Google announced instant apps last year. They didn’t materialize for users up until now. As of yesterday, instant apps are now available for Pixel and Nexus users. Additionally, developers can now develop instant apps of their own. Instant apps allow users to experience an app and use it without actually installing the app on their device. Think of visiting a website like Pinterest. If you use Pinterest a lot, you probably have the app installed but if it’s a rare visit, you won’t have the app on your device. If Pinterest develops an instant app, you will be able to get the full app experience from inside your browser. It’s going to take some time for developers to develop instant apps. As for users, you have to enable instant apps on Android first before you can start using them.
Enable Instant Apps
Open the Settings app. Go to Google>Instant Apps.
Select which account you want to enable instant apps for. Instant apps are accessed through Chrome and the Google app. If you have multiple accounts on your Android device, make sure you enable instant apps for the same account you use in Chrome.
Accept the terms of service and you’re good to go.
Disable Instant Apps
To disable instant apps, open the Settings app. Go to Google>Instant Apps. Select the ‘None’ option and Instant apps will be disabled.
How To Use Instant Apps
Instant apps are limited at present. There’s only a handful of them but they include popular sites like Vimeo and Quora. Unfortunately, instant apps while being rolled out worldwide aren’t available on all devices. It seems they are only available on Pixel and Nexus devices, that too selectively.
To use an instant app, open Chrome or the Google app. Search for one of the sites that have an instant app. The search results will show you a result that has ‘instant’ written under the site name. Tap it and grant permission to install the instant app when prompted.
When you exit Chrome or the Google app, the instant app will be deleted from your device. It seems you can’t force instant apps to start appearing in search. Given that it took Google a whole year to make this feature available you might have to wait a few months to actually see instant apps in your search results.
It’s also going to take developers a little time to develop instant apps. With the release of this feature, the instant apps development SDK has finally been released to all developers. According to Google, it can take about 4-5 weeks for developers to develop an instant app.