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Don’t miss this Google sing along!

If I ruled the world sang Tony Bennett in 1965. It seems that Google has started to hum along adding their own line “….I would be king…”?

There is little doubt that the time has come for you to join this sing along. The original lyrics promised a bright and loving world and that is the path that Google has put itself on. And it is not only Google. Recent revelations by Apple suggest that they are also joining this bandwagon.

ArvoElias 300x224Not quite as urgent as the recent mobile friendly requirement but these changes will most certainly impact on the success of your business. Again our friend has been quite congenial about their intention but is again prodding designers to follow their defined coding methods, layouts, symbols and even colours.

So what is this all about? Both platforms have been using voice recognition assistants to implement searches. Android has had a split screen system for some time now and Apple has recently announced that this, and a few others copied from Android, will be part of their next software release. The point of these features is to allow two applications to run simultaneously in their own windows making our devices multi tasking. I have used this feature on Android and find that idea a great boon and one I would hate to relinquish.

Google’s system is called Google Now and is to be expanded to Google Now on Tap at their next update. The current system works well for searches, news feeds, stock reports and a range of other options.

The intent of the new release is to make the system much smarter.

“Since we launched Google Now, we’ve been expanding the ways it can help and do more of the work for you,” says director of product management Aparna Chennapragada. “You can get notifications like where you parked your car, news stories based on your interests, or help with travel like your upcoming reservations. We’ve also gotten better at giving smarter answers to some of your questions such as ‘Is my flight on time?’ and at helping you get things done across your apps like asking Google to play Sugar on Spotify.”

“We’re working to make Google Now a little smarter in the upcoming Android M release, so you can ask it to assist you with whatever you’re doing—right in the moment, anywhere on your phone,” Chennapragada explains. “With Now on Tap, you can simply tap and hold the home button for assistance without having to leave what you’re doing—whether you’re in an app or on a website. For example, if a friend emails you about seeing the new movie Tomorrowland, you can invoke Google Now without leaving your app, to quickly see the ratings, watch a trailer, or even buy tickets and then get right back to what you were doing.

“If you’re chatting with a friend about where to get dinner, Google can bring you quick info about the place your friend recommends,” Chennapragada adds. “You’ll also see other apps on your phone, like OpenTable or Yelp, so you can easily make a reservation, read reviews or check out the menu.”

When the user taps and holds the home button, Google presents options for its best guess of what might be helpful in the moment. If it doesn’t provide the right thing(s), the user can say, “Ok Google” from any screen or app. If it works as advertised it’s pretty smart. If you’re listening to a band on Spotify, Google says you can simply ask “who’s the lead singer?” and it will get you the answer.

As Google notes, it shows apps from your phone that may help with what you’re doing based on context.

Yes, I can hear you say so what, I am using Apple? The answer is somewhat startling. Google is right now indexing iOS apps and obviously intends to make them readable on Android. The noises from the opposing camp are somewhat similar. Perhaps this is the start of some common sense!

There’s an SEO element to all of this. App indexing. Google recently made App indexing a ranking signal for mobile search results on Android devices, and announced that it’s starting to index iOS apps as well. Google Now on Tap is another reason to utilise app indexing. There is no news yet as to how Apple’s system will perform.

So obviously you will have to have an app presence otherwise you will lose out in a very significant manner. It will also make app search optimisation more critical than ever.

While the announcement comes as a boon to app developers, it also means that it’s now more important than ever for businesses to think about app search optimisation along with SEO, since Google is taking both into consideration for Now on Tap.

Already we have a resource, App Annie, which provides app ranking data and mobile analytics for businesses.

For you it means that if someone, in a far away place, is searching for accommodation in your area you have to have an appropriate app ready and indexed to be thrown up in that search based on these new concepts. The obvious must have feature in your app is an automated booking system link.

If you’ve found app creation to be a waste of time in the past because you didn’t think people would really use your app, this means that people may actually use it more, provided that you can convince them of its usefulness enough in the first place to get then to download it.

Google does say it will have more details about everything once the release of Android M gets closer. In the meantime, I really can’t urge you enough to get your mobile apps indexed, and if you don’t have a mobile app, now is a better time than ever before to have one built. It’s becoming a matter of visibility in Google, and that’s not even taking the Google Play Store into account, which is now doing paid search results like Google Search.

The web is moving at an incredible pace that I suspect can only accelerate. That means the time is now for you to start the planning and creating your app and selling it as hard as you can. The first obvious point of sale would be your web site.

I can vouch for the success of this selling technique from personal experience. A family member has recently launched her business and the income generated by this method is startlingly impressive even at this start up phase.

To produce an app is more difficult than a web site and the technology is different.

Pick a sound developer and start your new voyage now.

Just don’t miss this boat!

Rosie Clarke

Rosie Clarke is managing editor at Multimedia Publishing.

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