Google Bringing More Instant Apps To The Play Store
Smartphones are capable devices when you first use them, but over time, this functionality can be dramatically improved through adding third party applications. Actually, I would say that the key abilities of smartphones is how easy it is to add additional functionality. Google realises this, and the Google Play Store (and before this, the Android Market) has been immensely popular place for Android device users to download third party apps from. There are well over a billion apps available on the Google Play Store although not all are necessarily ones we may frequently use on our device.
A few months back, we carried an article to ask a question: do our writers prefer to download third party applications, or use the Chrome Browser instead? Most of us prefer downloading an application, for reasons such as it makes it easier to accomplish what you are trying to do. Sometimes, using the app is not necessary: it might be a large application and may offer very little functionality over and above the browser. This could be one reason why Google introduced the Instant Apps feature, which was first introduced in 2016 – although very few developers have enjoyed access to this technology, so you can be forgiven if you haven’t yet seen it in use.
An instant app differs from a conventional app in that it is not installed prior to use, but instead is effectively run in segments on demand. The idea behind an instant app is that it works just like an installed, native, application in that it offers the same user interface and functionality, but can have a lighter data and device footprint. When you launch an instant app, it downloads enough of the application to get you started, and as you use different parts so the device downloads more of the application. It only downloads the parts you need. When have are finished with the application, it is removed from the device – this means it doesn’t clutter up internal storage with application or data. Most importantly, it solves the issue of encouraging (or sometimes forcing) customers to install an application, which they are only going to use infrequently, to access whatever particular service or function. For the developer, it means they are able to use instant apps as an extension to the mobile website: customers do not need to visit the Google Play Store, but because an application can have far greater access and permissions than a web browser, it should result in an improved experience for customers.
Going forwards, we can expect cloud-based instant-app type applications, whereby the instant app is merely a viewer to the application running somewhere in the cloud. This development could dramatically extend the useful life of devices, as providing they can run whatever instant app framework to connect to the remote server, customers should be able to run the latest applications in a speedy fashion.
The news with this story is that Google is enabling instant app technology for many more developers. Currently, there are only a few, and examples include BuzzFeed, Hollar, Onefootball Live, Skyscanner and The New York Time Crossword Puzzle. For those readers using a device with limited internal storage, this is a very exciting development.
SOURCE [Android Authority]