Google reportedly tests new Android app install feature directly from search results

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Google has pushed a new app install function for some Android users that cuts out the need to jump to the Play Store.

The new feature, first reported on by Android Police, is available in the Search app, though it seems like its use case could easily find a spot in browsers and other apps.

Until now, Android users were forced to open the Play Store whenever they found something worth downloading in the Search app. Clicking an install button in Search would open the corresponding Play Store page rather than automatically downloading the app. iOS and the Apple App Store have a fairly similar process.

Now, though, it appears that some users have a different experience for installing apps from Search, a sign that Google could be piloting a new feature with a small group before pushing it to everyone else.

For those with the new function, searching for an app will bring it up as the top result in Search. Clicking the "free" button will then bring up a Play Store-branded popup with screenshots and an "install" button, and the rest of the search results moderately blacked out in the background. Clicking install brings up the set of permissions for the app, and clicking the "accept" button from there begins the installation.

Google could streamline the entire app installation process across its search functions and Web browsers if it decides to further implement the capability across other apps.

If IT managers are worried that the process could promote even less thought from their employees about potentially installing damaging apps, there's no need. While a lot of apps that run on Android can mask malware, the Play Store is generally well policed, and this new function seems to source its apps directly from there.

For more:
- read the original report from Android Police

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