Google Releases Android Instant Apps SDK 1.1

| by Sergio De Simone Follow 12 Followers on Oct 14, 2017. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

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A few months after its introduction at Google I/O 2017, the Android Instant Apps SDK reaches version 1.1, bringing configuration APKs for binary size optimization and a new API to keep user context when transitioning to an installed app from an instant app.

As InfoQ reported, one key feature of instant apps is their reduced size. To help developers reach the goal of keeping their instant app modules below the 4MB threshold, Google is making it possible to isolate device-specific resources and native libraries into independent APKs. Those independent APKs, called configuration APKs, are loaded by the SDK only whey they are relevant to the user’s device. Currently, three kinds of configuration APKs are supported, for display density, CPU architecture (ABI), and language. According to Google, this should help reduce binary size by 10%.

Another feature that both developers and users will welcome is persistent user context support on older Android versions. With persistent user context, an installed app can access the internal storage of its instant counterpart, thus allowing users to preserve any information they have created using the latter when installing the full app. Installed apps can call InstantAppsClient.getInstantAppData() to get a zip file of the instant app’s internal storage. Supported Android versions now include Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat, thanks to Google Play Services.

Instant Apps is Google’s take on deep linking, allowing to split up a regular Android application into modules and only load them when the user chooses a specific action in another application. All of this can work without having to install the application and aims to provide a seamless transition between apps.

You can update to version 1.1 of Android Instant Apps SDK by using the SDK Manager in Android Studio.

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