The latest buzz in the Android world is about Android instant apps. In the Google I/O developer conference that took place on May 18th, Google introduced this new feature called Android instant apps. Users can use an application without actually installing it on the phone. A problem that google has been facing for some time now is that manufacturers are shipping their phones to customers with old versions of android even though there are latest version available. This is making compatibility issues. Hopefully, android instant apps will solve this issue. Instant applications are web based. There will a link to access the app. So the upsides of this technology is that it will save a lot of storage memory in the phone and it will take care of the old android version problem.
Android instant apps is good news for both developers and users. For app developers, it was always hard to make the users install an application. People just don’t like to waste their phone memory to try out apps. Some tech savvy users would like to test out all apps they see online, but in case of normal users, they always try to minimize the numbers of apps in their phone. In instant apps, the apps are stored in the web and a URL is available to access the app. So you don’t have to install the app to try it out. Simply click on the URL and the app will load. If the user likes it and he feels that it will be useful, he can save the link somewhere. It saves a normal user from the hassle of installing, try out the app and then uninstall if the app is not worthy.
Right now Google supports apps up to 4MB only. Since this is just the beginning, there will be more updates in future which might include approval of apps having more than 4 MB. Android instant apps will be a great solution for using apps which we use only once in a month or two. Let’s say you watch movies once in a month or two, or you travel in a flight once in six months. Installing a dedicated application for movie ticket booking and flight ticket booking is a total waste of time and storage memory. If you use it in rare occasion only and if instant app mode is available for that app, then opting for instant apps is much more favourable for you.
There are no separate API (Application programming interface) for instant apps. The existing API for normal application can be used for developing instant apps too. The app will be gone once we close the instant app. If you need to access it again, you will have to open the URL again. The beauty of instant app is that there is an Install button available inside the instant app. So developers can attract more users via this feature. It is also helpful for users too. If we look at the preview of an app and we like it, then we can download the app instantly and install it for accessing later.
Right at this moment, only a limited number of applications are available as instant app. B&H Photo, Buzz Feed, Hotel Tonight Medium, Disney, Zumperare the apps available right now. If you are a developer, you can test out these apps to see how it is. By the end of this year, it will be opened for everyone and developers can start making their on apps on the Android instant platform.