Some Pixel and Nexus owners can begin using Android Instant Apps now

instant apps
Late last month, Google announced it was beginning a limited test for its new Android Instant Apps initiative, a platform that allows users to run software without installing it to their device. Now, the functionality has reportedly reached some Pixel and recent Nexus phones, according to 9to5Google and Reddit.

In typical Google fashion, not all supported devices running the most current versions of 7.0 Nougat are receiving Instant Apps immediately — the company appears to be rolling out the feature slowly, without notifying users. You can check if your phone is ready to start running Instant Apps by visiting the Google > Services submenu inside Settings. Eligible devices will have a toggle for Instant Apps, where the user can opt in.

If you’re one of the chosen few, the method for finding Instant Apps is still a bit counter-intuitive in these early stages. Users have to search for them in Chrome, and currently there are only four known examples: Buzzfeed, Viki, Periscope, and Wish. With any luck, a search result near the top labeled “Instant” should appear, and you can follow that link to run the app.

At this point, not all of the apps are working in all cases, and 9to5Google says it is unclear which devices and versions of Android will receive the feature first. Google has stated it is targeting 4.1 Jelly Bean forward for the full release.

Google is pitching Instant Apps as a solution to the problem of having to install an app you’ll only use once, or just want to test-drive. Think of them as smaller, stripped-down versions of existing apps that disappear from the device the moment they are closed.

When Google announced the initiative in May of last year, it said that about “half a dozen” partners had agreed to embrace the format, including B&H Photo Video, Medium, Hotel Tonight, Zumper, Disney, and the aforementioned Buzzfeed. Instant Apps seem particularly beneficial for uncommon services, like hotel hunting, or impromptu shopping needs, so look forward to similar apps joining the list later on.

Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Mobile

T-Mobile, unlocked Galaxy Note 9 phones finally getting Android Pie update

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Computing

Android app mirroring is coming to Windows 10, and it could save tablet mode

Several months after a brief demo on stage during a Surface event, Microsoft is now starting the process of testing out a beta version of the Android App mirroring feature with Windows Insiders.
Mobile

Most Android antivirus apps fail to provide malware protection, study shows

A study by AV-Comparatives analyzed the effectiveness of Android antivirus apps in protecting against the 2,000 most common malware threats. Alarmingly, only 23 of the apps were able to detect 100 percent of the malware samples.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Walmart to launch it’s own low-priced tablet, powered by Android 9.0 Pie

Walmart will soon launch its own low-cost, kid-friendly tablet, which will be powered by Android 9.0 Pie. The price and release date for the device are still unknown, but it will reportedly feature a MediaTek processor with 2 GB of RAM.
Mobile

Safeguard your Sony Xperia 10 smartphone with one of these cases

If you're looking for some protection to keep your Sony smartphone safe, or you want a different style, we've got you covered here with a list of the best Sony Xperia 10 cases. There are clear cases, rugged cases, wallet cases, and more.
Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.
Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile

FCC to help first responders pinpoint 911 callers in multistory buildings

When someone calls 911 from their cell phone, wireless carriers provide operators with an approximate location. Now the FCC wants the carriers to provide vertical location data to pinpoint 911 callers inside multi-story buildings.
Mobile

Latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone will pop up on April 10

Samsung will show at least one new Galaxy phone off on April 10, it has confirmed in a teaser tweet. The Galaxy A90 may make its first appearance, and it's rumored to have a pop-up camera and a notch-less screen.
Mobile

Leaked ZTE concept phones are crazy, possibly fake, and totally worth seeing

Renders of what may be ZTE concept phones may show how the manufacturer could avoid using the notch on future devices. They're crazy -- and maybe not even real -- but they're definitely worth looking at.