Android Instant App: a native application experience without installation
How attractive would it be if an application opens on the device without downloading and installing it completely? An active and committed user base is one of the key factors when measuring the success of an application. The Android Instant application is one of the newest ways to reach as many users as possible and involve them with the functions of your application without installing the entire application. The Android instant app feature allows users to open their application module as a standalone application via URL. URL-based access to your application module makes your application searchable and accessible everywhere, not limited to emails, press releases, Google search results, blog posts and social media links. If you want to learn more about Android Instant Apps then we provide Android Training in Chandigarh for those who want to make their career in this field.
How does the Android instant app work?
An instant app has an associated URL. Every time a user touches that URL, Google Play finds an instant application associated with it, Google Play then sends the APK of the function corresponding to the requested function to a user’s device and the Android system starts the instant application. If Google Play cannot find an instant application that matches the URL, the Android system broadcasts an attempt to handle that URL. To make sure, Google Play Store finds a matching instant application, each instant app must have a unique URL and an associated entry point.
The instant application has a specific project structure. You can create a new app with Android Studio 3.0 that will have an instant app module or you can add a new instant application module to an existing project. The project structure includes the base features and other APK applications. If you want to extend only one feature as an instant application, then the base APK is sufficient. You will have to add other features modules to generate APK features if you want to support several features in the instant application. The basic APK feature ideally contains shared resources for multiple features. Each feature APK must have an entry point activity that will be called when the URL is hit to access the instant application. Each time a user requests one of the features of the instant application, the base APK and the features APK are obtained from the Play Store mapped with the corresponding URLs. If a user wishes to access another feature, only that APK of the features is downloaded, since the base APK is already downloaded and is still available in the cache. The instant resources of the application remain in cache for a few hours, but there is no application installed
Why Upgrade To An Android Instant App?
Creating or adding the functionality of an Android instant app to an existing Android application requires some effort. However, it may be worth taking those extra efforts considering some of the great benefits that instant apps can provide to a company that invests in a mobile application.
It helps you reach new users
When you are Doing app marketing or preparing to promote applications for early users, at some point, you would like users to visit your app in the Google Play Store from your website, social networks, promotional links or even from videos. But there is a possibility that most users still do not press the install button in the Google Play Store. Instant apps can be beneficial in cases where new users can see a couple of the features of the application by pressing the links of marketing material without installing the app. This can help you reach new users and better understand user behaviour.
Provide native user experience to users who are not installing the application
Because the instant app can share resources with the original native application, it can help you offer the same flagship Android experience to all your users: one that installs a native app and another that uses the instant app for functions.
It helps users to access the features of their application even with limited Internet connection
The Internet connection is improving day by day, but sometimes it still faces problems with poor connectivity. Then, users struggle to access their application or even face a problem downloading and installing it. Users can simply access the desired features without installing the application.
Beneficial for location and time-sensitive app
Location-based applications are not new. However, if users are not going to frequently use location-based or time-sensitive applications, it makes no sense to force users to install their applications. The instant application can increase the attractiveness of the location and time-sensitive applications, as users do not need to install it and can be easily accessed by pressing the URL.
Ensures that the shared content is used in the best possible way for your application
A user who shares the content of your application is one of the most useful ways to reach new audiences, so you may have to make the best first impression. Previously, it was difficult to provide a constant experience for users who do not have their app installed on their devices, but instant apps allow you to promise a native and trouble-free experience for everyone
Design Guidelines For Instant Apps
Android instant apps provide a new and unique way for users to use applications. These are native Android applications, but they can run without any installation on the device. Each instant app has a corresponding version for users to install.
Due to the distinctive way in which users interact with instant apps, developers must follow some of the specific design guidelines. These are some of the best practices to create a reliable user experience with an instant app.
Provide a constant landing screen for the application
Users can start their instant app and access it from several different sources, such as the Android launcher, from the search or the icon of an application. You must provide a universal landing experience for all these instances.
Avoid creating any welcome screen added
The launch experience of an instant application includes the app title, brand and app launcher icon. Avoid creating an additional welcome screen for an instant application experience.
Do not change your user interface
The transition from an instant version of the application to its installed version should be as smooth as possible. Do not change the user interface or design in your instant application
Check before asking users to log in
Provide users with more functionality as possible without having to register or log in to a service. Wait until the user tries to use a feature that needs to be authenticated before reminding him to log in. These login reminders are considered less intrusive to users if they instantly see the advantages of logging in.
Allow users to complete a task before displaying the installation message
Do not ask users to install the application every time. Let them complete a task in the instant app without being disturbed by the installation message such as “Get the application”, “Update” or “Install the complete application”. Also, avoid using any advertising technique or banners to present the installation message.
Remove non-functional sections of the application
Whenever you change your application to the instant application, there may be some non-functional sections of the UI of the instant app that only have an installation button. Remove any of those parts of the application
Transfer the status of the user’s stored application after installation
After the user installs the application, be sure to transfer its stored application status to the instant app using local storage or cookies. Users must be able to start over where they left it in the application.
Provide an option to share instant app URLs
Since an address bar is not provided for users in instant applications to copy the URL, you must include a “share” action within the application that allows users to share the URL of your instant app.
Check your performance metrics
The number of facilities may not evaluate what your business really needs. Your users should be able to complete the main tasks without installing your application. In addition, you should be able to eliminate friction between users and their KPIs
What Is Supported By An Instant App?
- Instant applications work on most Android 5.0 devices (API level 21).
- The single project and the source tree are good for supporting the instant application. You must follow the project structure for instant support.
- Use runtime permissions. Since the application is not installed on the device, it is not possible to take permission before starting the instant app.
- Smart locks are compatible with the instant application. If an instant application needs to log in, you must implement smart password locks.
- The instant app can be discovered in Google search.
- NDK supports the instant application for devices with 5.0+
- It supports deep links.
- Supports Google Analytics and Firebase.
- Dynamic Firebase links work with instant apps.
- Ads can be added to instant apps
Restrictions And Limitations Of Instant App
- An instant app does not support background services.
- You cannot send notifications.
- You cannot access the unique identifiers of the device.
- You cannot simply create an instant application. You must also have an installable version.
- Registered manifest broadcasts do not work with instant apps.
- External access content providers are not compatible with the instant app.
- The instant app does not access external storage.
- You cannot list installed applications unless installed apps have made them visible for instant applications
Where does the instant app fit in the real world scenario?
Consider that an application shares social networks and when a user touches the link, request to install the application to view the content. Or if a user needs to install a complete parking application and the user does not visit that city very often. Annoying, right? Most applications are designed in such a way that they force users to install the entire application just to complete one or two tasks. To overcome this poor user experience, Android has introduced instant apps. You can modularize your complete applications into smaller modules that can allow the user to complete an individual task without installing the complete app.
Should You Start Building An Android Instant App?
Therefore, it is ultimately a situation of mutual benefit for companies and users, since the instant app helps you get more users for your business and users also get the advantages of no download/app installation function to enjoy desired functions.
Extending your app to instant apps seems promising if you create appropriate use cases for this. It is possible to build a successful Android instant application by approaching an experienced Android application development company.
By taking advantage of the features offered by Android instant applications, you can grow intelligently, attract the audience of mobile applications for your business and stay ahead of the competition.
If you want to learn more about the Android Instant app then Android training in Chandigarh is the best place for you.