Google loves it some Android apps, and why wouldn’t it? App downloads help fuel developer interest, which in turns encourages them to make new apps, making Android a more attractive platform in the process. And when users go and pay for apps, Google’s getting a healthy cut of that money. So it’s little surprise that over the past few months we’ve seen the company introduce some interesting ideas to connect users with apps in ways we hadn’t seen before, like letting them install new apps right from Google search results, or letting them stream select titles before committing to a full-fledged install. Now that latter idea is being taken to the next level, as Google expands its Trial Run Ads program to allow users to play new games for up to ten minutes before deciding to commit.
Sometime in the next few weeks, when looking for apps in Google search, you’ll see a “try now” button for supported titles. Tapping through will bring up a streaming version of the app which you’re free to for an extended ten-minute gaming session. That should give users more than enough time to decide whether or not the game’s up their alley, and when those ten minutes are over, they’re presented with the option to snag the full version right from the Play Store.
Considering all the server-end work that goes into app streaming, it’s only understandable that Google’s limiting the feature to users connecting over WiFi (though maybe one day we’ll see that change as mobile networks evolve).
Beyond these streaming games, Google’s also giving devs the option to deliver portrait-orientation full-screen video ads, and new ad-targeting controls, focusing efforts on active gamers and those who sit down for lengthier play sessions.