Safe now that you are aware of a new surprise star of this Google I/O, the Instant, Android Apps, a new system by which we can Open “pieces” of applications directly, without installing them previously on your phone.
The idea is to Revolutionary. Every time we have more applications installed in the phone, and this technology could allow us to dispense with those that only have “just in case”. I.e., those that we have to use very occasionally and laziness do not uninstall them and having to install them later.
It is still early to make a full analysis of what this will mean for the future. The technology is still developing and polishing with the help of the developer community, and even as Android user I love the idea, I have some questions for which I hope to have a response soon.
1 are you interested developers?
Several classic application developers aims to get the largest number of installations, retain them in the application as long as possible and avoid that they uninstall it. These goals are totally opposed to it to find Instant Apps, where the applications are”throwaway”.
On the other hand, is also a possibility of to reach more users who otherwise would have never installed the application. It is the same case of the example mentioned Suresh Ganapathy in the video presentation with the application of B & H. Chambers You do not purchase cameras every day, so you do not have this application installed. However, I am absolutely convinced that B & H would prefer thousand times that you install them to your application.
This is why you probably end up making instant applications in entry points for selling you that you install the full application. Yes, I leave you to see this video recipe free and fast, but if you want to make the slightest additional action you have to download the full application. Under this perspective, what began as a so-called method to gain time and remove steps, it ends up adding more.
2 this is an application, a website, or what?
My father, like so many others, does not know the difference between the browser’s address bar and Google search bar, and with Instant Apps is going to face a new dilemma: what is an application and what not. Search for things on Google and end up lost, within applications. “How I got here? Is this a website?”.
For now we do not know really is the process for Instant Apps open or if it is to be some kind of notice indicative or clear enough. In the demo video everything happens fast and effectively and without any indication, which no doubt would confuse more than one.
3. what extra work for developers?
Technical information on Instant Apps it highlights again and again, perhaps too often, developers they must not create a different application or make big changes in the code, depending on how it is structured application. In some cases it could be adapted in a single day.
However, there is something which is not mentioned in this information. The deeplinks should link to something, which means in many cases the need of a web version of the application. An expensive option and not available to any developer. No web link no deeplink that Google can index, and if you can’t find it, you can not access.
4 will it also be used to test applications?
In the examples shown in the presentation of Instant Apps not mentioned at any time which would be for me one of the most interesting features: to be able to test applications before finally deciding to install them. I.e., a so-called Google Play button to “test” the application.
It is not something new, and in fact Google has already been playing with the idea, though streaming-based instead of Instant Apps system, but the streaming technology has its limitations (latency, network use) that would not exist with Instant Apps.
5 Android even more tied to Google?
At this time probably no surprise that to use Instant Apps, applications they need to be published on Google Play. I.e., pass through the hoop of the ever stricter conditions of publication.
The decision, however, has enough sense, because a application running if one from a link could be a inexhaustible source of phishing attacks and phishing, pretending to be a popup asking for your password or something similar. It is expected that Google will be quite strict with applications that use this technology to avoid these situations.
6. what keep will your data?
The examples shown by Google are pretty basic. An application with which you see one video, another to pay the parking meter and one to buy a camera. Except have a better adapted to the mobile interface and run full-screen, offer little advantage to open a web application in the browser.
But will instantly open applications keep your data? If you order a pizza from an Instant App, do remember your address the next time you use it? By now we know that Instant Apps have several technical limitations, as they may not use background services, notifications once the closures or access identifiers, but do not know anything about the volatidad of data.
7. how much data will you need?
Unfortunately still we have not reached the point where we can afford to download anything without looking at its size. Many people are still tied to a limited data package, so that they do not want download absolutely anything if it is not with WiFi.
To open an Instant, Android App, Google Play will download only the necessary module, and although Suresh called this process with the name of “instant”, depending on which application is download It may be of some megabytes size and carry some of the time. We will have to wait to see how much and if you have the possibility to know in advance.
And, finally, when we can try them?
It is clear that Android Instant Apps is an innovative technology that will have many repercussions that for now we can not even imagine, and that’s sure that you die of desire to see it in operation.
Unfortunately, a specific date there about when will be available, beyond a generic “next year”. For now Google is working with a group of developers, although it plans to gradually expand access.