How can Instant Apps Transform the Sphere of Mobile App Development?

Instant apps are designed to allow users to access content from an app without installing it.

Updated 19 January 2024

Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar

CEO at Appventurez

One out of four mobile users abandons an app after the first use. It means that 25% of the users find the features unsuitable or of little value to meet their specific needs. The statistics explain the dilemma faced by app developers and this is where Google’s instant apps can become a great solution. 

Instant apps have entirely changed the approach of connecting to users making it more convenient and hassle-free. Moreover, the apps allow businesses to connect to those who don’t have the company’s app installed on their devices. While from the user’s perspective, instant apps are perfect to avoid getting their phone’s memory full.

The incredible features of the instant apps further help increase the discoverability and reachability of the applications. Be it emails, YouTube comments, URLs, Google Search Results, or social media results, the app will be discoverable from any location. 

The unique features of instant apps help the users familiarize themselves with the full variants of the app before installing it. In the blog below, we explore more about instant apps and how they have the potential to change the sphere of mobile app development. 

What are Instant Apps?

Instant App is a small software program that allows users to access content from an app without installing it. The apps are designed to save users space on their devices and conveniently deep link them to an app’s specific functions.

Instant apps are native containers with access to the device’s hardware even though they run like local apps. These apps successfully allow the users to explore the apps’ code and access the portions with necessary functionalities. If the users are further satisfied with the features, the whole app can be easily downloaded from the Google play store. 

How Does Instant App Work?

When a user clicks on a URL of an instant app, they are sent directly to a specific section of the application. This becomes possible because the app has been split up into modules which means only the code that is needed to display that module is downloaded. 

It means that an instant app is still technically downloaded onto the device, however, it works much like a mobile browser as the app is cached once it is closed. What makes instant apps even more unique is that there are no downloads, no installers, and more importantly no waiting.

Some Essential Features of Instant Apps

Thanks to the growing significance of mobile apps, instant apps have become an instant hit among users. The most prominent reason is that it can be easily accessed without downloading which allows users to keep their storage free. 

Businesses such as e-commerce are the ones who get benefitted from it the most as the app allows the users to experience the products instantly. Instant apps also increase company awareness and encourage users to download the app. 

Check some of the features of instant apps that make them so unique:

No Need for Installation

Android Instant Apps allow users to use business application apps instantly without downloading them. For businesses, even though the user might not prefer downloading the app at the moment, they will still be able to experience the features of the app. In case the users will find your app beneficial, there are chances that they will download it. This facilitates creating brand awareness as well as gaining the trust of the users. 

Easily Accessible

The users can experience instant apps from any source. It can be from Google search results, text messages, social networking sites, and other deep links. The users also always have the option to search Google Play for instant apps and can easily try the lightweight version of applications from any source. 

Better User Experience

The users can check the features of the app and examine how it can be beneficial for them without having to download it. When it comes to mobile apps, users always look for flexibility and great functionality. Instant apps provide both hence improving the user experience.

Instant apps business impact

How can Users Access an Instant App?

There are times when the users are unable or unwilling to download or open a large app, even though they could be benefitted from some of its features. Instant apps are a great answer to increase app user engagement, as they allow users to access information without having to download an app. 

Here is how you can take advantage of instant apps on your phone. It should be noted that a user need to have a phone or tablet running Android 6.0 or higher. 

  1. Open Settings on your phone and tap on Google in the personal section
  2. Scroll down until you find instant apps and tap on it
  3. Flip the toggle to On
  4. Read the terms and conditions carefully. Tap yes to start using the instant apps. 

Now that you have enabled the instant app on your smartphone, you should learn how to use them. Before choosing which instant app to access, it should be noted that not all apps have an instant app version. 

Here we are taking the example of the NY Times Crossword app to demonstrate how to use an instant app on your smartphone. 

Step 1: Open a browser on your mobile phone, type NYtime Crossword, and enter the search

Step 2: Find the result which leads to the play store. Tap Install

Step 3: The user will automatically be taken to the Google Play Store

Step 4: You will now notice a Try Now button on the app. Tap on it, instead of hitting install

Step 5: The instant app will now automatically load

Step 6: You can easily use the app and if you like the service and the features, tap on the install button to get the full version of the application

What are the benefits of Instant Apps?

The strongest motivation for the business to try out the instant apps is that it offers greater visibility. Google Play is one of the most popular mobile app vendors offering 3,774,490 apps. Given the amount of competition, it is understood that for any function or feature, there are multiple apps available on the play store. However, instant apps help businesses to stay at the top in this fierce competition. Listed below are some of the benefits explaining how instant apps impact businesses. 

Facilitate App Promotion on any Channel or Medium

Instant apps facilitate the promotion of business apps on any channel or medium. Android instant apps are largely popular because of the opportunity to promote the little modules as searchable components. The link of the instant apps gets to be featured on multiple platforms including social media, which offers increased options for promoting the app.

Room for Creativity

With the use of instant apps, developers can create the lite version of any mobile app. It aims to offer its users a better experience while also offering them the best services with the use of its creative side. 

Easy Access and Share

There is no point in developing an app and not being able to share it. Thanks to instant apps, the developers do not feel any difficulty in sharing the app. It also allows sharing any specific page over different social media platforms giving a chance to get a new audience. 

