Google Introduces Instant Apps for Games, Branding It as Google Play Instant

20 March, 2018, 04:29 | Author: Marjorie Miles
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Ahead of the Game Developers Conference, Google announced new Maps APIs to allow developers to create more Pokemon Go-like augmented reality apps, as well as video ads for the Play Store. Tapping that button brings up an oh-so-brief loading screen (so quick that we had to try several times just to grab a screenshot of it in progress) before taking you right into the gaming action. Things would only get worse if you didn't like how the game played after committing to a near two-gigabyte download. "We're excited to work with Google in reimagining the iconic gameplay of our Words With Friends 2 and Solitaire titles for more than 1 billion Android players around the world in a seamless, free-to-play experience". If a particular game has an instant version, you'll see a new "TRY NOW" button next to "INSTALL".

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In the blog post explaining the new feature, Google also notes that the company is working with Unity and others to make building instant apps as painless as possible for developers in the future. But it's also a competitive field where one hit can make or break a company.

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Google lists a handful of apps that support Instant apps, including Skyscanner, NYTimes Crossword Puzzle, Buzzfeed, Onefootball, Red Bull TV, and the UN's ShareTheMeal app. Offering a way for users to try them out before downloading could help boost the number of users. That's probably easier said than done, though, given that you still want players to have an interesting experience. The app originally was Android's answer to the iOS Game Center, with a focus on achievements, matchmaking and playing games with friends, but now it's been redesigned with a bigger focus on curated content and discovery features. Until then, interested devs can apply for consideration or more information here. The update is now live in the Google Play Store. For games, though, the team chose to increase the maximum file size from 2 MB to 10 MB, which isn't really a surprise, given that a game needs a few more graphical assets than your regular to-do list app.

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