Google Android KitKat Searches Across Apps, Web

Google's operating system Android 4.4 KitKat, released Thursday, can index the content in apps along with the information the company's crawlers find on the Web, creating a seamless search experience.

The Google search tool indexes searches in apps and displays the results in regular search query results on the engine. Search for a restaurant and Google will return the Web query results -- but also will show options for OpenTable, when the apps are on the searcher's phone. Click the results and the app launches to the restaurant's page to make a reservation.

The technology taps into the Web site's Sitemap file and through Webmaster Tools. If both the Webpage and the app contents are successfully indexed, Google will try to show deep links to your app straight into search results when they are relevant for the user's query and if the user has the app installed. When users tap on these deep links, your app will launch and take you directly to the content needed.

Prospective home buyers searching for new property can simultaneously search for information for open house opportunities on the Web and Trulia, which provides the inside scoop on properties, places and real-estate professionals. The app supports information on more than 4 million real estate and rental listings, with 35 million unique visitors monthly.

Aside from OpenTable and Trulia, Google is testing the feature with a select group of app publishers, such as Allthecooks, AllTrails, Beautylish, Etsy, Expedia, Flixster, Healthtap, IMDb, Moviefone and Newegg.

Google only serves data from installed applications, but will expand the feature to identify the application with additional information not on the phone, and provide an option to install the app from Google Play.

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