Google will let you play Android games before downloading them

Google Play Instant is part of a redesign of the Google Play Games app.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

Google Play Instant will let you try out games before purchasing them. 

Screenshot by Shara Tibken/CNET

You'll now be able to try out Android games before buying them.

Google on Monday rolled out Google Play Instant in its Google Play store. You can tap on one of the games listed and play it without having to buy or download it first. Some of the initial games include Clash Royale, Words with Friends 2 and Final Fantasy XV.

Google also said it has redesigned its Google Play Games app with an "Arcade" tab to show game video trailers. New tags like "New" or "Action" make it easier to find a particular type of game. Google also said it will show users news and YouTube videos related to their favorite games to "boost your skills and become a game master."

Watch this: Go from Google Search straight into an app

Games tend to be some of the highest-downloaded content on mobile devices. Google noted in its blog post that the number of Android users who installed a game in the last year has more than doubled. But it's also a competitive field where one hit can make or break a company. Game developers, like other app makers, can struggle to bring attention to their latest offerings. Offering a way for users to try them out before downloading could help boost the number of users. 

Google Play Instant builds on Google's Instant Apps feature from two years ago. It allowed companies to turn any Android app into a website URL. That meant users could access features of an app without having to download it. For instance, if you wanted to buy a camera at B&H Photo, you'd be able to tap on a link and be instantly taken to the shopping cart inside the company's touchscreen-friendly mobile app -- even if you've never installed that app on your phone.

Google made the Google Play Instant announcement as part of this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

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