Steve Momorella

Online Public Relations
Phone: 734-945-7790
08 January 2015
If you’re old enough to remember the earliest days of the internet, before Google was born and search engines and browsers became sophisticated, you may recall carefully typing urls into your address bar one by one. As New York Times tech reporter Conor Doughtery points out in Apps Everywhere, but No Unifying Link, when using discrete apps on a mobile device, we’re back in a similarly unlinked place—circa 1997—largely cut off from the broader internet. But now the race is on in Silicon Valley, Doughtery says, as “companies from tiny start-ups to titans like Google and Facebook are trying to bring the same simplicity to smartphones by teaching apps to talk to one another.”
Google, which makes money helping people search the web and seeks to index the world’s information, has a particular interest is solving the problem. The Google solution involves “App Indexing” technology, which catalogs app pages so that the search engine can retrieve data from mobile apps just as it does from web pages. Twitter has Twitter Cards, which allow the user to go from the Twitter app to another app in his or her phone, and Facebook is trying to “create an open standard of deep links to help apps connect to one another.”
With so many companies now working on deep linking solutions, the competition itself has become a problem. In a sense, this is case in which monopoly might solve the problem faster and better, because “the easiest way to get apps to link as if they were part of the web is to get app developers to adopt one standard that would work across devices and operating systems.”
While the dream of one internet and one mobile platform might not be entirely achievable, it’s clear that mobile apps aren’t going away any time soon—half of time spent online now occurs on mobile apps and the numbers continue to increase year over year. To learn more about how consumers are using mobile technologies to access and share news, download our 2014 Mobile News Survey Report today.
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