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How Google Now on Tap will make your business apps gush

Google Now on Tap is a stupid name for a very smart product. The forthcoming feature of Android, revealed at the Google I/O developer event, looks set to transform the way we use apps.

The concept of Now on Tap is that it lets you perform Google searches within Android apps. An example of a use case given by Google is that if you’re messaging a friend in an app about seeing the new movie, Tomorrowland, you can call up the Google Now search to quickly see ratings, watch a trailer, or even buy tickets – without having to leave the messaging app.

Now on Tap, which will initially be available for devices running Android M, promises to significantly speed up the way you use your phone or tablet. There will be no more quitting out of apps to perform a Google search.

But what does this mean for business apps? Now on Tap could have some great time-saving advantages that will boost your productivity. For example:

Email

Imagine you’re having a Skype conversation on your phone with a client and you’re looking to schedule a meeting at a restaurant. With Now on Tap you’ll be able to simply hold down the home key on your device to quickly call up Google Now, choose a restaurant, book it and schedule it into your Google calendar.

CRM

Google Now on Tap should allow you to work with your mobile CRM app much quicker. Say, for example, you’re viewing a client contact in the Insightly app and you wanted to quickly look up more information about the company they work for, with Now on Tap you’d be able to call up Google instantly and find company information, or even show you directions to their office from where you are, without leaving the Insightly app.

Project management

If you’re working within a project management app such as Wrike, managing tasks can be made much simpler by Google Now on Tap. If you’re working on a task where someone requests a product that needs to be ordered, for example, you can call upon Google to find that product, read reviews and make a purchase without ever leaving the Wrike app. Then you’d simply return to the task and mark it as done!

Google Now on Tap could make working on tasks in project management apps much easier

Integration between apps

One of the most promising aspects of Now on Tap is that it will show you other apps on your phone that may help what you’re doing based on your context. For example, you may be using the Zendesk app to view a customer support ticket and could jump straight into an Android CRM app to access customer details, pull up your accounting app, or dive into your HR app, without having to quit out of Zendesk.

Its still unclear exactly how app developers will get their apps to integrate in this way with Now on Tap, but the potential is huge, especially since business app developers are already generally hot on integrating with other services.

Google on Tap running through Android M looks set to transform the way people use their devices. It’s still in development and I’m excited to see it in action to get an idea of exactly how much time and effort it will save when doing business on the move. The use cases are certainly there, though.

Tapped in?

I’d be interested to know how others feel about the Google on Tap feature. For example, would this feature help persuade you to make the switch to Android from iOS – a platform which is quickly breaking apart all its Google integration?

Categories: Trends
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James Thornton :James is chief editor at GetApp Lab. He has worked as a software journalist for the last 15 years, documenting everything from the rise of the smartphone apps to the impact of cloud technology of modern business. He's excited about how apps are shaking up the worlds of HR, sales, and business intelligence.