Android instant apps are everywhere now. It’s the newest iteration in mobile app design, and they’re representative of a real sea change to how apps are not just created but also marketed. There’s much to understand about this new paradigm, such as how they work and what form they take — and how to leverage them to build success for an app designer.
If you’re wondering what Android instant apps mean for mobile design and marketing, you’re in for some good news. The answers are here, ready and waiting, so that you can understand the intricacies of this brave new world of apps, their functionality, and their capabilities for designers and marketers alike.
The Instant App Revolution
Instant apps have sparked a revolution when it comes to mobile app design and marketing. You don’t need to direct a user to visit the Play Store and download an instant app — they’re so lightweight that they can run natively on a mobile device, launched from a mobile web URL instead. Dynamic loading and targeted functionality mean that users have just what they need, right when they need it, which is why instant apps are so innovative.
While there’s a clear bonus to users in not having to download, install, and configure mobile apps this way, developers benefit in some interesting ways as well. Developers don’t nearly have the same time and resource requirements to design and implement an instant app as they do with a full-figured one, which means this frees them up to shift their focus. Providing enhancements to user experience in an instant app provides opportunities to build a fiercely loyal user base, something that can be leveraged when it comes to marketing mobile apps as well.
Circumventing Drop-Off and Installation Friction
Mobile app designers don’t get very far if users don’t download and install their apps. This is, of course, why mobile app marketing places such a big emphasis on making it a requirement of users to download apps in order to unlock exclusive discounts, pricing, or other perks. this creates its own problem, though, in that users are often discouraged by having to go through these steps. In this instance, many users may use the app just once to get a one-time benefit and then delete the app immediately afterward.
This whole mess can be avoided through the use of instant Android apps instead. Developers that rely on this technology and integrate it into websites need not worry about installation friction from an app you don’t have to install, and there’s also no drop-off as a result as well. This kind of streamlined, hassle-free user experience is what creates one-time users into return customers, and this is why marketers and designers are so deeply interested in the capabilities of these types of new mobile applications.
Better Performance, Better Looks
Users spend lots of time on mobile devices nowadays. This is a great thing for app designers and marketers alike, but the problem with this is that the average mobile browser doesn’t have the power and functionality of a native app — and this drives mobile app development so that users can access this functionality. But even with how limited mobile browsers are, driving mobile app adoption is a tough row to hoe for the reasons listed above, such as hunting for an app in the Play Store, downloading it, and then installing it. Sometimes this delay is intolerable to users, especially those who need access to information or function immediately.
Instant apps offer so much better performance than mobile browsers, and this is one of their great strengths. They also look a lot better as well, but accessibility is equal to a mobile browser URL. This creates much better user experiences, whether it’s for e-commerce or anything else that a user needs, and that makes it easier to serve users with less effort exerted on their end. Near-instant app loading from a mobile browser is practically seamless in comparison to navigating to the Play Store and waiting for a download and installation to complete, after all!
A Renewed Focus on Users and Their Needs
Instant apps represent a major shift for app developers: now, it’s easier than ever to renew your focus on users and their specific needs. User-centric solutions that stress agility, responsiveness, speed of access, and convenience also make it easy to market these new services — as long as these instant apps are meeting user needs in ways that both native apps and mobile browsing are unable to do.
Content discovery is also buoyed by instant app design. Without existing behind a download and installation the way native apps are, instant apps are much more easily found by users. This is especially true when it comes to web searches, which provides countless marketing opportunities through search engine optimization to help increase the reach of your app.
So Android instant apps have some major advantages, but unfortunately, they’re not perfect. Just with any emergent technology, there are some drawbacks. There’s no equivalent capability with iOS-based devices right now, and that’s a major hurdle that developers and marketers have yet to overcome. Apple devices have a major market share, and that means native iOS app development is still required for these platforms.
It goes further than that, though — there are other problems with instant Android apps. Memory constraints mean that you’ve got limited choices when it comes to providing multimedia content in instant apps when compared to websites or native apps. Another drawback is that instant apps are used on-demand and they don’t persist from session to session, so you can’t use push notifications to alert users of functions or use them to market new opportunities.
But these are minor inconveniences at best. Understanding the limitations of the platform means you can work around them or through them. Not using instant apps at all as part of your design and marketing strategy is the real drawback here. Forge ahead with Android instant apps and you’ll unlock major potential for the future!
Author: Benjamin Shepardson is the founder of NoStop Content. With an extensive career in digital marketing and web development, Ben’s knowledge of the industry has enabled small businesses to scale and grow through well-crafted content and strategy.