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Getting started with Android Instant Apps

Ready to begin converting your installed app to an instant app? This article takes you through the steps you need to complete in order to convert your existing APK to an instant app.

Step 1: Develop a use case for your instant app

Focus on a core user experience that completes a specific action and optimizes a key business metric besides app installs. Then review the user experience guidelines for Android Instant Apps.

Step 2: Prepare your app for conversion

Make sure that you have prepared your app for conversion to an instant app.

The Android App Links feature was introduced in Android 6.0 and lets users tap on a web link to open your app (if it is already installed). Instant apps leverage the same app links feature to create HTTPS URLs that launch activities in your instant app.

App links are required in instant apps because URLS are the only way a user can launch an instant app (instant apps are not installed).

For a guide to creating Android App Links in both your installable app and your instant app, see Handling Android App Links.

Be sure to also see Create App Links for Instant Apps to learn about differences and tips you should be aware of when creating app links for your instant app.

Once you have implemented app links in your app, verify that the app links work as expected by following the guide to test app links.

Step 4: Set up your development environment

Install the Instant Apps SDK and then set up your development environment and test devices.

Step 5: Build a simple instant app

Follow the guide to create a first instant app.

You can also learn how to refactor a simple Android Studio project to become an instant app by completing the Instant Apps Codelab.

Step 6: Plan the structure of your instant app

Before restructuring your own app as an instant app, you must decide how to structure your app and then plan your restructuring efforts. This process can differ for each app, depending on the complexity and design of your app.

For more information about how to restructure your Android Studio project to build an instant app, see Project structure.

Step 7: Build and run your instant app

If you run into difficulties, review the troubleshooting guide. You may also want to review the FAQs page for common issues.

Step 8: Test and distribute your instant app

When you're ready to test and distribute your instant app, you can configure releases through the Google Play Console. For more information, see Distribute your instant app.

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