Google introduced Instant Apps at last year’s I/O conference in May. Now, Google is finally rolling out the feature to a select few Androids.
Whether you’ve rooted your phone to get the latest OS version or you’re using the Nexus 6P, Pixel, or Pixel Xl, you probably already have the Android Instant update.
Today, we’re telling you everything you need to know about the update, including how to take advantage of Instant Apps – and why they’re important.
What Are Instant Apps?
Android’s new Instant Apps feature lets you access a cloud-based version of the app on your Android without actually installing it from the Play Store.
Why would anyone do this? Well, it’s a great way to test-drive an app before you download the full version.
App developers are expected to use Android’s Instant Apps feature as like a demo. However, users will still be able to use what’s essentially a full version of the app before they install it – so it won’t be a limited demo in any way.
Who Has the Update?
Instant Apps was first announced in May 2016. However, it didn’t roll out until February 2017.
Today, according to a report from Android Authority, the update is available on the Nexus 6P (running Android 7.1.1) and the Pixel / Pixel XL (running 7.1.2).
Last year’s flagships should start receiving the update over the next few weeks.
How to Enable Android Instant Apps
Step 1) Go to Settings > Personal > Google
Step 2) Under the Services category, tap Instant Apps
Step 3) Tap the toggle button on the top right corner of the screen to activate Instant Apps
You’ll see an instructions card, and you’ll need to accept a new Terms of Service, and then you’ll be able to tap “Yes, I’m in” to accept the Instant Apps feature.
Which Apps Support Instant Apps?
As you might expect, the list of apps that currently support Instant Apps is pretty short. So far, it appears only BuzzFeed and Periscope are the major apps taking advantage of this feature, although Wish and Viki both use it as well.
How to Use Android Instant Apps
Want to test an app before you download it? The process is pretty much the same as downloading an app normally. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1) Do a Google Search for the name of the app you want to download
Step 2) Scroll down and look for the app listing that says “Instant”
Step 3) Tap Open app
Just like magic, that app will open. The apps tend to be a little slower than apps that are fully downloaded to your device. But for the most part, it’s hard to tell the difference. You can even sign into your account, make purchases, and do all of the other app functions without ever installing the app on your phone.
Instant Apps isn’t just for demos. Developers will likely use the feature to allow users to access the full features of the app without having to actually install it – pizza companies may encourage customers to use the app for a single order, for example.
We’ll see how companies decide to use Instant Apps as it rolls out across the Android community.