Google has enabled app indexing for Safari browser in iOS 9 to surface mobile app content in its search results in Safari. The feature was previously limited to Google Search and Chrome for iOS. In May, the search engine giant introduced app indexing for iOS, but it was made available to only a small group of developers. It is now expanding the service to Safari in iOS 9 by making it compatible with HTTP deep link standards of Apple’s latest mobile OS.
You can see app content in Safari on iOS 9 October-end
Developers can take advantage of Google’s app indexing feature by adding Universal Links to their apps and then integrating with Google’s SDK. The search engine giant said in a Google+ post that users should expect to start seeing app content in Safari on iOS 9 by the end of October. Google said it would no longer support new integration on iOS 7 or iOS 8. The company said on its app indexing page that the app indexing documentation for iOS 9 is now available to the public.
Google search results pages on Android have been showing relevant information from app content for a long time now. For iOS 9, the company showed an example where a search for “Cascal” returns content from Yelp app along with a deep link to open that app. Users can find in-app content directly in search results, or find and install new apps from the search page. Google has been working on app indexing for years, but the initial work was focused only on Android.
Apple blocks iOS 9 News app in China
In a separate report, Apple has confirmed that it has disabled the iOS 9 News app in China due to censorship concerns. China, the second largest market for Apple, has censorship rules that all foreign companies are required to follow to do business in the country. Apple, instead of complying with the censorship, decided to block access to the News app altogether.