Google announced on Monday the release of version 10.0 of their Firebase App indexing programming interface (API), which will now allow mobile application developers to integrate content from their mobile app into search results.
Last September, Google announced a new way to search for content on Android devices. Product manager Timo Mertens, explained the new feature as a “new way for you to search for information in your apps on your Android phone.” The new search mode, called In Apps, can search and find content from apps already installed on an Android phone. To access this feature, users simply visit their Google App on their Android phone and click the In Apps tab. The new feature initially only worked for apps such as Gmail, Spotify and Youtube. Now, the In Apps feature now available to all Android developers and Android mobile apps.
“Starting with version 10.0, the Firebase App Indexing API on Android lets apps add their content to Google’s on-device index in the background, and update it in real-time as users make changes in the app,” Google software engineer Fabian Schlup wrote in a blog post.
Google also wanted to highlight and respect user’s personal information and privacy with this new technological update.
“The personal content index only exists on the user’s device. None of the user’s personal content is uploaded to Google servers and it only remains on the device while the app is installed,” Google explained.
Google explains their mission with this new feature is to help increase user engagement on Android apps by providing more personal content in the In Apps feature.
“Integrating with Firebase App Indexing helps increase user engagement with your app, as users can get back to their personal content in an instant with Google Search,” Google explained in their blog post.
Google is working on making their features more user-friendly. Last October, Google announced changes to how they feature search results and how the company ranked its search listings. Google explained they will be using a new mobile-first index – Google will rank its search listings based on the mobile version of the content, even for desktop users. This change comes as more people are using their mobile phones to search the web rather than traditional laptops or desktop computers.
Google explained, “Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”