Last year, Google unveiled Android Instant Apps at its I/O 2016 developer conference. Think of Instant Apps as a subsidiary of an existing app that launches instantly, saving you from the rigmarole of a traditional Play Store installation. And now, it’s one step closer to reality. Google just announced that some of company’s first Instant Apps are available to Android users in a limited test.
Usually, if you want to use an app on your mobile device, first you have to download and install it. With Instant Apps, tapping on a URL can open an app, temporarily loading the full software functionality even if the app isn’t installed in your mobile. Such options are needed when you only want to perform a single action or get specific pieces of information, for instance, paying for something using the app in a country you don’t often visit.
The first companies get to try out Instant Apps include BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki. Last year at Google I/O, the company said it has about half a dozen partners trying Instant Apps, including Buzzfeed, B&H Photo Video, Medium, Hotel Tonight, Zumper, and Disney. However, Google said in order to refine the users and developers experience the company is now working with a small number of developers.
Google plans to expand the experience to more apps and users after collecting feedback. Google also said there are thousands of developers interested in these types of apps. Also, the company has plans to make the full SDK available in the coming months.