This guide details how to enable Android Instant Apps, which lets you use an app without downloading it to your device. Google debuted this exciting feature in 2016, and now it’s readily available. With the recent release of Android 8.0 Oreo, more users are looking to take advantage of Instant Apps.

Downloading an app from the Google Play Store takes time, and more importantly, data. With Instant Apps, you don’t need to download anything as Google provides a cloud-based version of the app.

Instant Apps gives you full access to an apps beautiful design, interface, performance and even check-out experience without downloading it first. Google explains this as a “try before you buy” (or download) type thing. Instant apps are available from a web search or shared link for devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or above.

Google rolled out full support for Instant Apps in February of 2017, and claims over 500 million devices have access to it. The problem though, is you need to enable it in settings first. That said, it’s enabled by default on Android 8.0 Oreo.

How to Enable Android Instant Apps

To find out if your Android device has access to Instant Apps, follow the instructions below.

  • Head to Settings in the app tray or by tapping the gear-shaped settings button in the notification bar
  • Scroll through settings and find the tab labeled Google
  • Under the Services category select Instant Apps
  • Toggle the feature to ON with the slider at the top right of your screen
  • Agree to the terms and tap Yes, I’m In

Once you’ve completed the steps above your Android device is now ready to find and use Instant Apps. According to Google, there are over 55+ apps with support for Instant Apps, with more coming soon. Now, all you need to do is search for a compatible app.

How to Use Android Instant Apps

You can use Instant Apps in a few different ways. The easiest one is simply searching Google for one of the supported apps. They’ll also work if you click on a web link, URL, or social media post. So if you find something for sale on Wish in a Google search, click the product link and the Wish Instant App will automatically open. Additionally, you’ll be able to use the full app, pay, and check out without installing Wish.

Some of the popular options with Instant Apps support are BuzzFeed, Wish, Tasty, NYTimes, Periscope, Vimeo, Crosswords, Citymapper, OneFootball and even Jet.com.

  • In Google Search look for Wish, BuzzFeed, and many others
  • Tap one of the first results, if next to the app name you see the word Instant
  • Select Open App to get started, or tap Get the App to download it from Google Play
  • The app loads instantly and you can use it like any other app, only you didn’t download it

Most Instant Apps give users full access to any options or services. With Wish, you can see your account, browse items for sale and even complete a secure checkout.

What’s happening here is Google temporarily added key aspects of the app to your device from the cloud. Once you’re done, everything gets removed as if nothing happened. Making the experience fast and smooth, yet you didn’t download anything or waste valuable space on your smartphone or tablet.

Other Details

If you want to download the app after testing it out simply pull down the notification bar on your device and tap App Info. From here you’ll see a page that looks like the Google Play Store where you can download it to your device.

Keep in mind that the Android Instant Apps feature is still slowly rolling out to all Android devices, or getting support from app developers. This means some might not see the option in settings, and some apps won’t work right away.

This is an exciting feature that has tons of potential. If the option to enable it isn’t available yet check back in the near future.

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