A Guide to Android Instant Apps

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What are Instant Apps?

Instant apps represent an evolution in app technology. Apart from the obvious convenience of instant, hassle-free use, these apps score high on performance, have superior capabilities, and highly intuitive user interfaces.

The Raison d’etre for Instant Apps

For developers, the instant app offers a solid and viable technology for the hitherto ad-hoc process of getting a user from the mobile web into a native app.

Related Reading : https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/19/17137088/instant-apps-game-developers-google-play-mobile-ads-agones-kubernetes

Distinguishing Features of Instant Apps

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Instant apps are similar to progressive web apps in that it works online. However, some features which require real-time updates, such as opening an account, could be done only when the device used to access the instant app is connected to a network.

How to Develop Android Instant App

To get started building an instant app, download Android Studio 3.0 and install the Instant Apps Development SDK.

Set Up and Use

However, to access Instant apps, the user needs to enable Instant Apps for the account on the smartphone, tablet or any other device through which they access the app.

The option is present in

Settings →

Google Account settings →

Instant Apps →

flip the toggle on, and tap Yes.

Instant apps work just as seamless as the regular app and launches in a similar way to any regular app. The only distinguishing factor from a regular app is the invariable link at the top of the screen, to download the full app.

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Case Studies

Consider the case of Hothead Games, who used instant apps to deliver an intuitive user experience around the Mighty Battles battle game tutorial. Using instant apps allowed the company to improve optimization settings, and reduce the programme size, reducing the ~104MB sized APK to under 9MB. The entire development process took just three weeks to complete.

Vimeo, the popular video sharing platform, enabled instant app support to reduce their 15MB installed app down to a 4MB feature module. Using instant apps removes the unused libraries, and creates a smaller image caching library compared to a conventional app. The instant app replicates the look and feel of the conventional app, and delivers a fine-tuned Android experience. Users have responded positively, as evident from the 130% increase in video sessions and the instant app matching the install rate for the mobile website, within just a few months since its May 2017 launch.

Google’s attempt at bridging the mobile web world with that of native applications holds untold potential for marketers and enterprises of all hues. It enables enterprises to push their apps to their customers and other stakeholders, without requiring too much of an effort or commitment in the form of downloads. However, success depends on developing the app the right way and positioning it perfectly. A competent Android application developer, sound in industry best practices, and with solid exposure to delivering business use-cases, is required to put the technology in action, the right way.

Author Bio:

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Vinod has conceptualized and delivered niche mobility products that cater to various domains including logistics, media & non-profits. He leads, mentors & coaches a team of Project Coordinators & Analysts at Fingent.


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