You can now use some Android apps without downloading them

Cloud streaming  is a concept that has existed for years, but has never reached widespread adoption because of its high-speed and low latency requirements. Most homes don’t have the bandwidth to support cloud-streaming. However, in the rare cases where all the requirements are fulfilled, cloud streaming can be really useful, can can enable the execution of intensive programs on just about any device without installation.

Now, Google is rolling out a feature in Google Search that enables you to use Android apps without downloading them. Here’s how it works: You search for something on Google, and you see a result with ‘Stream’ listed next to it. You click on the ‘Stream’ button, and a  page opens where you see the app. You then proceed to use the app normally. The nitty gritty of it is that the apps run on Google’s servers, and the video-feed is sent to your phone. Your inputs are then sent to the server, and the results are displayed on your screen.

Since there’s a lot of back and forth between the server and your device, a high-speed, low latency Internet connection is required for a smooth experience.

Right now, the feature is in beta, and supports a handful of apps. Support may improve in the future.

What do you think? When will cloud-streaming be viable?


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