For the last two years, Google has been showing Android users relevant content from apps they have installed on their phones and tablets. Now, it’s also bringing this feature to iOS users and apps.
Last month, Google started showing results from Android apps that users didn’t have installed on their phones, something it will now also do for iOS users. Just like on Android, this new feature will bring a whole new app discovery mechanism to Google Search for iOS users.
As Google’s senior director of its developer product group Jason Titus told us, there is only so much integration Google can do for iOS users because it can’t know exactly which apps you have installed on your iPhone or iPad. Titus, however, also tells us that the company is working with an initial set of partners to make sure that the experience is as seamless as possible.
That being said, other interested developers are being provided with information on how to set up their app to be included in app indexing when the technology becomes more broadly available. Google shared instructions on how to do this on a blog post it published this morning. Developers who want to have their iOS app indexed by Google will have to add deep linking support, then make sure it’s possible to return to Search results with one click, and provide deep link annotations on their site, says Google.
In addition, they’ll also need to let Google know they’re interested in having their app included by filling out an online form here. However, note that simply filling out the form doesn’t guarantee that Google will begin indexing your app; the company will be rolling out the technology to app publishers on its own terms.
Google says the indexed links from an initial group of apps it’s been working with will begin appearing on iOS in the Google search results in both the Google App and in Chrome for signed-in users worldwide in the weeks ahead.