Quick Guide to Instant Apps (+How to Opt In & Out)

Bridget Poetker
Bridget Poetker  |  August 18, 2019

Try it before you buy it.

With Google Play Instant, you can now use apps without even installing them on your phone or tablet.

Think of them as the perfect combination of both web and mobile apps. You get the speed and usability of native mobile apps with the ease and convenience of web apps.

 

Now, you’ll be able to do everything faster – play games, surf the web, text your friends, and more.

How to use instant apps

In order to use Android instant apps, you’ll have to enable them on your device. To turn on instant apps:

  1. Tap on the gear icon to open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and select ‘Google’.
  3. Choose ‘Instant Apps’ from the options listed.
  4. Toggle feature to ‘On’.
  5. Confirm your agreement to terms.

how to turn on Android Instant AppsImage courtesy of Prott 

When you have instant apps enabled on your Android device, you don’t have to do anything different when using your phone. The program will kick in whenever you use a browser or app that is compatible. 

For example, if you run a Google search on your Android for a new home and Relator.com is in your search results, the instant app will automatically activate when you click on that option to give you a faster experience.

How to disable instant apps

If your phone is ‘updating instant apps’ too often, you can uninstall or disable instant apps. Maybe you decide you don’t like this option or instant apps are downloaded without your permission. To turn off instant apps:

  1. Open Settings by tapping on the gear icon.
  2. Choose ‘Google’ from the menu.
  3. Select ‘Instant apps’.
  4. Click on the ‘None’ option.

Find Android instant apps listed in Google Play Store

There are a lot of apps in the Google Play Store that support instant apps, including popular apps like Buzzfeed, NYTimes Crossword Puzzle, Vimeo, etc.

These apps are featured in this Google Play Store instant app list with a Try It Now button.

Android instant apps list

Change links to open in instant apps

You can update your settings to open links in instant apps or websites. To change instant app settings:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap the menu icon (three lines).
  3. Select ‘Settings’ from the list of options.
  4. Choose ‘Google Play Instant’.
  5. Turn on the ‘Upgrade Web Links’ feature.

Use apps in an instant

Google Play Instant allows Android users to try out and test apps before downloading them to their device, saving time and storage space. 

If you’re interested in learning more about alternative marketplaces available for Android devices, check out this list of over 10+ native and third party app stores.

Learn more: Best App Stores →

Bridget Poetker
Author

Bridget Poetker

Bridget Poetker is a senior content marketing specialist at G2, focusing on app development and design. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I-L-L! In her free time, you'll find Bridget in the bleachers at Wrigley Field or posted up at the nearest rooftop patio. During the 8 months of Chicago winter, she hibernates.