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Apps

Android users will soon be able to install apps to their smartphones directly from Google search results. According to Android Police, Google has begun testing the new feature which will let users bypass the Play Store and directly install an app by performing a Google search.

To try out the feature, open the Google app on any Android phone and search for any app you want to install. Within the Google card, which previously directed users to the Play Store, you will now see an Install button.

If you press the Install button, your phone will ask for the normal permissions that appear with all Play Store app download. If you accept, the app will immediately begin downloading and installing.

The feature hasn’t been rolled out to all Android phones, so there is no guarantee you will be able to directly install the app. Many users are still being directed to the Play Store.

Ryan Whitwam of Android Police speculates the feature is just in testing currently, and will see a wider rollout in the future. He also suggests the feature is likely to be available only in the Google app and not through Chrome.

As online marketing tries to adapt to smartphones and social media, another burgeoning opportunity to establish a brand is growing. Apps are quickly becoming part of every day life for many people, and a new analysis from Localytics shows that people are spending more time with them than ever. In the past year, time spent with apps has risen 21 percent.

Another recent report from comScore also suggests app usage now makes up more than half of the total time people spend with digital media.

According to Localytics’ report, app session has remained fairly constant since the past year, but users are checking in more often. People are not opening apps 11.5 times per month vs. 9.4 times in 2013.

The question most pertinent to readers is whether an app can benefit your business. That answer depends on a few factors. Even local businesses can benefit from apps if they have a tech-savvy audience and they work in the right industry.

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The chart shown above shows which app categories have seen the biggest increases in usage over the past year, while the graph below compares average session length (orange) number of app sessions per month (blue).

Unsurprisingly, social networking apps have the shortest session length, but the highest number of app openings. However the music category saw the most growth in time spent over the past year which shows that users are expecting apps with depth to them in that market.

Localytics_Time-in-App-Engagement-800x391

While the app store may seem to be already flooded with apps, it is clear that smartphone owners are trusting apps more and investing more of their time viewing content through them. But, users are only looking at apps that are relevant to their on-to-go needs and interests.

If you have content or a service that users want on a day-to-day or immediate basis, an app could likely be a smart investment for your brand.