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App Clips And Why You Should Be Excited About Them

Technology

Isadora Teich wrote this article

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I’m sure you’ve heard by now Apple is releasing its next major software update, iOS 14, this fall.

It will have a number of exciting new features. This includes App Clips, which they announced recently at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. In this blog post, we explore the ins and outs of App Clips and answer all of your questions.

So, what are App Clips? How exactly will they work?

Let’s get to it!

A Short Intro To App Clips

Currently, an app exists for almost anything you can imagine — all accessible from your iPhone.

But especially if you are an app lover with an extensive collection, accessing the app you need when you want it can be a little bit tricky. Also, many apps have numerous functions to sort through to get to where you want to go.

Or, if you need an app for something but don’t have it downloaded yet, this would obviously need to happen first, at times requiring a lengthy signup process.

In both of these scenarios, App Clips come in very handy for users.

An app clip is essentially a small part of an app that is focused on performing a specific task. Designed to appear instantaneously and on demand with the quick scan of a QR code, this new feature on its way will only make apps more accessible to users on-the-go.

 

For example, if you use a specific app to pay for parking, takeout, or coffee, App Clips ensure that app appears when you need it, even accessing your saved billing information via Apple Pay.

App clips are actually quite small in size. They are under 10MB and launch quickly at the bottom of your iPhone. Their unpbtrusive appearance means that you don’t have to root through your phone for the app or scramble to download it from the App Store for a quick transaction.

Both of these actions take longer than launching an App Clip. This means, users can do whatever they need to do faster.

App Clips are simply small snippets of apps that focus on the part of the app users need in the moment.

How Does This Work?

App Clips will not be available for all apps, but if an App Clip is available for the functionality you need, there are several ways you will be able to find them.

This can be through App Clip codes, NFC tags, or QR codes. You can scan these with your iPhone camera or tap the NFC tag. App Clips can be launched from Messages, Safari, and Maps. Apple says this feature will be similar to Android’s “Instant Apps.”

So, when you scan a QR code, an App Clip card will be launched.

It will show up at the bottom of your phone display. Then, you will have the option to “Open” them. The task the App Clip will perform when you select Open will be seen next to the Open action button, which is below the name of the app.

For example, if you wanted to rent a bike via an app, the App Clip for the app needed will show up at the bottom of your phone when you scan the code on the bike. You will have the option to pay and agree to the terms and conditions, without having to locate the app if it is already in your library or downloading it first if you don’t already have it.

App Clips will allow users to sign in automatically to access your app (no user sign up or login necessary), make Apple Pay transactions, and more quickly and securely without searching for, navigating through, or downloading an app. You will be able to get the functions you need from apps without making accounts or sharing your payment information. Then, after you have completed a task via App Clips, it will disappear after a short lived stint in the ‘Recently Added’ section of the App Library coming soon.

This added convenience is just one benefit of App Clips. Users will also be able to learn more about local businesses quickly and with less effort with these helpful app snapshots.

Which Apps Will Be Compatible with App Clips?

You may be wondering if all of your favorite apps will be App Clips friendly.

However, this is a somewhat complicated question.

It will depend on whether developers choose to utilize them, if it makes sense for their app, and how long it takes them to develop what they need to use App Clips. Apple has previewed App Clips months ahead of time to give developers time to make these choices and work on getting their apps ready for App Clips.

At the moment, there is no complete list of apps it will be available for, but it does make much more sense for some apps than others.

For example, App Clips integration makes more sense for an app that enables purchases of products than a music listening app. We do know so far that it will be available for a handful of apps, including Etsy and Spin.

Apple Focuses On Small Businesses

Apple says that App Clips will be a useful tool to help small businesses build and market apps for their customers.

App Clips enables brick-and-mortar businesses to print out images similar to QR codes that users can then scan with their phones. Then, a small interactive part of the business’ app pops up, with an instant opportunity to drive brand loyalty by offering added convenience (I mean, who doesn’t like that?).

You might be tempted to ask yourself, don’t I want users to download and sign up for my app? Won’t App Clips ultimately mean no one wants to download my app anymore?

Not necessarily.

This will bring your app’s services to an audience that ordinarily might not download it at all. In a moment of need, users will likely be more inclined to enter your app’s unique identifier and explore the app in a way that feels ‘not-so-permanent’, and less prone to cluttering their phone’s aesthetic.

Ultimately, you’ll be getting more opportunities to interact with your customer base and drive interest to your app.

Apple has also taken this a step further to make this even more accessible to small businesses out there. They’ve worked with Yelp to make creating specialized apps for businesses with minimal coding work.

When Will App Clips Arrive?

The new iOS 14 has already launched in developer beta. During the month of August, it will be launched in public beta.

App clips will likely be available when iOS 14 is released in the fall of 2020. This will likely occur around September when the highly anticipated iPhone 12 will be unveiled. App Clips will work on iPhone 6 and newer.

Apple is putting a lot of focus on app accessibility and organization.

There will be home screen widgets and a new App Library that improves upon the older ones. This new App Library will also house the App Clips that were most recently used.

Final Thoughts

There will be a host of other exciting features in the iOS 14.

With these updates, Apple is focusing on user feedback and updates to improve the overall user experience.

They have also made some exciting additions, such as a live translation app that allows users to talk across nearly a dozen languages.

There will also be new privacy features. For example, users will be warned when apps access their camera or microphone. App Clips is just one of many innovative things expected with iOS 14.

Are you excited for App Clips?

Talk to me.

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