Imagine if opening a new website on your Mac required a significant download/install process before you could access the content. This is one of the biggest benefits the web has over native apps. Google’s new streaming option offers a patchwork remedy to this problem. My understanding is it works like OnLive, the video game streaming service. Essentially, Google servers run the app in question and stream an interactive video feed of the app to your phone or tablet screen. It’s interesting, clever, technology. Like OnLive, I assume this suffers from the same lag and latency issues inherent in a process of sending live video and receiving user input. It’s a decent solution for a quick skim when Google searching but frustrating for anything more serious or long term.
On an infinite timescale, download speeds and compute power will be so fast that downloading apps will be as speedy as opening a webpage.