Back during Google I/O 2016, Google announced new technology called “Android Instant Apps.” Similar to the experience one might get while opening up an AMP web page, though more complicated, Android Instant Apps allow consumers to jump right into a full-sized application, totally skipping the install. Now it’s testing that tech with live users.
Say you’re searching for something on Google, for example, and you see a listing for something you might want to buy on Amazon. Instead of navigating through Amazon’s website, you may actually jump right into the Android Instant version of a full Amazon App, right in your web browser and without any need to go to the Google Play Store and download Amazon first.
The live tests are beginning now, though only with select apps. “We’ve been working with a small number of developers to refine the user and developer experiences,” Google said on Tuesday. “Today, a few of these Instant Apps will be available to Android users for the first time in a limited test, including apps from BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki. By collecting user feedback and iterating on the product, we’ll be able to expand the experience to more apps and more users.”
Only a select few apps for now
My guess is that Instant Apps aren’t going to just do away with the Google Play Store entirely, but imagine jumping right into a game from your browser, or checking out how a new app works, all without having to perform a full install? Right now, with Periscope support, one might be able to jump right into a Periscope live feed right from his or her web browser, too. It’s a compelling idea and one that will likely become much more widespread after Google launches the full SDK in the coming months.