Back at I/O 2016, Google debuted what they call Instant Apps, a portion of an app available on the Play Store loading directly within one’s web browser (Chrome). The company demoed the function on a Nexus 5 running Android 4.4 KitKat to show off just how light the tool is, and it looked pretty impressive.
If you recall, Instant Apps was supposed to be finished and launched by the end of last year, but that obviously didn’t happen. That said, Google today published a post on the Android Developers Blog detailing the status of the new utility, and luckily, some are live right now as a part of a limited test.
Developers BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki are all participating in the test of Instant Apps for Android which allow a portion of their modularized application to load on one’s smartphone without having to download and install the full app. Google says they’re launching some apps early so user feedback can be collected for improvement down the line. Other third-party developers can also create Instant Apps by using special tools from within Android Studio to make their apps modular.
According to Google, a “tremendous amount of interest in Instant Apps from thousands of developers” surrounds the topic, so we likely don’t have to wait that long for the function launch in full. In the same breath, the company says we can expect Instant Apps “later this year,” so it’s hard to saw exactly when we can expect the platform to begin rolling out. For now, at least we’ve got a few to play with.