Google’s “Instant Apps” could revolutionize the way Android users and developers interact with mobile applications.
Google’s announcement of “Instant Apps,” which will allow mobile users to use an application without installing it, at their annual I/O conference has stirred excitement among the app developer community.
Smartphone users might avoid downloading an app for any number of reasons: because it takes too long to download, it sucks up too much memory space, or because the user is only interested in one specific feature. Instant Apps addresses all of these concerns, allowing users to access selected features through Google Play without downloading the entire app.
At their I/O conference, Google presented an example use case in which a mobile web user clicked a Buzzfeed Video link to view a recipe and was instantly transported to the appropriate portal of the application — without the wait time that downloading the app would normally necessitate. In another presented scenario, a shopper was able to purchase a camera bag in just three clicks with the Instant App feature available through B&H’s mobile web browser.
In a discussion with TechCrunch, Google’s Director of Project Management Michael Siliski explained the virtues of Instant Apps’ seamless user experience. “There are classes of apps that are better as a native app but aren’t being experienced like this because of the install hurdle,” Siliski said. Instant Apps will essentially remove that obstacle by allowing mobile Web users to enjoy only the features of the app they find most useful.
Obviously, smartphone users stand to benefit from the Instant App experience. Developers, however, have even more to gain.
Developers Dig It
As Sarah Perez of TechCrunch notes, 85% of smartphone users spend the majority of their time in apps — but only 5% of third party apps see heavy use. Instant Apps may increase traffic to neglected apps by allowing mobile users to discover and experience them without the commitment of installing them directly to their smartphones.
In addition to the obvious benefits for users, Instant Apps may represent a huge boost to developers struggling to attract interest to their mobile applications in Google Play’s oversaturated app store. With Instant Apps, developers can easily share mini-versions of their mobile application without having to climb the app store rankings. Sweetening the deal, Google is working to ensure that developers will be able to add Instant App functionality to their mobile applications without completely rewriting their source coding.
Its seamless functionality and ease of use could make Instant Apps a groundbreaking development for app builders and smartphone users alike. Google is well aware of the high stakes surrounding its launch, and are taking their time to ensure that the rollout goes as smoothly as possible. “There are a lot of changes to the developer experience and we want to make sure we get this right,” Siliski says. Once released, Instant Apps will be backwards-compatible, and thus able to run on any device operating Jelly Bean or newer software. As for the timeline, Google hopes to make Instant Apps available to Android-equipped smartphones by the end of the year.
With the increased discoverability and accessibility of apps facilitated by Instant Apps, there’s no better time to get your own app off the ground. Use AppMakr’s simple and affordable DIY platform to get the ball rolling, and your app could soon be just a click away.
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