Some observers of the tech industry are saying that the age of the apps will eventually end, as more people are deleting apps from their devices and are instead just using those that they can access from their browsers. Google launched this year the Instant Apps platform for developers which gives them a way to create a lightweight, modularized version of the app, which users can still experience even without having to download the app itself. Now Google says they have more than 500 million users that are able to access Instant Apps, so now is the time to jump on it.
Now that users who are running Android 6.0 Lollipop and above on their smartphones have access to Instant Apps, it’s time for developers to start creating instant version of their apps or even create something new altogether. If you’re not familiar with the concept yet, when you’re searching for an app or service you can click on the Instant App in the search results and you will be able to use it even without having to install the app. To be able to do so, you’d have to enable the Instant Apps in your device settings.
Google also said that some developers are actually seeing returns in the Instant Apps that they developed. For example, Vimeo had a 130% increase in session duration with the instant app version of the video sharing service. Jet, an online shopping service in the US, increased their conversion rate by 27%. Onefootball, a Berlin-based app providing news and information about the sport, had a 55% increase in those who read news and shared content in their instant app.
Google shared also some best practices on how to manage the download size when creating Instant Apps like refactoring your codebase, lint checks, string resources, Switch to WebP, etc. Even though there are already 500 million users that can access it, that’s just 45.8% of Android users so it’s still a long way to go. But that’s already a lot as well, so hopefully developers will take up Google’s challenge.