Have you ever wanted to try an app without actually installing it? If so, then instant apps are exactly what you’ve been searching for. Many times even when a service has a website and app, it is often easier and more convenient to use the app interface when on a mobile device.
However, just because you want to use that app, doesn’t mean you want it cluttering up your home screen or app drawer. Instant apps are perfect for these such occasions.
What are instant apps?
Essentially, these are a way for you to use an app or game without installing it or try it out before deciding to install. When an instant app is launched the resources for the app are downloaded and you can begin. Be forewarned, this can take a minute or two as you wait for the resources to be downloaded.
This is perfect for times when you only need an app for one specific task such as searching for a place to stay, checking out local monuments, or comparing airline ticket prices. Unfortunately, instant apps don’t come enabled by default but don’t worry, it’s a simple and easy process to enable access.
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How do you enable instant apps?
First of all, you’ll need an Android device running Android 5 Marshmallow or greater. Instant apps won’t work on devices running anything below Android Marshmallow. As long as you have Android Marshmallow then follow these steps and you’ll be ready to go in no time.
- Open the Settings menu on your phone.
- Locate and tap on Google settings
- Tap on Google Play Instant
- Tap YES, I’M IN to agree to terms
How to use instant apps
Now, that you have them enabled you’ll need some instant apps to use. Not every app has an instant app counterpart. Developers have to specifically create instant versions of their apps or games.
Google has a section on the Play Store where you can find some of the available instant apps or games to try out. However, most times you’ll most likely find them by accident while doing a search on Google or the Play Store. When you find an instant app there will be a try now button, and that’s how you’ll know the app has an instant version available.
There are a couple of ways to tell if you’re currently using an instant app. First off, many of them will have an install button located in the instant app itself. Making it easy to get the full app if you were just trying it out, or need extra features not available in the instant app. Another way to tell is by checking your notification tray, where a permanent notification resides alerting you that one may be running.
Are there any downsides?
As mentioned above, sometimes there are extra features not included in the instant app itself. Most times the basic functionality is available but the full app provides much more. Another downside is, if you leave the app, you won’t be able to return to it. That makes multitasking quite difficult.
In the end, instant apps are great if you’re looking to do one specific task or want to play a quick game without taking up much space on your phone. However, they will never offer the entire experience so you might be better off installing the full app.