Back in May, Google added a feature called App Indexing to iOS through its own Google app and its Chrome browser. App Indexing is a feature that will display in-app content through a browser search and then kick you to that app when you tap on it. Later this month, that feature will be added to Safari, too.
Google says that App Indexing is compatible with the HTTP deep link standards found in iOS 9. This means that when you search for content using the Safari browser, you’ll see content found within an app, and you can then jump to that app to view the content by tapping on the search result. This should result in a better user experience because you’re using an app designed for your platform rather than a mobile website.
In order to add this feature to an existing iOS app, developers need to add Universal Links to their app and then integrate with Google’s SDK. For us consumers, Google says that we’ll start seeing App Indexing in Safari at the end of October.
As I mentioned before, the addition of App Indexing to Safari is a big deal because generally, a dedicated app is going to offer a better user experience than a mobile website. And even though the Google and Chrome apps on iOS have had this feature for months, some folks just use Safari because it’s built in to iOS. Now they’ll get to see what App Indexing is all about, too.