When the mobile phone started accepting installation of apps, and they became a vision of income-inducing splendour, lots of companies decided to get on the bandwagon and create apps of their own. Not only did they overreact, but they never thought IF they should actually be doing it in the first place.
Many years have passed since this happened, and luckily companies are smarter today – or are they?
The problem we have here is that most of us do not realise that even though mobile is all about convenience, users still have pet hates. Those hates include an app drawer that is unmanageably full, running out of space due to apps, and of course installing something which does the same as the website.
After Google I/O 2016 (I think), I was super excited to hear about Instant Apps, essentially apps that would stream instead of install, effectively solving all the problems stated above.
If you do not understand this, let me run a scenario past you:
1. You walk into your favourite fashion retailer. You want to scan a product for more details. By simply visiting the retailer’s website, you can open the scan link.
2. It streams the store’s scanning app and product info onto your phone and you get your information. Happy with the information, you scan more items and walk to the mirrors.
3. You select the “Try On” link on the site, opening up an augmented reality app that allows you to fit the items you scanned and mix and match without putting down your bag. You swipe items.
4. You click “Select and Pick.” When arriving at the till, your products have been picked for you and you just need to pay.
No more multiple apps to get stuff done or apps that duplicate online experiences for the sake of having apps installed on devices. It also means marketers can try and launch new, exciting apps without begging people to download it first – a win-win for the marketer and consumer.
Let’s be clear though. This will not replace full-blown apps with specific use cases, but it will at least remove the large barrier of entry to a lot of features people never see.