Google to let more app developers offer 'Instant' trials this year

The company wants to help developers engage more deeply with their audience.

Google's just released Android 9.0 -- aka Pie -- so it seems like as good a time as any for the company to reflect on some of the platforms achievements in recent times, and to consider what's on the horizon. In a blog post, director of Google Play, Apps & Games Purnima Kochikar has outlined some of the behind-the-scenes milestones Google Play has seen this year, and hints at a more "instant" experience for app developers in the future.

Kochikar says that work over the last 12 months has delivered a 65 percent decrease in app sizes, a reduced crash rate of 70 percent and a 30 percent increase in visits to the Google Play Store, thanks to improvements to the discovery experience alone. The company is obviously keen to build on these figures, so it says it plans to prioritize Google Play Instant (the feature that lets users try out an app before going through the normal installation process) for developers, as well as improve the machine learning that delivers personalized Play Store suggestions. The aim, Kochikar says, is to help developers engage more deeply with their audience.

Improved app quality and ongoing security are also on the agenda, as is an expanded commerce platform. Google Play now collects payments in 150 countries, and in 2018 the company has focused on rolling this out in Africa and Latam, with launches in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Peru and Colombia. It's also launched seller support in 18 new markets. Again, the company wants to give developers more control and peace of mind -- the success of the Google Play largely depends on developers bringing new and interesting products to the fold, so it's obviously in Google's best interests to make sure they have the support and tools they need.