„What if I could use a lot of applications without having to download them all on my smartphone?”
Michael Siliski, Product Manager in Google, asked on Wednesday during the Google I/O Conference. The Internet Giant has just announced the biggest revolution in the use of mobile apps since launching Google Play in 2008 and is preparing the next step that should merge mobile and web Internet.
INSTANT APPS – GOOGLE’S REVOLUTIONARY VISION
Instead of installing a full version of an app, it should be possible to download only a part of it and use only a chosen feature – this is the main idea of the Instant Apps, which were presented by Google this Wednesday.
Thanks to the Instant Apps, a smartphone is able to download only a fragment of an application which is needed to complete a certain action, e.g. playing a video, booking a hotel, calling a taxi or buying a book. By clicking a link to the app, users can download its part and complete a desired action in a few seconds, even though they don’t have the whole app installed in their smartphone.
WHAT MATTERS TO USERS IS “HERE AND NOW”
The Instant Apps seem to be a perfect solution to fulfill the growing expectation of users who want to use Internet and smartphones immediately, anytime and anywhere. However, using one of the usual apps can be uncomfortable at times because of:
necessity to download (Internet access, preferably Wi-Fi)
necessity to install (limited phone or card memory)
time (that is needed to download and install)
a need to complete a single action without having to keep an app in the phone’s memory (e.g. buying a ticket while being in another city)
All the above mentioned things compose so called “shop discovery” for which introducing Instant Apps should be a huge breakthrough. We often wander in the store looking for interesting things and don’t know if the app will meet our expectations or not. Instant Apps let us verify it easily and quickly.
… IS THIS THE END OF THE MOBILE APPLICATIONS WE KNOW?
Not the end but a breath of fresh air. The Instant Apps can create a brand new approach to distribution and use of mobile apps but their core and usefulness will stay the same. Google is trying hard to merge mobile apps and desktop websites. However, it should be noticed that the native apps are often the only user-friendly way to make use of their features on a mobile device. It is because the responsiveness of many websites is still low and their complex structure can be reflected most precisely via a mobile app.
On the other side, the Instant Apps don’t have to be treated as a threat to the apps. Instead, they can create a new opportunity to contact the client in faster and more effective way and to increase the number of conversions. For example, the transaction processing in online shops can be simplified and the marketing can be even more supported by geolocation and personalization of communication.
Google announced that the Instant Apps will be launched this year but the exact date is not known. However, the Internet Giant doesn’t only have to develop and polish up its idea but it also has to gain approval from mobile app developers and give them time to adapt the existing apps to the idea of the Instant Apps.
APPS ARE STILL DOING WELL
The mobile app market is developing fast and it is estimated that the growth will become even faster in the following years. According to the App Annie report, in 2020 the number of downloaded apps will amount 284 billions and the number of smartphones will double in comparison to 2015.
Such a big growth is connected with the use of new technologies and mobile on the emerging markets as well as the development and adaptation of apps on the already existing ones. It is also influenced by the growing share of mobile traffic in e-commerce and the growing share of mobile payment in the online transactions.
For business, mobile apps are still one of the best solutions in terms of building relations, creating direct interactions with clients, shaping a path of their experience with the brand, building awareness and generating income (m-commerce).