The Instant Apps functionality of the Google Play Store is now available to all Android developers, Alphabet’s subsidiary announced Tuesday as part of the latest iteration of its annual Google I/O developer conference which kicked off this morning. Originally announced two years ago at the same event, Instant Apps are meant to provide users with a quick preview of Android apps directly from the Google Play Store without requiring any kind of files to be installed locally, hence their name. Their straightforward nature is meant to boost app acquisition rates, being intended to provide users with a brief glimpse of the full app so as to encourage them to download the entire thing based on their demo experience.
Third-party developers interested in optimizing their Android apps to take advantage of the Google Play Store Instant Apps platform are now free to do so, with Google once again demonstrating the technology during today’s Shoreline Amphitheatre keynote with Candy Crush Saga, the latest game that’s now embracing the solution. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant estimates there are presently some 1.2 billion devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop or a later version of its operating system in the world, i.e. that’s how many devices are presently compatible with the Google Play Store Instant Apps service.
Besides opening the platform to everyone, Google is also trying to make Instant Apps easier to create, having just launched a new Unity plugin meant to help it achieve that goal. The same reasoning is behind the newly announced Cocos creator beta integration which will be going live later this week, with the Google Play Instant Apps platform presently also being tested for AdWords support so that developers are still able to monetize their offerings even if users don’t end up installing them, which is one of the main advantages the solution has over traditional demo experiences.