Android Instant Apps let you use them without installing

Screenshot via Google I/O 2016 Keynote Instant Apps

Google has been working on some new efforts with Android, and they unveiled some of their newest ideas Tuesday May 18, 2016 at the Google I/O Keynote. Ellie Powers, Group Project Manager from the Android team spoke about Android Instant Apps.

App developers want to reach more people. Google makes an effort to keep apps evolving and doing more for users, so they have come up this new instant way to view apps. With Android Instant Apps, apps will run immediately without installation with just one click. This is possible because the phone only puts in the specific part of the code necessary for the certain part of the app being requested.

The phone only puts in the specific part of the code necessary for the certain part of the app being requested.

Powers described a scenario where her friend Michael sends her a clip from the Buzzfeed video app. At first glance, she realizes she unfortunately does not have it installed on her phone, but this won’t be an issue with the new Android Instant Apps. Even though she doesn’t have this particular app installed, she can click on the link Michael sent from the app and it immediately pops up and plays on her phone. Powers went on to explain, “What’s happening here is Google Play is only fetching the pieces of the app that we need right now”. The impressed crowd clapped as the video clip of a new recipe Power’s friend Michael sent to her plays on the screen just moments after the link was clicked on.

In addition to video streaming, Android Instant Apps can also make virtual shopping easier. While doing a browser search for items, the links found will take users to specific apps where the item can be purchased. Android Pay works at checkout for the items placed into the cart even though the app itself isn’t installed on the phone. This takes out the aggravation of digging for a credit card and typing in the information every time a purchase is made.

While this could be potentially dangerous for shopaholics, it seems convenient for those who want to buy a new coffee table or some floral print throw pillows without even installing it or getting up from the comfort of the couch- beyond convenient indeed.

From a developer standpoint, it makes apps more widely accessible; people are using and viewing the apps without them taking up space on their phones if they don’t commonly use them for day to day functions. This can also lead to more installations if new apps are seen more frequently. Powers explained that this is something that is going to take time to work with and perfect, so both users and developers will gain access to this bit by bit as it is tested and finalized.

About the author

Marissa Morin

Marissa Morin graduated with a Languages, Humanities, and the Arts degree from HACC and currently resides on the upper east side of Lancaster City, PA. She's a fan of writing, long car rides to explore new places, iced coffee, and sarcastic wit.