Android Instant Apps and Progressive Web Apps: Top Mobile Technologies to Grow Your Business

By EGO Angel March 14, 2019No Comments
Android Instant Apps and Progressive Web Apps: What You Need to Know in 2019

The mobile space has been reshaped over the past few years. Nimble mobile technologies offer smartphone users a more convenient experience, and many businesses have spotted an opportunity in this. These businesses are already using Progressive Web Apps and Android Instant Apps to increase their profits.

Do you want to know how they do this?

We’ll tell you how to make these mobile trends generate profit for you.

Android Instant Apps

What are Android Instant Apps?

An Android Instant App is a lightweight version of a native app that doesn’t need to be installed from the Google Play Store.

You can see these apps in two scenarios:

The first scenario is when you’re browsing for a product and Google shows you a link in the search results to an online store with that product. You tap this link on your Android device and, if the online store has an Instant App, it launches on your device instead of the web page being loaded. This Instant App displays the product page with product information and the Buy button. The thing is, this app hasn’t been installed on your device. It just launches the moment you tap the link.

In the second scenario, an Instant App launches when you go to the Play Store and tap the Try Now button on an app’s information page.

Vimeo Try Now Button

Use cases

  • Quickly purchase goods after tapping a link to an online store on the Google search results page
  • Quickly pay for parking or bike rental in a new city or foreign country
  • Check out an app’s features and interface before installing it
Instant app engage users

Why might Android Instant Apps be better than full apps?

  • Downloading the full version of an app (the average size of which is 100–200 MB) requires a good internet connection and willingness to pay for data if you aren’t on Wi-Fi.
  • Downloading a full app requires more storage space, and if you don’t have the space, installing an app may turn into a problem.
  • Instant Apps meet a one-time need. You probably won’t need the app again, so why clutter your smartphone?

The key advantage of an Instant App is that its size can’t exceed 4MB for an enhanced instant experience and 10 MB for a basic instant experience (usually for mobile games). That means the app will be quickly downloaded and, after performing its task, will quietly leave the smartphone.

Instant app and full app comparison

How can you benefit from Android Instant App?

1.Increase your conversion rate

When a user taps the link to a product on your website in Google search results in a mobile browser, the product information page module is instantly loaded. It happens faster than loading a website page, and this page module contains all product information and the Buy button. If the user has activated Android Pay, they can purchase immediately and without any additional effort.

Instant Apps exclude unnecessary steps and distractions in a user’s journey, thereby significantly increasing the chances of a user making a purchase. This solution is also good for cafes, museums, exhibitions, and other businesses.

2. Beat your rivals

Consider what features in your app are essential and most useful for users and transfer them to an Instant App. If a user doesn’t need to download the full version of your app to use a couple of features, your Instant App may become their favorite app for those tasks.

Imagine that you have a bicycle rental business and the critical features of your mobile app are tracking a user’s location and making payments via credit card. In this case, an Instant App could make your users’ lives easier because they would only need to scan a QR code on a bike and ride – no need to download an app!

Isn’t that easy? We bet that the majority of people would prefer this easy and fast service over others.

3. Expand your market reach

There might be many users who already want to use your services, but they can’t install your app because they don’t have enough space on their devices. You’ll be surprised by the increased number of new customers after you launch an Instant App. Instant Apps are great for countries where internet is expensive and low-cost devices with little storage space are popular (such as India, Pakistan, and many African countries). Use this excellent opportunity to grow your user base!

4. Boost your app downloads

An Instant App gives a user a sneak peek at your app’s interface and features before they install it and convinces them that it’s precisely the app they’re looking for. With an Instant App, a user can quickly compare your app with competitors’ and discover its key benefits.

Android Try Now option

Disclaimer: Android Instant Apps support native features including location, camera, permissions, contacts, and in-app purchases, but support for push notifications is still in beta. You should take this into account when planning development.

How can I develop an Android Instant App?

An Instant App is developed on the base of an existing app. All you have to do is divide the Android source code into the base component module and several dependent feature modules. If you combine these parts, you’ll get an APK file to install the full app. However, if you combine one or more feature modules with a base module in a zip archive, you’ll get an Instant App.

Progressive Web Apps

What are Progressive Web Apps?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) combines the flexibility of the web with the experience of a native app. PWAs load like regular websites while offering functionality that’s typically available only to native apps – such as push notifications and offline functionality. PWAs are supported on Android, iOS, and even Macs and PCs.

Use cases

Have you ever seen an Add to Home Screen pop-up while browsing a website? On Android, when you tap the Add button, an app installs itself in the background and its icon appears on your home screen.

Android add to home screen

On iOS, there’s no invitation banner from the browser; you have to add the website manually by clicking Share, then Add to Home Screen (for iOS 12.1).

iOS Add to Homescreen

What are the benefits of a Progressive Web App?

  • Feels like a native app and provides an immersive user experience
  • Can be installed quickly and easily without visiting an app store
  • Stays responsive and works regardless of mobile platform or browser
  • Allows you to work offline and when you have a poor network connection
  • Gives access to native features like camera, microphone, geolocation, accelerometer, and push notifications (currently for Android only)
Twitter PWA and full app

How can you benefit from a Progressive Web App?

1. Expand your market reach

A PWA can help you get more users. About 2 billion people globally are still using 2G internet, and a PWA is fast and accessible even on a 2G connection. It’s the best option for reaching more users in countries with poor internet connections.

2. Test the waters for less time and money

Do you already have a website and doubt the necessity of a mobile app? Develop a PWA and find out if a mobile app will take your business to the next level. It’s a cheaper and faster way to check than deploying a native mobile app that needs to meet app stores guidelines to get published.

3. Reach iOS and Android users at once

If you’re a startup and want to start with one mobile platform (either iOS or Android), then you inevitably lose out on the other platform’s market. A PWA is a better option because it allows you to reach everyone, regardless of device.

4. Get more profit with less effort

It may sound odd, but the average user installs 0 applications per month. Many people still don’t want to install native apps, whether the reason is lack of storage (for comparison, the Instagram app is 58 MB and the Instagram PWA is 150 KB), no intention to use mobile technologies, or merely an unwillingness to download apps. A user can install a PWA effortlessly from a pop-up window right while browsing your website. Besides, a PWA may help you increase your conversion rate by more than 100%, as it did for AliExpress.

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How can I develop a Progressive Web App?

Progressive Web Apps are a trend today, so you’ll have no difficulty finding a complete guide to build one. You can use a JavaScript framework for this purpose. The leading browser vendors provide regular updates to these tools every one to three months. You can choose the right framework based on the programming language you use. We suggest you start with Google’s guide to Progressive Web Apps and this checklist.

The takeaway

As a business owner, you have a bunch of ways to get more profit with Android Instant Apps and Progressive Web Apps. Grab your customers’ attention, captivate them with convenience, engage them, and get a spot on their smartphone home screens – that’s the recipe for your business to flourish. Big companies like AliExpress and Twitter have already taken advantage of these apps and succeeded. So what prevents you from getting the same results?

Let’s discuss your ideas for empowering your business with an Android Instant App or Progressive Web App. We’ll be happy to consult and share our experience. Just drop us a line!

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  Business growth
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