In general, if we need to install an app on your device what will we do? We will download the apk from google play store. Usually, the apk is of very large size and it will take more time for downloading and installation. Just imagine that if the downloaded app cannot meet the user’s expectations, then users need to uninstall the app. Here is the use of INSTANT APPS.
Instant Apps are lite versions of native android apps allowing users to avail features without downloading the application.
Unlike native apps that have to be downloaded in full, Instant Apps have launched with just a tap on a URL. To support this, developers partition their apps into small, runnable parts, so they can start within seconds. It helps to reach out to as many users as possible and engaging them with your app’s features without installing the complete app.
Instant app uses
Android instant apps are particularly powerful for e-commerce organizations and game developers. The New York Times created one of the first instant apps for its crossword game. Instant apps enabled the New York Times Crossword puzzle to be particularly shareable and discoverable. Game developers, in general, can benefit from instant apps because end users can play a particular level of the game. Once that level piques the end user’s interest, he or she can download the full app.
E-commerce organizations benefit similarly. End users that find the company’s instant app through a Google search or the company website will be encouraged to download the full app, increasing the adoption rate.
Another use case is for one-time apps that end-users need to access quickly. For example, a user can scan a parking meter with an Android device and instantly open up the payment page of a parking app to pay for street parking.
How the instant experience works
With Google Play Instant, users can tap on a Try Now button or a website banner to try an app or game without installing it first. Figures 1 and 2 show examples of these discovery surfaces. When Google Play receives one of these requests for an instant app or game, it sends the necessary files to the Android device that sent the request. The device then runs the app or game.
Enable instant experiences by reducing app or game size
Google Play Instant offers the following two levels of instant experiences:
- Basic instant experience: Allows users to tap on a Try Now button or a website banner to try an instant experience.
- Enhanced instant experience: Allows users to launch an instant experience from any surface that can launch a URL. Figure 3 shows some examples of the surfaces where you can launch an enhanced instant experience of your app or game:
Our app must be a small enough size to enable these instant experiences, but the exact maximum sizes vary between apps and games, as shown in the following table and explained in the following sections.
App size limits
To provide a basic instant experience, your app must be no larger than 10 MB. To provide an enhanced experience, reduce your app’s size to less than 4 MB. Figure 4 shows the benefits of reducing your app’s size:
Game size limits
To provide a basic or enhanced instant experience, your game must be no larger than 10 MB. Figure 5 shows the benefits of reducing your game’s size:
Special considerations for multiple entry points
It’s possible to provide different instant experiences from the same app or game by creating multiple entry points. For example, a puzzle game might have two different modes: a single-player, timed challenge and a multi-player matchup. You could deploy these modes as separate instant experiences, allowing players to try out different aspects of gameplay.
Requirements and limitations
Instant apps came with a couple of new features, requirements, and limitations.
Instant Apps Requirements:
Before you can start developing your first instant app, you will need to meet a few requirements:
- MinSdk 21
- Android Studio 3.0 +
- Android SDK Build-Tools 26.x or higher
- Instant Apps Development SDK (latest)
Instant Apps limitations:
Instant Apps came with a few limitations, You need to remember that communication with API must be done over https. Your app won’t be able to use background services, send background notifications or access unique device identifiers.
The list of permissions for Instant Apps also got reduced, here are all of them:
- INSTANT_APP_FOREGROUND_SERVICE only in Android 8.0.
- READ_PHONE_NUMBERS. This permission is available only in Android 8.0 (API level 26)
For more details refer: