Google displayed its ever innovative and daring vision for the coming year by introducing a several new Google products to the world in Sundar Pichai’s first Google I/O since becoming CEO. While the main focus of the Key Note was dedicated to increasing the usage of AI within Google Products, the newest Android feature of “Instant Apps” stood out from the rest showing much potential as a revolutionary step in mobile web browsing.
What is an “Instant app”?
The basic idea of this concept is extremely simple.
When you use your mobile’s search engine, or merely browse through a website and click on a link, if that particular link is connected to an Instant App, that URL directs you to a miniature version of that app instead of a web page. These instant apps load just as fast – if not faster – than a regular webpage, while giving you extended functionality with better user experience.
App developers do not require to build a completely different app from the scratch to use this Instant App feature for their products. According to Google, it is the same Android APIs, same project and the same source code, with a slight effort in updating the app to make use of this special Instant App functionality. While the effort that the developer has to put may vary according to the complexity of the product, it is basically modularizing the app so that when the user click on the URL, it downloads only the parts which are needed for that particular situation.
What makes “Instant Apps” revolutionary?
Here is a question for you.
How many apps do you have in your phone right now? 10? 20? 50?
Well, out of them, how many apps do you regularly use? Statistics state that an average mobile user typically uses less than 5 apps per day!
App developers usually put a great level of effort and skill into their products to give a perfect user experience and convenience for the user. However, not every targeted user gets to really use those features due to a large number of apps which circulates among users every passing day.
Another issue when it comes to mobile apps is that despite how many benefits users get through a mobile app, they are reluctant to acquire them due to time-consuming downloading and installation process. Instant apps eliminate both these issues by placing the app only where it is needed. That way the user does not forget a particular app among many they have on the phone, and also there is no requirement for a download if they do not wish to do so.
There are many more practical situations in which “Instant apps” can be integrated.
Imagine visiting a new country and having to download a whole lot of apps you are going to use only once. Or merely just any occasion you are required to take time and download an app to use only a few times – a parking meter, for an example. With Instant apps, you can use only the features you really need to use and never bother about that app again, without cluttering your phone screen with hundred apps you are never going to use.
This concept makes it easier for the developers and owners of the apps to promote them to a larger audience as well. No longer do you have to beg your customers to download your app in order to purchase goods or any services that you may offer through the app. You can merely place an URL where it is needed.
Instant apps offer you simplicity and convenience along with a better and faster user experience. As of now, it seems to have much potential. Let us wait and see as it unfolds.