Instant Apps are Google’s latest play to woo game developers to its services

A few months ago Google revealed a fairly small selection of apps which you could start using instantly – without even installing them. In October we saw a new “Try it Now” button appearing on apps such as BuzzFeed NYTimes, Hollar, Red Bull, Skyscanner and others. It was part of the Google “Instant Apps” initiative. 

On Android the huge majority of apps are still installed via a download from Google Play. Whilst many may be installed, it’s still a bit of a pain to have to download apps just to try them out. Then, if you don’t remember to uninstall them when you’re finished, you end up with your internal storage getting consumed with a load of apps you may not necessarily use that often.

In recent years some mobile manufacturers have added “speed boosting” or “phone health” apps to help maintain the performance of your phone. These can sometime come as part of your handset, and will list the apps you’re not using very often, just to keep that storage freed and your phone working at it’s best. The range and selection of apps and games on Android (and iOS, to be fair) is astonishing. Imagine, if you will, all those apps sitting in boxes at your local gaming store. You’d definitely have to build a bigger store even online casinos have their dedicated apps.


Sameer Samat, VP of product management for Android and Google Play, recently told developers, that..

The number one thing is distribution.

Instant Apps helps to make this easier will make distribution easier, and just a few days ago Google announced an expansion of Instant Apps. It’ll now work with more games and, assuming you’re using at least Lollipop and after changing your settings, you can head to the Google Play Store to try some of these out. Google now has a page featuring the games (of which there aren’t many right now) that support the “Try Now” button. The Google Play Games app also has a new “Instant Gameplay” section.

Google has a massive scale. Their ecosystem is huge, with over a billion people using Google Play. Some 200 million users use the “preregister” system to remind them of an upcoming game, and the growth continues.

So, although there’s still not a huge amount of “Instant” apps, there’s the capability for apps to download like webpages. Imagine playing one of those online games in your browser window on a regular PC – just like that.

Currently, with some of the more graphically intensive games getting bigger and taking longer to download, there’s a wait time that people just don’t want. Because of this, Google has been encouraging developers to reduce file sizes in recent years, but if you use an Instant App then there’s only a very tiny 10 MB download at best. It can fire up and you can get playing in a fraction of the time.