First Google created a centralized place to search the web, and now Google has a centralized spot to search your Android phone. The company just announced a new feature for the Google App called In Apps. As its name implies, In Apps lets you search for content inside your Android apps, such as a specific song, contact, or note in Google Keep.
To start, the new feature will only work with a select number of apps, including Gmail, Spotify, and YouTube. Google also has plans to add Evernote, Facebook Messenger, Glide, Google Keep, LinkedIn, and Todoist in the coming months.
All app searches happen on your device itself, not Google’s servers, which means you don’t need an Internet connection to use the feature. It’s not clear how often the app will index your content or how much of a hit it will take on your battery or device performance.
While anyone can get In Apps on a modern Android phone with the latest version of the Google App, the company is also highlighting the feature on new phones. LG’s upcoming V20 smartphone will feature a dedicated shortcut on the home screen to In Apps. Google’s new feature will also work with LG’s pre-installed apps on that phone.
The story behind the story: While In Apps searches happen on your phone, the company is probably gaining some information from the new feature. By studying those search terms, Google can better understand what people typically search for on their phones and then use that data to improve Google Now or better tailor their apps for users. That's just speculation, however.
Regardless, the Google App is now even more central to the Android experience as the go-to spot to find everything from online content to that oven roasted chicken recipe from your mom.