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Instant Apps: Now, use Android apps without installing them; here’s how it works

Google is now making it easier for users to download apps they actually need to.

tech Updated: Oct 20, 2017 14:37 IST
Kul Bhushan
Google’s Instant Apps give you a trial of an Android app before installing them.
Google’s Instant Apps give you a trial of an Android app before installing them.(AFP)

Google has started to roll out a new “try now” button next to apps on its Google Play store. As the name suggests, users can try out an app before installing on the device. The new button is part of Google’s ‘Instant Apps’ platform which was introduced last year and opened for developers in May this year.

At the moment, there are as many as six apps that are compatible with Google’s Instant Apps. These apps include BuzzFeed News, Skyscanner, Red Bull TV and NYTimes – Crossword. These apps will be initially available for select devices, Google says on its support page.

How does Instant Apps work?

The idea behind Instant Apps is to help users discover and run apps they actually need to. The feature can come in handy for users having low storage devices, especially in markets such as India. It may require high-speed internet for a smooth functioning. If you have spotted a “try now” button next to an app on Play store, here’s what you need to know.

On clicking the try now button, Google will check if there’s a preview version of the application. It is worth noting that the preview version will work only if you don’t have the app installed on your device.

An Instant App also doesn’t mean that you get access to full version of the app. It just loads the “portions of the app” to “perform the current action.”

“The portions of the app and any data they store are temporarily added to the device. To remove that data, see “clear the data for a specific instant app, below,” Google explains on its support page.

How to enable/disable Instant Apps?

Google lets you choose whether you want to see Instant Apps or not. In case, you don’t want to see them, here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Google > Instant Apps

Step 2: Tap on the toggle button to opt in or out.

Step 3: If you have opted in, do read Google Play Terms and Conditions to know what kind of information is being shared from your device.

If you don’t see the Instant Apps option in Google Settings, it simply means the feature hasn’t been rolled out for your device yet.