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Android Instant Apps Are Here: How to Try Them

What if you could use an app without having to download it? That's the idea behind Android Instant Apps, a feature first teased back at Google I/O that you can finally try for yourself with a limited number of services.

Credit: nukeaf/

(Image credit: nukeaf/

According to a Google blog post, the first wave of programs being tested with Instant Apps include BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope and Viki, so make sure you have the latest versions of those apps if you want to try the feature out.

How exactly does it all work? Say you click a link to a BuzzFeed article or a shopping item on Wish. Instead of being taken to the mobile versions of those websites, you'll be instantly transported to the full app experience — even if you don't have that app on your phone.

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Instant Apps has a ton of potential when it comes to making Android more seamless to use. It seems especially useful for shopping services and video websites, both of which can be clunky to use in a mobile browser but are often more user-friendly and robust in an app.

Google didn't give a specific timeframe for when Instant Apps will roll out more widely, only noting that "by collecting user feedback... we'll be able to expand the experience to more apps and more users." If you have an Android device, go ahead and give these test apps a try — your free storage space will thank you.