We’ve talked a lot here at AVC over the years about the difference between web and mobile and the pain points around mobile web and getting users to download your native app and the challenges of dealing with all of this stuff. Deep linking and app constellations are part of the solution but the mobile environment remains a far cry from the web where you could follow links all day long and never need to download anything.
Google, which has a strategic interest in making mobile more like the web, is working on something called App Streaming which allows a user to get the benefit of a native app experience without having to download the app. Here’s a blog post that talks about how all of this works.
This is still pretty experimental but I think its an important tool for companies who are struggling to grow users/usage on mobile.
I started writing about deep linking in mobile apps in mid 2012 and it took many companies, including Apple and Google, two to three years to implement deep linking in a way that makes it truly ubiquitous to users.
I hope it won’t take as long for app streaming to come to market and get adopted by the mobile operating systems and app developers. The more we can do to make the mobile experience web-like the better in my view.