Google Rolls Out Real-World Test of Android Instant Apps in Search Results

Google is finally starting to roll out a real-world test of Android Instant Apps, a technology the company announced almost one year ago at the Google I/O developer conference.

Instant Apps are scaled down versions of mobile applications that can run directly from search results on an Android device — think of it as a way to preview the app before downloading it.

Thus far, Google has been working with a limited number of developers on the Instant Apps project. The company is now ready to show off Instant Apps to Android users for the first time. Instant Apps available at the moment include: BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki.

In what’s being called a limited test, feedback from the initial roll out will be used to refine the product and eventually expand it to more apps.

As far as developers are concerned, utilizing Instant Apps technology doesn’t mean having to develop an entirely new app. Rather, existing apps can be updated following a series of steps outlined by Google.

”To develop an instant app, you’ll need to update your existing Android app to take advantage of Instant Apps functionality and then modularize your app so part of it can be downloaded and run on-the-fly. You’ll use the same Android APIs and Android Studio project… The full SDK will be available in the coming months.”

Google claims thousands of developers are already showing interest in the Instant Apps project, and hopes to grow the experience throughout the year.

Instant Apps are said to render in search results for Android users searching Google on a device running Jelly Bean or higher.

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Originally published at www.searchenginejournal.com on January 25, 2017.