Try before you buy (or download) with Android Instant

Isaac Cain
March 20, 2018

While there are varying opinions on the notch, a new thing that Google is seemingly working on - with its next major Android version - may just receive a thumps up from a larger audience, especially those who've been wanting only the latest and greatest of apps to work on their Android phones.

For now, there's only support for a limited number of games (Clash Royale, Words with Friends 2, Bubble Witch 3 Saga and a few others) as the feature is still in closed beta.

The new features include a way for Android users to try apps without a complete download.

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To try this on your phone right now, head over to the Google Play Instant section on Play Store. Given how Google Play Instant works, of course, this could change in the future; developers may allow players to transition from Instant to the full game seamlessly with an in-app download, for example, or the Instant content could serve as a prologue to the full game. Once you've done that, you launch the game and give it a shot. But Google noticed that some consumers will refrain from trying new titles when they realize the downloads take time.

As has become something of a tradition at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), GDC 2018 also begins with Google and the Google Developer Day. The main advantage of these Instant games, though, is that users can try the game without having to install anything. Moderated by Craig Chapple, Senior Editor of, the panel will explore the exciting growth of emerging mobile platforms for instant entertainment experiences, including a state of the market and what's next for Facebook's Instant Games and Android's platforms. Indeed, many users actually install a game and then never open it.

Google has started to roll out its visual search tool Google Lens to more mobile devices, expanding from its previous exclusivity to the company's Pixel smartphones, making the feature available to Google Photos users on Android before it arrives on the iOS version of the image management app. Instantly playable games are also accessible through social media posts and ads, places where Google has historically seen drop offs in installations.

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