The selection is tiny
Sick of having to download apps before you can see what they’re like? Google is helping to get rid of much of that hassle by adding a “Try It Now” option beside apps on its Google Play store, which allows you to use stripped-down, web-based versions of the app rather than having to download the whole shebang.
You’ll basically be using a website, but to outward appearances it won’t look or perform much differently than the app you otherwise would have downloaded.
The feature builds off of Google’s “Instant Apps” feature the company first announced to much fanfare at Google IO 2016. Google opened the development of Instant Apps late last May, but today marks the first time the service has been available straight from the Google Play storefront. Up until today, you had to use a specialized app.
Despite all that lead time, the number of apps that support the feature is almost laughably small. At the time of writing, in fact, we found only eight, including favorites like the New York Times Crossword app or specialized apps for media like BuzzFeed News or Red Bull TV.
Based on these selections, it’s probably wise to assume you won’t be seeing this feature being used for, say, a 3GB mobile game.
But, the feature certainly has its uses, such as occasions when you might want to buy tickets through an app you’ll only use once or twice. With Try It Now, you can make the purchase through the usually slick, intuitive app rather than through the often unreliable and cramped interface you often get on a mobile site.