As mobile apps become smarter, your user expectations start to skyrocket. And today, your app users expect to do much more with less. Android Instant Apps answer this demand. Just like streaming music or videos, Instant Apps can be run without having to download or install them first.

They’re all about helping your users to get their tasks done as quickly as possible. They do this by giving your users access to the features they want the most, straight away. This saves your users time and space on their mobile phones. Improving the user experience (UX) and helping you to prevent drop-offs.

Already enabled on over 500 million Android devices, Instant Apps are set to change the way we see and interact with mobile applications. So, how you can take advantage of them to enhance your user experience, encourage engagement or boost business performance? Read on to find out.

What Are Instant Apps and How Do They Work?

Android Instant Apps bridge the gap between mobile web and the Google Play store. There are so many apps out there that don’t need to be taking up mobile phone space. With Instant Apps, they don’t have to be. Instant Apps aren’t separate, they’re just split up into the various features that your users want the most. By doing this, you can serve up sections of your app like specific screens and features.

This gives your users the features they want straight away. Without interrupting their journey and without impacting their UX by forcing them to download something they might not need.  Instead, all your users have to do is open a link and they’ll instantly get the screen they’re looking for. This gives your users the benefit of native apps without the friction of having to download anything.

It’s clear to see why Instant Apps are set to change how we browse the web. As well as how we interact with brands and businesses. The switch between mobile browser and app will be more seamless than ever before. And if used effectively, Instant Apps will be a game-changer for your business. Let’s take a look at why.

Benefits for Business

At the end of the day, most people prefer using native apps. They’re faster performing and they offer a much better UX. One that’s tailored to the platform and takes advantage of every feature available. So, a better UX means more engagement, more sales and improved business performance for you. Let’s take a look at the traditional m-commerce customer journey as an example.

Traditional M-Commerce Journey

This starts with a user searching for a product and tapping on the relevant result. Which then takes them to a mobile web version of the product page. This mobile e-commerce site may be fast, but there’s a browser bar running along the top, a cookie policy at the bottom and after a few seconds a message pops up prompting the user to download the site’s native app. Which ends up obscuring the users’ view of the product.

This is unoptimised and uncustomized. But it’s made even worse by the fact that, at this point, the user in question has no connection to the brand. Why would someone want to download your app if they’re still so early on in their decision process?

They don’t, which is why this just isn’t a good customer experience (CX). So, it’s no surprise that the mobile web has a staggering 97% cart abandonment rate compared to native apps’ 20%. Let’s look at the same journey but this time with an instant app instead…

Instant Apps for E-Commerce

This time, when the consumer taps the search result, they’re taken straight into an instant app. It loads just as quickly as a mobile web page. Only they’re not getting some generic, unoptimised page. Instead, their first impression of the retail brand is a specific product screen with detailed tabs they can swipe through. As well as app elements they can interact with.

They no longer have to download and install something to get a tailored app experience. And with instant apps, there’s less need for you to secure the download straight away. Instead, you can wait until the end of the sale process when the user is more engaged. For example, checkout can be done through the instant app but to get live delivery updates via push notification, the user needs to download.

So, by taking advantage of Instant Apps you will:

  • Open yourself up to a much wider user base
  • Increase the chance of social sharing
  • Make it easier for your users to collaborate
  • Reduce user drop-off and increase conversions

Let’s take a look at a few companies who’ve already done just this.

Instant App Case Studies

By removing the install friction, one-stop-shop app Jet saw conversions skyrocket by 27%. Similarly, property platform Realtors doubled their leads per page-view! Both managed this by splitting up their native app into several streamlined modules. And ended up with a faster, more convenient UX. One that continues to drive user engagement today.

In the same vein, real estate transaction platform Dotloop also divided up its app’s core functions into more focused modules. This lets Android users complete their tasks almost twice as fast as mobile web users. And after launching their Instant App, Dotloop saw a 62% boost in user engagement.

So, we know how companies are using Instant Apps right now. But what’s next? What can we expect for the future of the mobile app experience?

The Future of Instant Apps

As the features of Instant Apps evolve, creating interactive mobile experiences will be easier than ever. This means more employee engagement and a more immersive customer experience. Let’s continue with the m-commerce example from before. But this time, what if the Instant App product screen has an augmented reality preview?

With a traditional app, sharing this immersive experience would be a nightmare. Firstly, your user would have to search for the app in the Play Store to get the link. Then, they’d have to send that link to a friend with a message explaining which specific screen to visit. But with an instant app, it can all be done through one simple link.

Going forward, Instant Apps will make these types of interactive brand experiences much more accessible. And much easier to share. Helping you to make your first app impression count and ensure a return on your mobile investment.

Instant App Development

After reading these case studies and exploring what’s in store for the future, it’s hard not to get excited about Instant Apps. But there are still a few considerations you need to make first. And a few best practices that will help you to get the most from your mobile app development.


One of the biggest limitations, compared with native apps, is the reduced access to device features. Instant Apps can already make use of the camera, location audio recording. But other features like push notifications, Bluetooth, and fingerprint reading are missing.

Moving forward, some or all of these features may make their way to Instant Apps. But waiting around to see what happens could cost you in the long run. By moving first, you’ll capture a new way to connect with your customers, establishing yourself as a market leader and an innovator. And in today’s digital world, this is really important. With 75% of consumers think it’s crucial for companies to be innovative. So, how will you use Instant Apps to transform your UX?

How to Approach App Development

Secondly, one of the most important things that you need to remember is that we’re not talking about a separate app here. It’s the same Android APIs, the same project, and the same source code. Just divide it into the various features that your users want the most.

So, the first step is to take a long hard look at your mobile app. What are the most used features? Which parts could just as easily work on their own? A big part of this will be talking to the users of your consumer app or business app. Map out how they interact with your brand right now and the tasks they’re looking to carry out.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a good idea of where Instant Apps can enhance your mobile offering. Are you interested in taking your existing mobile app to the next level? Or are you looking to build a consumer app or business app and want to integrate Instant Apps? Then we’d love to hear from you.

We’ve already helped many of our clients to make the most of mobile, increasing engagement and boosting business performance. Contact us today on +44 (0)1737 45 77 88 or send us a message.