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Why must Android developers consider designing instant apps??

Mobile Application Blog

Android Instant application is the collective name referring to those native apps that run in response to an URL launched, without the need to actually install the app.

Every year at the Google I/O Conference, the android application development companies get to hear some interesting concepts about to be launched or are in the work-in-progress stage. The search engine guru, Google has never failed the android developers and the android users in terms of creativity and innovation when the entire mobile technology is raised.

They have successfully countered the challenges thrown on their face by Apple Inc. at times. 

Android Instant Apps is one such discovery of Google that came with answers to solve many issues faced by both the mobile developers and users.

With reference to this particular feature, brings in another possibility, which is the complete irrelevancy to download heavy APK files when the particular portion of the app can be accessed quickly when required. Yes!! Google’s ‘Instant Apps’ does exactly that.

Elucidating further on the point, Android Instant Apps function on a very simple logic. Instant apps are the cloud-based versions of the same one present in the Android phone that functions in the complete absence of installation.

All that is required for the users is just to click on the web search link from the search results page and gain direct access right on the app page required without any need for loading the entire application or installing the same. Else, visit the Google Play store and click on the ‘Open App' tab to jump directly onto the specific activity right within the application.

But of course, the Android smartphone need some basic adjustments to permit users accessing the application.

Steps to enable the said feature:

  1. Go to your phone’s Settings menu.
  2. Tap Google under the Personal category.
  3. Check out the Services category and select Instant Apps feature.
  4. Tap the toggle on the top-right of the screen.
  5. Read the instructions card 
  6. Play Terms of Service(optional)
  7. Tap Yes, I’m in.

Steps to initiate the use of the Instant apps option:

  1. Do a Google search for any of the applications supported by this new feature.
  2. You get an option to select from the app listing that displays the word instant.
  3. Tap an Open app and you are good to go
  4. In a case of downloading the particular app, pull down the device notification shade.
  5. Tap on the App info to install the app
  6. Clear the app’s data and any permission granted. 
  7. Tap on the Install button to bring up a new card, which will direct you to install the app right from that screen. 
  8. If you wish to check it out in Google’s Play Store listing, then simply tap the overflow menu button and 
  9. Finally, click on the View option on Google Play.

Also Read: Best apps for beginners in mobile app development

Going back to the main topic, which raised an important question: Why android application development companies must concentrate more on developing instant apps?

To answer this question, three aspects will come out which will highlight the benefits enjoyed by the users, clients, and developers as well. 

Speaking from the business owners' point of view, Android Instant Applications can actually trigger sales for the company's products, especially where apps are the main connector between buyers and sellers.  

  • Increased user engagement and higher sale probability.
  • Seamless user experience with the application content.
  • Content is specific and to-the-point.
  • Lack of possibility to misguide the users.
  • Share links to other pages or apps to draw more traffic.
  • Less probability of gaining negative reviews.
  • Security is pretty similar to the installed ones seeking permission from the owner for accessing phone contents.

Yet such a unique feature cannot be devoid of limitations and drawbacks.

The first drawback that comes in light is Security Issues. 

  • Irrespective of the fact that Android Instant apps seek permission from the owner before accessing mobile stored data yet the permission seeking criteria is limited. Google’s Instant App Page clearly defines the different categories of permissions these apps use:
  1. BILLING.
  2. LOCATION.
  3. NETWORK.
  4. CAMERA.
  5. INTERNET.
  6. PHONE NUMBERS.
  7. RECORD AUDIO.
  8. VIBRATE.

Bluetooth, set alarm, use fingerprint and set wallpaper etc. are the points missing from the list and Instant Apps do not support those, which are excluded from the list. 

  • Other limitation includes the absence of support for background services for push notifications, accessing external storage, or looking at installed apps on a device.
  • Moreover, the application developers will most unlikely add rich media contents into the application since there is a file size limit added to instant app downloads.
  • Then again, the installed apps can always have the possibility of users coming back to the said application after initial encounter but the very feature of android instant apps reduces that opportunity even.

Wrapping Up

Android Instant Apps have already proved to be a success amongst the top android application development companies and Android users as well. The most important factor contributing to its popularity comes from the fact that they spare smartphone RAM from unnecessary apps that simply eat away device storage space.

Apps such as ‘OneFootball’, ‘Hotpads’, ‘Dotloop’, ‘Vimeo' and ‘NY Times- Crossword' are few examples of instant applications available in Play store. However, these apps support very limited versions of Android devices such as Android 5.0 (API level 21) through Android 8.0 (API level 26).

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