Android Instant Apps enter live testing at long last

Eric Abent - Jan 23, 2017, 3:16 pm CDT
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Android Instant Apps enter live testing at long last

One of the coolest things revealed during last year’s Google I/O conference was the concept of Android Instant Apps. For those who may have forgotten, Instant Apps is centered around the idea of accessing certain Android apps without having to navigate to the Google Play Store and download them first. It was an impressive feature when it was previewed at Google I/O, but since then, Google has been pretty silent about the development of Instant Apps.

Today that silence was broken, with Google announcing initial live testing for the Android feature. This live testing will be extremely limited at first – Google only references live apps from BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki by name. BuzzFeed Video was one of the apps Google used for its live demonstration back at Google I/O, so it isn’t much of a surprise to see the site included in this round of live testing.

As feedback is collected, Google will be rolling out the test to include more developers, apps, and Android users. Over on the Android Developers Blog, Google touches on the steps developers can take today to get their apps ready for this wider roll out, which can be found here. While this test seems narrow for now, Google says that the full Instant Apps SDK will be available to developers “in the coming months.”

As we saw back at Google I/O 2016, Instant Apps relies on modularization. Instead of downloading the entire app from the Google Play Store, Instant Apps instead downloads only what it needs when a user performs an action, such as clicking a link. Obviously, users can choose to download the full app later, but modular functionality lets those users get in and out faster as it removes the Play Store barrier.

If you need a bit of a refresher on how this all works, you can check out the video posted above for Google’s I/O 2016 presentation. This is definitely an exciting time for folks who were looking forward to the roll out of Instant Apps, since it means we’re inching ever closer to this becoming a full-fledged feature. Hopefully this means news on Instant Apps will began to flow at a faster rate, so stay tuned.

SOURCE: Android Developers


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