Typically, when a user prefers a website over a native application to get some information or perform an action, it is because he/she doesn’t have the time to go through the trouble of downloading and installing it. However, Google announced a new platform named “Instant Apps” at their annual developer conference, the Google I/O, that will let a user run specific components of an application temporarily for better and quicker accessibility.

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To get a better idea, here’s how it will work. For instance, if you’re chatting with someone and they send you a Buzzfeed video, previously, it would have loaded in the browser if the app wasn’t installed on your phone. However, past the Instant Apps implementation, Android will grab a particular app page from the Play Store required to play the video and fire up the link in the native video player. Hence, you won’t have to install or download Buzzfeed’s application to take advantage of that. Surprisingly, this will work devices running Android all the way back to JellyBean after users install the upcoming Play Services update.

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Commenting further on the functionality, Google’s VP of Engineering, Dave Burke mentioned “Instant Apps is really about re-thinking where apps are going, the idea behind Instant Apps is to make the native app experience as convenient as surfing to a website. Web pages are ephemeral,” he continued . “They appear, you use them, and never think about them again.

Developers will be able to partition their applications into smaller elements based on what users use the most and release an update. Although, this won’t be an easy task to achieve majorly because coders will have to neatly divide the core parts in order to provide a hassle free experience without the complete data. Google is already working with a couple of testers and believes that the feature is almost ready for the end user. There’s no exact timeline as to when this will come in action but it will available sometime later this year.


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Shubham is based out of Ahmedabad, India and is studying to be a Computer Engineer, while specializing in mobile applications. He loves covering what's new in the smartphone space and aims to make it his primary profession some day.