Some are calling them “progressive web apps” while we call them “here not a second too soon.”
Google has released the tools needed to make Android Instant Apps to the public so that developers can chop up their existing app interface into bite sizes and have them pulled up as users traverse the web on their Android device. The initiative was first announced last year and it was only in January that we got to see a pilot group of companies roll out their instant applications.
In areas where budget smartphones rule the day, such as India, app developers are going to be all over this technology — it gives users a necessary portion of the app interface like watching a video (replete with dedicated video player) or making a purchase (replete with dedicated purchase interface and payment links) without having to load other parts or have an APK installed on the phone, taking up precious space on small disks.
The India Times learned from Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Google’s vice president of product management for Chrome, that the subcontinent’s tech sector is readily getting into the instant apps system:
We see a growing set of adoption for progressive web apps in India […] Flipkart was one of the early adopters. Since then, companies like Housing.com, MakeMyTrip, MagicBricks and Snapdeal have launched similar web apps.
Domestic ride-hailing service Ola is expected to have one out soon after announcing it today.
Even as cellular connectivity remains somewhat costly in the country, India has seen a dramatic expansion of LTE service in the past year. While users who continually go through web apps to interface with their services may end up paying more in data fees over time, it may seem like a solution to ease hassle for now.
Meanwhile, the roll-out continues.