Google Unveils Instant Apps
Instant Apps on the go! Google today unveiled Android Instant Apps, a new project the company is experimenting with that offers users a subset of an existing app. The pitch is simple: Instant apps just launch, no installation required. Tapping a URL can open an Instant Android app even if the user doesn’t have the full app installed.
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Instant Apps, Just Launch, No Installation Required
Google envisions use cases related to visiting a place infrequently, or even just once. An app could offer a superior experience to a mobile site, such as when you want to pay for parking, when you’re visiting a museum, or when you’re spending the day at an amusement park. But most people don’t want to download a full-blown app for such times, nor do they want it to stay on their phone after they’re done with it.
If you close an Instant App, it’s essentially gone. It technically lives on in your cache for a few hours, in case you want to open another such link again, but there’s no app on your home screen. Android can reclaim the space if it’s needed. And, if you do want to keep it around, you can install the full app using the Install button in the instant app’s top right corner.
Although mobile users spend the vast majority of their time in apps, they still visit more websites than apps. This isn’t exactly surprising, as the Web simply has a lot more to offer, but at least some of the reason for this comes down to the friction of app installation. After all, visiting a website can be done in just a tap and in a few seconds, while installing an Android app can take multiple taps and several minutes of going through installation process. That’s a big frustration for developers who have invested significant amounts of time building beautiful and powerful apps.
Android Instant Apps are designed for developers who have already built an existing Android app, not those looking to build one from scratch. “It’s the same Android APIs, the same source code, the same project,” Android Instant Apps product management director Michael Siliski told VentureBeat. “In fact, it’s taken some developers as little as a day to get up and running.”
That said, developers have to modularize their app so that users only download the necessary bits from Google Play. For some, that could take quite a bit more time to complete — it very much depends on the complexity of the app and how the code is structured.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre who is passionate about tech, games, entertainment and lifestyle news. He enjoys writing about anime and many other topics.