Google acquired a startup called Agawi last year which specialised in creating technology to stream native mobile apps and games from the cloud to devices.
The move is being touted as one which moves users away from downloading apps and using them natively to bringing them back to the web where Google makes most of its money.
Streaming apps from the cloud could be hugely beneficial all parties in the smartphone equation:
- Customers could try apps on the cloud before downloading them hence boosting developer revenues
- Phones would run smoother as the processing power can be significantly reduced
- People will be back on the web which Google just loves.
Google has recently shifted its focus on blurring the lines between web apps and native apps which is where its Material Design philosophy comes in. The company also has Chrome OS which largely harnesses web technology and is even experimenting streaming software such as Photoshop on it.
The company has hinted that Android too will go the web app way in the future and there could be integration between Chrome OS and Android at some point of time.
With smartphone data being pricey and storage space being limited apps need to justify themselves to be downloaded by a user. By streaming them onto a user’s phone, one-time bulk data use will be eliminated and also no storage space will be occupied.
These are two basic roadblocks faced by app only services, however, with apps functioning similarly to websites today, user retention could be low. With an app installed on a device the user is pretty much locked into it, but putting apps on the cloud could change that equation.