Quite late last year, Google is said to have acquired Agawi, a startup that has developed technology to use and stream mobile apps over the web without downloading them first. There was no news about the acquisition until it was out by The Information recently.
Agawi which stands as acronym for ‘any game, anywhere, instantly,’ is said to hold technology that nearly eliminates latency when streaming apps from a server. The service helps users stream mobile apps and games from the cloud on their smart phones without the need to download them beforehand. Apart from the Android apps, it can stream Windows PC games to an Android or iOS handset and connected TVs.
Google spokesperson directly confirmed the news saying “The Agawi team has joined Google. We are not sharing other details.” Even before confirmation many signs pointed it to be correct. The clues include that Agawi is no longer a live business, its twitter has not been updated for long, three former employees of Agawi have now listed to be working in Google on LinkedIn. People familiar with Agawi said that Google may take around a year or more to work the technology into Google’s prevailing software stack.
Sources say that the acquisition supports Google’s efforts to work on improving its game in the mobile software development space. The main reason behind the acquisition may involve turning the Web into an app-like environment. Through this, Google could attempt its first move to shift users away from downloading native apps and towards the Web for their entertainment purposes. Though that move can pose problems for those who do not have good access to mobile internet, Google is trying to address the problems with its two-year old Project Loon.
Another reason could be Google may want to introduce ‘try before buying it’ kinda apps, which would allow users to test out applications from the before paying for the app or downloading it. Such a system may benefit developers, who look to make more money. Also, if Google plans to move away from native apps in favor of streaming, this system would eradicate the need for developers to make note of the app compatibility, since it is the servers that handle the load instead of the mobile device itself.
It has to be noted that Google on long term has been trying to make web apps more user-friendly, and has even been promoting mobile apps on its website that are important. Also, Google introduced app indexing on iOS few months back, and recently launched new report types for indexed apps in Google Search Console.