Another small quality-of-life improvement that Apple is introducing in iOS 14 is App Clips, a feature we heard rumoured a few weeks ago that will allow users to quickly share and bring up micro-apps for various specific purposes without needing to download and install a whole app.
The idea here is to help users surface the right app at the right time for different purposes. App Clips can be triggered by scanning NFC tags or QR codes, accessed from place cards in Maps, web pages in Safari, or even shared via iMessage. They’re designed for speed — developers have to keep them under 10MB in size — and provide only the basic necessary information in the form of a card that pops up over whatever screen the user is already on.
They’re also designed to integrate with features like Apple Pay and Sign in with Apple to make the experience as fast and smooth as possible. For example, a user could use an App Clip to rent a scooter or order a coffee in a few seconds using Apple Pay without having to take the time to download a full app.
App Clips can include the option to download the full app, although this won’t be at all necessary, and users can call up App Clips as needed without ever needing to clutter the Home screen with an app they otherwise might not need to have installed. App Clips can also be made to work for businesses that don’t have their own iOS apps by directing users to sections of other apps, like a business’ page in Yelp, for example.