At Google I/O 2016, people witnessed the first look of an excellent new feature of Android called Instant Apps. These Android Instant Apps are proposed to bridge the gap between web apps and native apps. The basic idea of Android Instant Apps is to break native app into small parts because it gets easy for an app to run instantly, and without having to go to the Google play store. Instant Apps allows a user to access a cloud-based version of the app on an Android phone without installing it from the Play Store.
“Users can get to your flagship Android experience from any URL — including search, social media, messaging, and other deep links — without needing to install your app first.” — GoogleThis feature by Android doesn’t only save a user’s time and efforts, but it also benefits a company by providing people a demo of what’s essentially is a full version of a mobile app.
Google started rolling out Android Instant Apps in February 2017. It started moving only to a selected number of users: Nexus 6P running Android 7.1.1, and Pixel and Pixel XL, running Android 7.1.2. But later Instant Apps were rolled out to many additional users. And the good news is Android Instant Apps is now a default feature of Android Oreo 8.0. Earlier you had to enable it in settings first, and now it’s enabled by default on Android 8.0 Oreo.
How Do Android Instant Apps Work?
Android Instant Apps works with some changes in the native apps. A native app is split into small modules, where each module contains compartmentalized portions of the full native app. For example, Buzzfeed’s tasty would put all the information about pasta in one module and information about donuts in another. So now, if anyone searches for recipe videos for pasta, Google play just downloads the pasta recipe section and run instantly. It’s much faster than downloading the whole Buzzfeed native app. Furthermore, the Google Android team at I/O 16 also released a demo video to show how Buzzfeed incorporated Android Instant Apps.
How Can You Boost Your Business with Android Instant Apps?
Easier User Acquisition
Let’s think of a situation where you are in a new city and have no idea about a good place to dine. In this state, you would download a restaurant discovery app, register yourself, look for the food menus and ratings, assure yourself about good food and then enter the place. But, with Instant Apps, such restaurant discovery companies can offer their services where users simply need to tap the NFC chip and users will be taken to the restaurant app right away without having to install it.
Instant apps don’t only benefit a company with a newbie app, in fact, many on-demand apps which are repeatedly used like Uber will also benefit with the instant app. For instance, if a man is standing in the drizzle and wants to book a cab, so instead of waiting for the app to download and then register with multiple steps and then book a cab, he would find the other way more convenient by using the instant app in such critical situations.
Talking about the apps that are used for a specific situation like exploring nearby salons and spas, getting people to download that particular app is one of the biggest challenges startups face. The wait time for the app to download and to take up space in the device of the user can simply turn many users away. In this case, a simple solution is where users can click on a Google search result to use your instant app service, and it ultimately helps you to overcome the hurdle of user acquisition. Therefore, Instant apps help a user to get what they want quickly, and startups can increase user acquisition by offering further features of their full native app.
Better User Retention
Even today entertainment apps are struggling while users have to choose between two good options: native app and mobile web. For example, A user might download the Amazon Prime App rather than using Amazon Prime web for some specific feature or services, but at the time of memory clean up due to less storage, the app would be uninstalled. And the corresponding mobile web page may consist of poorly optimized ads, slow pages which bad user experience. An Instant app will cut through all this unwanted way of acquiring users and take them to what they are interested in. Here entertainment and media apps can offer few attractive suggestions of related content of the native app. It gives a user the reason to download the native app, only when they are fully convinced and also builds trust. This is how users will stick to a product and come back for more.
Better User Experience
When a user taps on the link, within few seconds, they could see the app opened to the desired feature in mobile mode. These added benefits by instant apps are responsive and easy to use.
Online shopping on a mobile page is horrible and the most annoying part for online buyers. As the above example on Amazon Prime, instant apps let users enjoy the User experience. The other example can be Yelp, when we open it on the mobile web page, it says “Open in the Yelp App” which is irritating. It’s completely a trouble if the app is not installed. A common problem faced by the E-commerce business is when people are willing to buy a product from their site but unfortunately, ends up closing the tab due to ads pushing up and bad mobile web experience.
Suffering from all these problems, startups can make use of the benefits through Instant apps.
Which Are the Apps That Will Benefit the Most out of It?
Situational apps like parking apps used while traveling to some other city, event based apps like Christmas carols songs app, shopping apps helping the user from hassle free shopping, split choice apps like media and entertainment apps will benefit the most out of it.