Remember Instant Apps? It's Google's clever way to address storage limitations and help users avoid bloatware by allowing them to "try" the apps first before downloading them directly on devices.
Instant Apps Gets More Visibility With New 'Try it Now' Feature
On paper, Instant Apps sound useful, but Google hasn't had much time to implement them properly, much less a large-scale rollout. First announced last year and released to all Android developers back in May, Instant Apps let users use certain functions of an app without performing a full install, kind of making apps function like websites in a way.
Now, Google is building Instant Apps into the store through a special "Apps to Try Now" section in the Play Store, where several apps that support the feature are highlighted. Only a handful of apps at present are Instant Apps-ready, such as the New York Times' Crossword game, BuzzFeed News, and other, but Engadget speculates the list would grow soon.
Especially with the rollout "Try it Now" prompts, Google says it would be much clearer than ever which apps support the Instant Apps feature, as opposed to last time where they were only available via trial runs. The company also released a smattering of tools during its I/O developer conference earlier this year, which should aid developers in building more robust implementations of Instant Apps. Ultimately, though, Google wants the experience of Instant Apps to feel indistinguishable from their regular counterparts.
Other Google Play Store Changes
There are a bunch of other changes Google also rolled out for the Play Store, including a revamped games section that now comes with trailers, and a section for new "premium" paid games. The revamped Editor's Choice area is also now live in 17 countries.
Google has also applied some under-the-hood changes that would please developers. For instance, the company will soon reduce its cut of subscription apps from 30 to 15 percent should a subscriber remain with the service for over a year, which means that developers can take in more revenue. This takes into effect in January 2018.
Google is also launching a Play Security Reward Program as a way to encourage cybersecurity researchers to mine the Play Store for potential vulnerabilities, from Google's own apps to popular third-party ones. This involves contacting the developers suppose an issue is found, then that developer contacting Google to reward the one who discovered the problem.
Thoughts about the Play Store? Do you find the idea of Instant Apps particularly useful? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!