Google has announced Google Play Instant, the new name for Android apps and games that can launch instantaneously without having to install them first. The search giant announced Instant Play at the Game Developers Conference 2018 in San Francisco in collaboration with major game titles including Clash Royale and Words with Friends 2.
Google first launched Android Instant Apps in May 2016 and started allowing Android users to test a select few of those apps in January 2017 without the need to install those apps at first. It then opened the Android Instant Apps SDK to all developers in May 2017. Now the effort to allow apps to be installed instantaneously is being called Google Play Instant and the first major change is the inclusion of games as well.
Google just doesn’t want Android users to wait for an app or a game to install. Google says games on Google Play Instant are now available on more than 1 billion active Android devices worldwide running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher. In order to check the list of compatible Android games, Android users can check out the Instant Gameplay collection on the Google Play Store.
The Google Play Instant games are also easily accessible from the redesigned Google Play Games app and Android users can launch any of the games in the same collection as in the store. The move makes it clear that Google just wants to kill the friction of installing a new game or app and make it standard across its platform where users will first try and then install the app.
With Google Play Instant, the search giant is bringing major changes including the increase in size of APK limit from 4MB to 10MB. The move is aimed primarily at game developers to repackage their applications to support Google Play Instant. It also supports progressive download for executable code and game assets and will let developers use NDK and game engines. Most importantly, Google is working with Unity and Cocos2D-x to add support for their IDE that lets game developers build instant apps and games.
Google Play Instant is still in closed beta and not all apps and games can take advantage of the feature just yet. VentureBeat reports quoting Tian Lim, VP of Product, Google Play that user acquisition can jump anywhere between 4 percent to 15 percent if developers add support for Google Play Instant.
With games becoming a growth segment for Google Play Store, the search giant doesn’t want to limit its support to the gaming industry. Last week, it extended Google Maps API to game developers to build real-world games and has also launched a dedicated game server.