Google is testing instant applications for Android


Google’s ‘Instant Apps’ are something else entirely. The company awed everyone last year when it showed off the concept at the Google I/O developer conference last year. And now, a few instant applications are finally ready for testing.

As per an announcement:

We’ve been working with a small number of developers to refine the user and developer experiences. Today, a few of these Instant Apps will be available to Android users for the first time in a limited test, including apps from BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki. By collecting user feedback and iterating on the product, we’ll be able to expand the experience to more apps and more users.

In case you are unaware of them, Instant applications are a special concept that have been put forward by Google. These application make use of the concept of streaming to provide applications that are ready to be run simply by clicking on a URL. You don’t need to download or install these applications and the native applications are broken down into minuscule packets so that they can be run instantaneously.

The usefulness of such an application is pretty obvious. You can try out applications without needing to download them first. That’s just scratching the surface though. Say there is an app you use, but don’t want on your phone — simple tap the URL, use the app and voila. Instead of having to stuff your device with applications, you can simply carry a bunch of URLs around and click on them as you need to use a particular app.

Well, Google is finally ready to take the service to the next level of development. The company has announced that a few Instant applications are actually ready for limited testing. Google has been able to arrive at these applications thanks to its collaboration with developers.

Speaking on the topic, Google VP of Engineering for Android Dave Burke said:

Instant Apps is really about re-thinking where apps are going. Web pages are ephemeral. They appear, you use them, and never think about them again.

Which pretty much sums up what instant apps are all about.

Meanwhile, there is a fair amount of work for developers involved in the mix. They are going to have to modularize their applications, turn it into small packages that can run on their own and so on and so forth. However, Google is making a push for Instant applications and as such, they are quite likely to be the future of how we use apps.

With that said, it won’t be surprising if more and more developers jump the bandwagon soon.


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