Google And The Need For Native Apps

By Aglaia Staff

Google (GOOGL)announced today that its search engine will now display content on Android apps even if the app itself is not installed on the device.

“That doesn’t mean it will point you to some functional mobile web version of the app – “streamed” apps are actually running on virtual machines on Google’s cloud platform, and respond to your taps and touches similar to how native applications do,” Sarah Perez wrote in Techcrunch.

The app loads in a virtual machine on Google’s cloud platform, and the client – the Google app that runs on your phone – sends up the touch interactions to the cloud machine. And that cloud machine executes those touch interactions, renders the app and sends the pixels back down to the client.

But while the focus here is on search and Google’s fight to retain dominance, streaming apps represents the next step in how software technology evolves and is accessed. In other words, there is no need for the law of diminishing returns in the mobile device hardware war when all the processing is done in the cloud. It’s natural for consumers to gush over technical specs but technology is almost coming full circle; we could potentially be moving back towards “dumb terminals” that just relay information rather than process it.

The rise of services that can be accessed anywhere over the Internet, as opposed to on one device, is leading to a new wave: the feed-based OS. This OS can tap any number of cloud services through federated APIs. – James Higa, Index Ventures

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