According to a new report from The Information, Google is considering a feature that would allow users to trial Android apps without having to commit to a full download. The idea is the feature could save users time, battery and data-usage and as a result encourage them to try and ultimately download more apps from Google Play:

Now Google is considering ways to let consumers try out new apps without downloading them in full, something that could save people time and data-usage on their mobile phone plans as well as lead to more downloads, according to a person involved in the discussions about the technology. The approach could be especially useful in developing countries where people have less money to spend on app downloads using their mobile connection.

How exactly the feature would work is unclear, but the report claims it could allow users to have access to only specific features of an app in order to try before buying or downloading the full app. One company that comes to kind is (previously called Kickfolio). Its service allows developers to deploy fully useable HTML5 demo versions of their native iOS and Android apps on the web. The company has also since brought the web demos, which look and behave like their native app counterparts, to Facebook feeds and mobile ads.

The report claims Google has been experimenting with the idea of Android app trials for more than a year.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.