Improvement in User Retention

There are different mobile websites and apps available for users online, particularly in e-commerce stores. However, with native apps businesses face the problem of customer building since the users have to install the app to see the products. In this case, instant apps are greatly beneficial as the users can view the products without app installation. It facilitates in creating brand awareness while also gaining the trust of the users.

instant messaging apps for business

Understanding the Development Process of Instant Apps

Before initiating the process of instant apps, it is important to thoroughly understand the process of submitting an app to the Google play store. If you already have a mobile application, you can easily turn it into an instant app. The development process of an instant app is not difficult for the developers as they don’t need to create a new codebase. For an instant app, they can use use the existing code and API. Let’s understand in detail the instant apps development process:

Install SDK and set up the environment

The first process of developing an instant app is accessing the Google Play instant development SDK (Software Development Kit). The developers can use this Android instant apps development SDK with android studio 6.0 and higher and an Android emulator that runs on Android 6.0 or higher. After setting up an environment, the developers can move on to the next step. 

Move code to a feature module

In the next step, the developers will need to move the application’s code to the feature module. This action will further create a minimal app module. 

Build Module

In the third stage, the developers will need to figure out which functionality they want their instant app to have. After making a decision on the features, they will need to build the APK module. This move will turn the functionality of the app into a smearable feature module. 

Create an instant app module

Use a single-feature APK for creating an instant app module. This can turn the application’s functionality into one that can be accessed as an instant app. 

Define app links

At the final stage of the development of instant apps, the developers will need to create a relationship between an app and a website. Such a link will set up an instant app runtime. Users will further use the URLs to launch the instant app on their mobile devices.

Instant apps development process

Use Cases for Instant Apps

Instant apps are particularly powerful for game developers and e-commerce organizations. Game developers, in general, are greatly benefitted from instant apps as the users can play a different level of the game. Once the users’ interest is piqued, they can download the app. 

E-commerce organizations also benefit significantly from instant apps. Users that find the instant app of the company from Google search or the website of the company will be encouraged to download the app. 

Check some of the instant app use cases where integrating the app into business benefitted greatly in different aspects:

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

The New York Times developed a plain yet highly effective UX. Once the users click their URL, they can directly play the mini-crossword puzzle daily. If they want to play the puzzle further, the users simply can simply play any of the free puzzles, wait for the next day’s free puzzles or subscribe to access more. As a result, the user with Crossword Puzzle instant app increased the number of sessions by 2 times. The more time users spend on the app, the chances are they will subscribe to it. 

Vimeo expands sessions duration

Vimeo, an American video hosting, sharing, and services platform saw an increase in session duration by more than 130%. The company equipped instant app support by minimizing their 15 MB installed application down to a 4MB feature module. Vimeo recognized most of the size reduction by using the APK analyzer, replacing the image-storing library with a smaller library, and eliminating unopened libraries. As a result, there was a noticeable increase in the session that was more than double in length. 

Dootloop increases key management metrics

Dotloop was required to reduce its app size for developing an instant app. With the use of an APK analyzer, they eliminated the unopened libraries for their installed app. Dotloop also enabled Googe smart lock for minimizing the login friction which enabled the automatic authentication of the user. As a result, its engagement metrics increased since its launch. Dootloop, for sellers and buyers, also saw an increase in users by 62% who sign at least one field in a document. 

What are the Future Aspects of Instant Apps?

With continuous breakthroughs in the mobile app store optimization guide, instant apps have the potential to revolutionize app development. They can be a game changer from both the users’ and business perspectives. There are many apps in the play store that are typically ‘one-use-only affairs’ or things that you will hardly use again. 

While it is not a huge task to install an app and then uninstall it again, instant apps promise to streamline the process furthermore. With this, users can save time and also enjoy greater efficiency from their devices. 

Instant apps also provide businesses not only an opportunity to create brand awareness but also provides a simple solution to introduce their service and products in the market. Businesses should be excited at the prospects of Android instant apps as this creates a lot of new opportunities for increased engagement and sales as a result. 

Instant apps provide a way for websites to link more dynamic content for mobile users and this in turn allows for the use of in-app purchases, and location awareness, among others. Instant apps will be a must for businesses who want to leverage the maximum marketing potential of their mobile app. 

How Appventurez can Assist in the Development of Instant Apps?

The growing demand for instant apps in the field of mobile app development demonstrates a technological breakthrough. Particularly useful for e-commerce, gaming, and entertainment, the users can run instant apps and receive the same product experience which is equivalent to installing the application. 

Instant apps allow users to utilize their functionality in one click. This feature facilitates in the creation of new opportunities for businesses to advertise and present their product by placing them at the user’s fingertips. 

If you are looking to develop your own business app and want to make it instant, Appventurez is the right choice for you. The team of developers at the on demand app development company will help in making your product easier to reach potential buyers while also increasing their customer experience.

On demand app development services


Q. How can I remove instant apps?

To remove instant apps, open the Google Play app, at the top right, and tap on the profile icon. Tap settings, general, Google play instant. Turn upgrade web links on or off. 

Q. How instant app users’ privacy is ensured?

Instant apps ensure privacy as they are not required to be downloaded from Google Play. Instant apps are safe, unlike native apps that can be installed just by following an installation link or scanning a QR code. 

Q. What are the benefits of an instant app?

An instant app allows users to access an app’s content without having to install it. It is essentially a hybrid between the core benefits of a mobile app and a web app.

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    Ajay Kumar
    Ajay Kumar

    CEO at Appventurez

    Ajay Kumar has 15+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, project management, and team handling. He has technical expertise in software development and database management. He currently directs the company’s day-to-day functioning and administration.