I asked Siri to search inside an app. Her answer: “I can’t search apps. Sorry about that” –Shouldn’t native apps be searchable?
There is no doubt that apps are here to stay. With the growing number of apps in the different app markets, it is now more obvious that the information that is relevant to us, is now hosted in the web as well as inside the apps.
The latest Android and iOS smartphones now offer voice activated commands. In the case of Siri –the iOS flavor, when the user’s request cannot be resolved, the default action is to offer to search the web.
If I am looking for a Youtube video, a product from Amazon, or a movie review in iMDB, and I have those applications installed in my device, I don’t want to search the web. I know that the information is available inside the apps, but for some reason the success of mobile applications has happen outside of the searchability-grid.
So far, apps are not searchable. When comparing native apps to HTML5 apps, search-ability is definitely an arena where HTML5 apps win. From the search viewpoint, native apps are islands. The app information, private or public, is securely stored in the a way that third party apps can not see it. Ironically, native apps remind me to the Adobe Flashplayer –no offense. Despite the combined efforts from Adobe and Google for providing way to search inside a swift file, discovering content inside a Flashplayer compile file did not work.
For something to be searchable it has to be open (like HTML). Maybe the current versions of Android and iOS are missing a couple of APIs that will allow apps to share public data, and allow any app to link to data inside other apps (like HTML). Until something change, compile native apps will be like black boxes, and we will have to keep jumping from the web the apps.