Google has finally started testing out Android Instant Apps, a mobile application format that it announced during the Google I/O Developer Conference held in 2016.
What is Instant Apps?
Unlike other apps that require users to first visit the Play Store, browse the apps, and then download them on the device, Instant Apps can be accessed directly through the search results. Instant Apps blends mobile web and the native apps, curbing the need to install it on your device.
For example, one of your friends send you a message via a messaging app not installed on your smart phone. You will receive a notification informing you of the message. You can click on the link to view and send the message without downloading and installing the app on your device.
How it works?
Apps that support Instant Apps are available as a deep link in the browser window. You can run an app instantly the moment you click on the app link.
Developers have divided the app into several modules. This means that users won’t have to browse the entire app to access the desired content. For example, if a person wants to go to the recipe section, then he just needs to click on the relevant module to read the specific content.
As of now, Instant Apps supports a few apps like Wish, Periscope and Buzzfeed’s Tasty and more will be added later.
Also, only few devices running on OS version 7.0 (Marshmallow) support Instant Apps. A complete roll out to other devices – current version 4.1 (Jellybean) and above will happen in a few months’ time. This lite version of the app will enable the users to check the ‘demo’ prior to downloading it.
To check if your phone has Instant Apps activated, go to your phone’s menu to Settings > Google Instant Apps > turn on > agree to terms and conditions.
Google Instant Apps will benefit most users. It can save them the hassles of downloading the whole app on their devices. This is true in case of one-time-use apps like flight or hotel booking apps.