Google is possibly testing a feature that would allow users to download apps directly from search results. According to a report by Android Police, certain users are seeing an option to install apps directly from search results, without opening the Play Store separately. Not everyone is probably getting this option, and a worldwide rollout is certainly far into the future.
The report by Android Police goes on to state that this feature might just be working from Google's Search app, and not via Chrome. Some users have also reported that this started happening a month ago or maybe more, and only recently did it start appearing widely enough to be noticed.
To see if you have this feature, open the Google Search app and search for an app. It would appear at the top of the results page along with an install button, like normal. However, once you tap the install button, you should see a permission popup like you would when installing an app from the Play Store. If you do not have this feature, you will be redirected to the Play Store to install the app.
Google isn’t the only company testing out new features. Last month, it was reported that Facebook is testing multiple topic-based feeds on its Android and iOS apps. This allows the traditional news feed to be supplemented with secondary feeds like Style, Travel, and Headlines. This new feed will automatically sort posts and pages followed by a user into different sections, as seen on Facebook’s Paper application. Apart from this, Facebook might also be testing a marketplace feature called Shopping, which would allow users to purchase items from within the application. First reports of Facebook testing a shopping feature was found in October last year, but back then it was buried behind the main sections of the application. The new version of the feature on iOS displays the feature more prominently.