What are Android Instant Apps?

Google's latest innovation could change how we use our smartphones...
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What are Android Instant Apps?

Apps without installation

Apps as we know them are evolving, with a little help from Google. Instant Apps let Android users run apps immediately without having to download them, providing the same great experience without having to wait for a download. But how does it work? This is everything you need to know…

Through a Google search

Lets say you’re shopping for something on Amazon on your smartphone, but you don’t have the Amazon app installed. By clicking a link on Google, you’d normally be taken to Amazon’s mobile site. With Instant Apps, however, you’ll instead be taken to Amazon’s app, but just the part of the app you need.

This means you’ll quickly be able to navigate through the product’s description and onto payment without having to download the full thing from the Google Play Store.

Through a shared link

In this instance, your friend sends you a link to something interesting on BuzzFeed you simply need to see, but you don’t have the BuzzFeed app installed on your phone. By clicking the link, you’ll be taken to an app version of that page, loading quicker than the website and in app-form.

Through NFC

In a more everyday scenario, think about the apps you’ve installed, used once, and have never needed again.

If you’re using NFC for contactless payment at a parking meter, with Android Pay, for example, you might be asked to install that specific parking meter’s app before you can continue. With Instant Apps however, you’ll be able to simply tap, use the part of the app you need, and go about your day without the fuss of downloading and inevitably deleting later. Simple.

When will Instant Apps be available?

At the moment, Google is encouraging developers to get on board with its streamlining app experience, but it could be a little while before it’s rolled out. App developers will need to write the code allowing it all to work seamlessly, but we’ll keep you up to date as and when we hear more.

Got any questions? Drop us a comment below.

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