At its I/O 2016 conference, Google introduced us to Android Instant Apps. This built-in feature allows users to access a cloud version of an app without having to download it from the Google Play Store. While the technology isn’t yet available to the general public, Google is running a limited test of the technology for a few devices. Here’s how you can opt in and test Instant Apps.
Activating Instant Apps
To enable Instant Apps, go to your phone’s Settings menu, find Google under the Personal category, then select Instant Apps under Services and toggle it on.
Since this feature has limited availability some Android users might not have this option. Reports indicate that Google Pixels running Android 7.1.2 and Nexus 6P devices with Android 7.1.1 installed are able to access Instant Apps.
However, don’t worry if you don’t have any of these phones. Google usually rolls out new updates in waves, so make sure to update your Android OS as often as possible and check for the Instant Apps feature every week.
How to use it
If you manage to activate Instant Apps, simply go to Chrome, search for an application -- so far, Wish, Periscope, Viki, and Buzzfeed are the only Instant Apps available for testing -- look for a search result that includes the word Instant, then click on Open App.
Once you’ve loaded up the app, you can use it like you would any other local app. For example, you can open up the Wish Instant App to access your online shopping account, browse through product catalogs, and even make a purchase right from your phone’s web browser.
But if you want a local version of the application, pull down the Instant Apps Menu and tap on Install.
What’s the reason for the new feature?
The lack of quick and easy access to applications dramatically slows down app adoption rates. Sometimes users just want to access an app quickly, get what they need, and move on.
Another case for Instant Apps is when users are dealing with a crowded WiFi or 4G/LTE connection. In these situations, downloading full applications would take too long, whereas Instant Apps give you access to only what you need without using too much bandwidth.
And although the Instant Apps feature is still in its testing phase, it does present eCommerce and online services companies with new possibilities to market their applications and their business.
The only downside is, users have to be patient for just a bit longer to get their hands on Instant Apps. Fortunately, we’re always on top of the latest Android and Google developments. Contact us today, and we’ll make sure you get Instant Apps the moment it rolls out to all users.