Google I/O 2016: Android Instant Apps allow bits of applications to be run over the air

Android Instant Apps is an exciting new development announced in the Google I/O 2016. It is an update that is supported all the way back to Jelly Bean.


Android Instant Apps is an exciting new development announced in the Google I/O 2016. It is an update that is supported all the way back to Jelly Bean. Developers can use a URL to trigger a custom modular deployment of an app. The code needed to run the part of the app that is immediately relevant to the user is downloaded over the air to the device. The code is then executed in the smartphone, with a limited functionality. Users can then choose to install the entire app if they choose to.

This is a hybrid approach of two contrasting methods of deploying applications. One is an application store, where developers have to compete in a crowded space and market their applications to gain visibility. Another is a web app, that launches from the web itself, but its capabilities are usually limited compared to an application installed locally on the user's smartphone. Android Instant Apps encourage developers to break down their applications into small modular programs. These modules can be downloaded quickly and executed as required.

This approach, makes it easier for developers to get their app into users hands through an easily sharable URL. The user at the same time, has increased choice over downloading and using an app. It is possible to just use the portion of the application required, and not download the app at all. This way, it is possible to use a wide range of applications, without impacting the memory footprint in the device. Buzzfeed, Medium and Disney are some publishers using Instant Apps already. Access to Instant Apps is expected to be soon rolled out to other developers.


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