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Android games can now be tried without a download

by Justin Herrick | March 20, 2018March 20, 2018 1:30 pm PST

Google’s Instant Apps feature that started rolling out last year is receiving a major upgrade this week.

Along with a new name, the feature now known as Google Play Instant is letting users try games as well as apps before actually installing them. The feature initially limited Android devices to apps but just welcomed games as the Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off in San Francisco. It makes trying new games a breeze since you don’t have to download and install any files on your mobile device.

Wherever you see game links shared, you’ll know whether or not a download-free trial is available. Both the Play Store and the Play Games app will show a “Try Now” button if the app is compatible with Google Play Instant. If you like what you’re playing, you’ll notice an option to launch a download for the full version.

The current selection of titles is limited, but third-party developers can add their own apps and games with little assistance. Among the more popular games involved with the debut of Google Play Instant are Words with Friends 2 and Clash Royale.

Google announced Instant Apps all the way back at I/O 2016, and then the feature underwent a closed beta for quite a long time. A handful of users helped the company test the feature before opening it up to apps in 2017. Things must have been going well if games were added to the mix, and more titles will be added “later this year” as it still in limited beta.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...