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Introducing Android Instant Apps

Last year, Google announced Android Instant Apps at its annual developer meeting. Limited access was only given to a few developers who signed up for an early preview. Instead of downloading and installing an app from the Play Store, Instant Apps allows developers to make their apps launch when a user clicks on a web link from their mobile browser.

This morning I received an email from Google announcing they will start testing Instant Apps for the first time. They also encourage developers to have their apps ready to take advantage of the new feature.

I thought I should make a post to give a quick rundown of the basic steps to follow to help you make sure your app is ready for Instant Apps.

Reduce App's APK size

To improve user experience and to make sure Instant Apps run smoothly for your user, unload some of the unnecessary bulk from your app. Try removing unnecessary permissions, unused components and unneeded third-party dependencies, and libraries.

Support URL-based navigation

Make sure all your website URL navigation implement Digital Asset Links.

Refactor your app, if necessary

Each module of your app needs to be reachable through a URL address. Therefore, each module needs to run independently in response to URL navigation. This gives a fast and responsive experience within a flow and additional modules are downloaded only when the user switches flows.

While you refactor your code, keep in mind some functionality available in installed apps won’t be available in instant apps.

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