Google Play Store Showcases Android Instant Apps with “Try Now” Button
Android Instant Apps were first showcased in Google I/0 2016. The premise was great: users could try out apps without the hassle of actually installing them. Instant Apps worked by breaking down a native app into small parts, which could be loaded faster and downloaded, then executed quickly. It displayed the UI screen for an app, and as soon as it was closed, it was removed and and did not need to be uninstalled, because it hadn’t been installed in the first place.
However, the big problem was that users haven’t actually seen Android Instant Apps in action. The feature has been lying dormant since I/O 2016. In I/O 2017, Google made the feature available to all developers, but there was still zero adoption of the feature. Despite limited live testing, some started to believe Instant Apps was becoming “vaporware”.
In May, we saw that Google was preparing to bring them to the Play Store, and now, it’s vaporware no more, as Google has announced that Android Instant Apps have now been brought to the Play Store with a prominent “Try Now” button that is displayed alongside the Install button.
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Right now, there are very few apps which support the Android Instant Apps capability. However, this feature has the potential to explode in popularity for “single-use” apps, and it can also add an extra layer of competition in the Play Store as developers will offer a way for users to painlessly try out their apps without commitments. It can also be useful for budget devices which have a low amount of storage (16GB or less), and will definitely prove useful in situations where data connectivity is not optimal (as the full app doesn’t have to be downloaded to the phone).
It’s obvious that wider support is needed to accelerate the adoption and use of Instant Apps on the user side of things, but once this happens, it’s a win-win situation for all parties involved. There will be less hassle involved in the app experience, developers should experience increased app downloads and installations because the user is already familiar with the app’s functionality, and Google benefits from increased user involvement in terms of revenue.
Want to try out Instant Apps? Go to the Play Store to see and use Instant Apps highlighted on Google’s new promotional page.