Some Android users are reporting the ability to install an application from Google’s search results, instead of having to open the Play store app to complete installation of an app.
First reported by Android Police, it appears the new feature is currently in limited testing. Some users report having had access to the feature since early December.
When asked about the new feature, a Google
spokesperson told Fortune, “We’re always experimenting with ways to provide the best search results and help you find the content you need as easily as possible.”
Information regarding the size of the test group or possible timing of a wide-scale release, if the feature makes it through the testing phase, wasn’t available.
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You can check to see if your Google account has the new feature by launching the Google search app or tapping on the preinstalled search bar on your Android device’s home screen.
Next, search for an application’s name. One of the top results should include a picture of the app next to a link to install the application. Tapping on that link will either launch the Play store, where you can then install the app as you normally would, or immediately display the familiar application permissions prompt directly atop the search results. If the latter scenario occurs, you have access to the new feature.
Oddly enough, the feature doesn’t appear to be available when searching through Google’s Chrome web browser.
For more on Google’s push for cheaper Android phones, watch:
This isn’t the first time Google has attempted to improve upon the search experience for mobile users in relation to third-party applications. Developers can opt in and allow Google to search and index data stored within an application, similar to how the company indexes data stored on websites.
Read more: Fortune’s review of Google’s Nexus lineup
With app indexing, a user can search Google and instead of being directed to an application’s website or the landing page of the app, Google can take the user directly to a specific page within the app. For example, the search results for a local restaurant will include the option to open the restaurant’s information page in Foursquare or Yelp instead of a website.