Google's Android Instant Apps Explained: This Is Going To Be A Developers Delight!

       These days we see a lot of young app developers jumping into Android development space, which for them could lead to developing their own business, brand or to help others by offering some educational content. Some of these enthusiasts are kicking off in creating some of the greatest apps, that offer great content at the tip of your hands, though no matter how much appealing or seducing the content might be, the thing what they lack is exposure. Which is why many such developers are found investing too much or at the end giving up as the thing they once built isn't taking off. Let's be honest there are millions of apps in Google's Play store, while most of us generally use 20-30 apps which are more than enough to fulfill our requirements, we generally tend to see how a single app can offer more compared to 2-3 apps, So that's how An App gets it's so called "Place" on our device, isn't it? I'm not saying that Developers, who have fewer installations via Play store are offering boring content, in fact your content is hands down excellent, but if you need to fulfill that "20-30 apps" space on a regular Android user's device, you have to offer something extraordinary right? So joining that just two days ago, Google has announced something extraordinary that's going to solve this problem and brainstorm the entire Android app ecosystem, which will give developers an additional way to drive more installations at a fast pace and for free! So this is what that got announced at Google IO 2016 in the term of "Android Instant Apps." What it's all about? Let's dive deeper, whereas devs you don't want to miss this.

Android Instant Apps:

         No, it isn't something like Facebook's Instant articles, but the intention behind this program is the same, which is trapping you in their ecosystem. So Android Instant Apps is a term that lets you open any respective area of any app on your device without installing that same particular app. So let's say your friend sends you an in-app purchase link from Amazon, but when you tap on that link, you're redirected to either to their web page or most probably an app install prompt, which is cumbersome. So now consider the same thing but this time with the help of Android Instant Apps, if you tap that same link the respective product opens up in an overlay with help of the same architecture of the app, which means that a certain amount of the app is cached on your device, without you even downloading the app. This happens almost immediately as it's hosted on Google's servers, ever wondered how YouTube videos/Google Drive load up faster? That's the case; it's all about the wicked server speed. As the Instant App loads up in smooth 60fps speed, you can even access the other tabs which get cached on the device from the respective fields of the App. That's basically how Android Instant Apps functions. It's similar to clicking on any link and getting on to that website, but here you fall on the app which is accessed at higher speed. The user doesn't require to download the app, everything happens in just a matter of a click and few seconds, although there's an install button on the top right-hand corner which would install the complete app instead of a necessarily actionable layer.

Android instant articles review
Via Google IO 2016. 

          Previously we have seen such kind of similar approach by Ubuntu in the form of Web-based apps, which was initially an app accessed in a web browser, though it was the mobile version of any Developer's respective App(Site). Hence, that didn't work out correctly. But Google has perfected this, even though it's an early sneak peek of this project it seemed working fine during the Demo showcased at Google IO 2016, which by the way was shown on a  Nexus device running on Android Kitkat, promising us that backward compatibility up to Android JellyBean is assured.

     So if you're a developer who wants to implement this, he/she should consider having a look at Google's Android Instant Apps project. Here's how it can benefit you as a Developer:

  • You don't need to build a separate app or make changes in existing API's or source code; everything remains the same. You simply need to update your existing app & that's how you'll be onboard of the Instant Apps train.
  • Google says that it'll take you about a day of work to update your app depending upon the App's functionality. Just update your App and rest will be left upon Google to take care of. When any of your users wants to access your App, Google will serve that person with the respective part of the App.
  • Android Instant Apps is backward compatible up to Android JellyBean; this is how you'll gain many potential customers and drive more installs.
       So far Google hasn't rolled out this update to everyone, but to a select group of App developers like BuzzFeed, B&H Photo, Medium, Hotel Tonight, Zumper and Disney. Google Team says that they would soon expand this to everyone as they refine the untouched areas and perfect the user experience with zero to none lag as quickly as possible. Hence, it'll be available later in this year.

                   Credits: B&H Photo

Credits: BuzzFeedVideo(via a shared link)
Credits: Park and Pay(via Nfc)

   Let's say you're at Airport, and you want to show the ticket, but unfortunately you uninstalled that App. So now with a simple click on the link to the ticket, you can access the same App and pass your way through.  Just in case if you want to know more about this program you can sign up here: Instant App Program & be the first to know about the upcoming updates

Source: Google(Youtube).
Image Source: Youtube & Developers Blog. 

Also See: Transcend launches Super MLC MicroSD cards.
By: Pratik Patil.

Editor-in-Chief and Founder. A curious soul who strives to make a difference in the world and make the most of life.

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