App Clips in iOS 14

App Clips are there, just when they’re needed. If you want an app for a specific task, like paying for parking or ordering a meal, you can download a specific part of the app experience in seconds, without installing the whole thing.

How many times have you installed an app, used it once and then deleted it? Maybe you’re in a hotel or restaurant and want to order your meal with its app but you’re away on business and unlikely to use it again? Or you’re on holiday and you want to hire a scooter or a bike for the day but it isn’t something you’re likely to do again when your vacation is over?

With App Clips, there’s no need to download a full app. You simply download its App Clip, a small piece of the main app that does exactly what you need and then disappears.

You download an App Clip by scanning a QR code, placing your iPhone next to an NFC tag or by using an Apple-designed App Clip code. You can also open them from apps such as Safari, Maps, Messages and more. A small ‘card’ pops up, inviting you to open the App Clip by pressing the Open button.

App Clips are Apple Pay-compatible, so you can pay for goods and services at the tap of a button, without having to input your credit card number and they can use Sign in With Apple, so there’s no need to create an account. If you decide you want to download the full app after all, you can do so directly from the App Clip.

Because they’re so small, App Clips download in seconds. They’re right there when you need them and when you’re done they go away, so you don’t have to clog up your iPhone with apps you no longer need.

App Clip Example – Renting a Spin Scooter

If you want to rent a Spin Scooter, you can download the App Clip and pay for it using Apple Pay. Just scan the App Clip code, open the App Clip and tap the Apple Pay button to pay for it. Having done its job, the app then disappears.

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Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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