Google Play Instant will let you try a game without installing it

Google Play Instant will let you try a game without installing it

"We're working hard to make sure any developer can develop an instant app", Karmel said.

In addition to today's Google Play Instant GDC announcement, Zynga will host an industry panel on building entertainment experiences for emerging mobile platforms on Tuesday, March 20 as part of the GDC Mobile Summit. For starters, they're only in the Play Store, but Google says the format can be used all over the web, so you might see links to play games in a lot more places soon. But Google noticed that some consumers will refrain from trying new titles when they realize the downloads take time. Well, your wish is Google's command, as Android Instant is now a thing. The concept actually debuted back in 2016, but at the time it was mainly introduced for non-gaming apps including BuzzFeed, Vimeo, and gift-buying service Hollar.

Users with the latest update of Google Play will be able to test games without a full download. As you're trialing a game, Google will display an "Install now!" button to install the full game on your Android device if you so choose.

The results can be pretty impressive. While you try out the game in this mode, you will see a persistent "Install" button which will let you install the full app whenever you want. Fans of Words With Friends 2 will match up against a Shakespeare-inspired Wordmaster bot powered by the latest AI technology, while Solitaire enthusiasts can challenge themselves in a mini game experience of the classic card pastime.


What do you think of this feature? In my experience testing this feature, this still allows the games to load quickly enough, though it doesn't feel quite as instant as most of the regular instant apps do.

The demos have already started to translate into more downloads for game developers. In the past year, the company says the number of Android users who installed a game has more than doubled.

Although developers are limited to only 10MB per instant app, there's room to come up with some innovative formats, Karmel said. These previews can include the first level of a game, tutorial, or a small mini-game, with this decision being left entirely up to developers. In some ways, it sounds like what Apple did with its App Store redesign last fall; games got their own dedicated tab with more in-depth content and curated categories to help people sift through the insane number of options out there. It's now in a closed beta with eight developers as Google works to develop the tools that game makers will need to create instantly accessible experiences.

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