Google does things—a lot of things. For two years now, the company has been indexing the content inside of apps. This way it can point you to other Android apps when they can better provide answers to your query than a general website. Google says 40% of searches done on Android bring up app content.
But there remained two issues with this approach. One, Google could only display information from apps that had matching content available on the web. Two, opening results required installing said app if you hadn't done so already.
Now Google will begin showing content that exists only in apps, and it will start offering you the option to stream apps that you don't have installed.
Here you can see Google pulling up results from the HotelTonight app that appeared when searching for a "hotel right now in chicago."
Right now Google has worked with only a few app makers in addition to HotelTonight, such as Chimani, Daily Horoscope, and New York Subway. Keep an eye out for more partners to appear going forward.
- Google Inside Search