Skip to main content

You can try games before downloading them with Google Play Instant

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google Play Instant was launched last year as a way for developers to bring a native app experience to users without those users having to install anything. In other words, all users had to do was hit a link within search results, and the “app” would load on their phone — then it would disappear from their device when they exited the app. Now, Google is extending that service to games.

Discovering new Instant games is actually pretty easy. Simply head to the Google Play Games app, head to the “Arcade” tab and hit the “Play” button on a game you would like to try. There, you will also be able to see things like news and YouTube videos related to the game. You can also head to the Google Play store and hit the “Try now” button. Not all games support the new feature — at launch, you will be able to try Clash Royale, Words With Friends 2, Panda Pop, and more.

According to TechCrunch, Google had to make a few changes to Instant apps for it to make sense for games. For starters, it had to increase the limit of Instant from two megabytes to 10, which makes sense considering the fact that games just require a little more juice. For those that have reasonably decent internet connections and modern phones, those 10-megabyte apps should still load relatively quickly and function perfectly fine.

In general, the feature is clearly aimed at encouraging users to try more apps — and ultimately buy or download the apps that they like. People prefer being able to “try before they buy,” and often that “in-app purchases” label can scare potential downloaders away.

As time goes on, we will likely see more Instant apps and games. It offers a clear advantage for developers, who have more of an opportunity to introduce their apps to users without those users having to commit to downloading an app, and it offers an advantage to users, who can try apps before they download them. For now, the project is a closed beta, however, Google will be opening it up to more developers later this year, so expect to start seeing that “Try now” button more and more often.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
If you’re done with Palworld, try this monster-catching game next
A summoner poses with chimera in Dicefolk.

Who would have thought that 2024 would be the year of the monster-collecting game? While several have tried (and often struggled) to recapture the joys of Pokémon, this year’s Palworld is perhaps the first game that’s ever truly been able to pull it off. Granted, it did that by trading in finely tuned RPG combat for Ark-like survival crafting that makes it an entirely different game, but a win’s a win. While Palworld has broken records on Steam, its early access nature means you can hit its bottom quickly -- something fans seem to be struggling with as its player count continues to drop.

Thankfully, there’s another monster-catching game you can move on to next. Dicefolk is a new roguelike where players amass a team of animal pals and control them in turn-based battles with dice. As is fashionable as of late, it’s another indie genre fusion that looks to mix roguelikes, deck-builders, and monster-catching RPGs. While it doesn’t excel in any individual category, Dicefolk does offer a creative mash-up of the three that’s sure to find its loyalists.
Gotta roll 'em all
Dicefolk follows a fairly traditional roguelike formula, though one that’s loaded up with twists. When I start a run, I’m dropped into a small map dotted with different icons. Some take me into a battle, while others give me upgrades or let me shop for gear. My goal in each level is to find and defeat the boss encounter, while tackling as many of the area’s challenges as I want to refine my party.

Read more
You can try No Man’s Sky for free this weekend
A screenshot of the Omega update for No Man's Sky.

Hello Games released the Omega update for No Man's Sky today and is making the sci-fi game free-to-play temporarily to celebrate.

The main draw of the Omega update is that it incorporates cooperative expeditions into the main game experience rather than relegating them to a side mode. The Omega expedition was added to the game today, and tasks players with exploring and charting every inch of the planet Nafut Gamma. Completing this expedition will reward players with a limited-edition helmet and staff Multi-Tool, and players can carry over any resources gained during it. While this change is the biggest addition of the Omega update, it's far from the only notable change.

Read more
Can you play the Nintendo Switch Lite on a TV?
nintendo new switch lite model fcc joy con drift blue

The Nintendo Switch Lite is the smaller, more affordable sibling of the standard Nintendo Switch. This makes it a great option for frugal shoppers, as it's capable of playing all the same games yet carries a much friendlier price tag. However, the Switch Lite doesn't share all the same features as the standard Switch. A big difference is that it won't fit in a traditional Switch dock. That means you'll need to pick up a third-party model if you want somewhere to store and charge your handheld while it's not in use.

But can you play the Nintendo Switch Lite on a TV while it's docked? And is it possible to play Switch Lite on a TV using an HDMI cable or other workaround? Here's everything you need to know about the device.
Can you play the Nintendo Switch Lite on a TV?

Read more