the convenience of not having to search for something and then close the browser to open the app, and go back again all of the time.

Matt Swider