Google announced ‘Instant Apps’ for Android in Google I/O last year. This year, the search giant updated ‘Instant Apps’ and made it available for developers — so that they can start making them. From the term ‘Instant Apps’, people think that they are designed to replace the traditional tools. However, Instant Apps are not designed to replace full-fledged apps but are the light weight versions of their native counterparts. Instant Apps offer similar experiences as native apps, while taking less space on your device.
What are Android Instant Apps?
Android Instant app is an update to your existing Android app that makes it possible for people to access a wider range of apps. Some of the features of Instant apps are –
a.) They can be accessed from anywhere including – social media, messaging, search and other links without the need of installing them.
b.) Instant Apps for android let users experience immersive and beautiful apps without installing them on the device.
c.) Instant apps work on all the latest Android devices. Google said that the instant apps will make the apps accessible for users with devices dating back to Jelly Bean.
d.) Instant apps are an upgrade to your existing Android app, and not a separate app.
e.) Customers who use ecommerce apps to make a purchase have immediate access and are already logged in. This allows easy checkout with Instant access to Android Pay.
However, we are not sure how Instant Apps are going to affect Google Play. According to Google, they are effective tools for full apps and their use will not affect the Google Play figures. It will be interesting to see if the usage rates of Instant App will be affected during future announcements.
Google is launching Instant Apps just as a trial with aforementioned apps. Google collects user feedback to see how these apps work in real world. Developers can get ready for the launch of Instant Apps by modularizing their app into easy components. However, the full SDK won’t be available for a few months. Once developers have done this, it might take a while to implement it depending on the structure of app.
Android Instant Apps are very beneficial for users as they make some actions easier and quicker. Whether it is paying for parking or finding a recipe, it could easily change the way people use their devices. According to recent reports, Android Instant Apps will work with Android devices running Jelly Bean and above.
Should you start building an Instant App?
If there is a way to make native Android apps accessible and quicker to launch without the need of installing on the device — would you ignore it? If you have a tool that makes it possible to revise the entire source code of your app, wouldn’t you give it a try?
Google has created a way to do this — and the way is called ‘Instant Apps’. Android Instant Apps are smaller subsets of app that allow you to download/access single features/pages of your app without installation. Instant Apps will roll out to the users from next year. As said above, Google already made it available for developers on limited basis to test its functionality.
Now, the question is “should developers start building Instant Apps”?
No doubt, developers should start developing an Instant App by heading over to developer.android.com and download the latest preview of Android Studio 3.0. Developers can continue using single codebase. Developers are provided with all the tools to modularize their app so that the features can be downloaded as needed.
Instant App development takes about 4-6 weeks. Once the app is built, Play Console provides support for distributing instant app. Developers just needs to upload the instant app APKs together with installable APK. Instant Apps continue to ramp up on the latest Android devices around the world.
There are many benefits of developing Instant Apps, some of which are user acquisition, better UX, improved user retention and enhanced accessibility. Instant apps are likely to have the best ASO practices. Millions of app developers want to see their app in search results and hence, the competition continues to be furious.
App developers should try to optimize their app in every possible way to handle competition. Instant apps are great idea to make apps available for users anytime without installing them.
Instant apps are a great idea, especially for gaming apps. Instant apps are perfect for those who don’t have a website. The app content gets accessible from search and can open it just like a website. However, if you have a website that is already reachable by URLs, there is no reason to implement instant apps.
If the instant apps will perform well, it is likely to bring a lot of change in gaming apps with big APK size. As it is just a beginning, we are not sure of how successful it is. But, one thing we can say is that the user experience is going to improve in future with the launch of Instant Apps.
If you want to be part of early testers, you can just sign in the Google form and you will receive the updated documentation. Google will announce the selected developers for early access to Android Instant Apps. The ultimate goal of Instant App is to make it easier for developers to get Android apps in the hands of users, convincing them to download the apps.