Installing apps is a time-consuming pain in the ass sometimes. I don’t want to download a whole app just to watch one video! Google just announced a brilliant solution to this problem: Instant Apps.
Instant Apps allows you to quickly use some of an app’s functionality without actually installing the whole thing. So if, for example, you click on a link that requires an app, your phone will download only the code necessary to run that specific function. What’s more exciting is that Instant Apps will be compatible all the way back to devices running Android Jellybean.
The most common way to activate an Instant App download seems to be clicking on a link, but Google also suggests it could be done in other ways. In one example, an NFC tap actives the download of a payments app at a parking meter. If you want to download the entire app, the instant version will allow you to do it with just a tap.
Obviously, the new functionality will require some work on the part of developers—they’ll have to “modularize” their apps into chunks that can run on their own. Although Google’s announcing the initiative today, it’s not ready for prime time just yet. But the exciting future where you’re free of waiting around for apps to download is closer than ever.