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Google crams fully-functional smartphone apps into mobile ads

Streaming technology will pipe 60-second app trials directly to your phone.

You probably ignore most of the mobile ads that pop up on your smartphone -- "Cookie Jam" may promise to be a engaging, fun experience but you're not going to hunt down the app to find out for yourself. Now you don't have to: starting today, Google will embed 60-second trials of smartphone apps directly into some of its mobile ads.

It works a lot like PlayStation Now: Full versions of the apps run on virtual machines on remote servers and stream the full experience to the user's phone over the internet. It's not exactly what we expected when Google said it was working on streaming app trials, but it makes a lot of sense: "Try before your buy" is sort of a silver bullet for advertising. Google says it could also help reduce the number of unused apps lingering on user's smarpthones. If you already know it doesn't work for you, you're not going to download it just to "try it out." Ads featuring the short trials launch today. Come across one? Let us know what the experience was like in the comments section below!

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