All You Need to Know About the New iOS App Clips

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What is an App Clip?

There’s an iPhone app for almost everything a user might like to do under the sun. However, it’s common for users not to find the exact app to do what they intend to do when they need it the most. Apple’s latest software update iOS 14 promises revolutionary features for iPhone users. For example, it brings along the concept of App Clips.


An App Clip is essentially a small part of an app, designed to appear as soon as a user needs it. These clips are minuscule app snippets that range within 10 MB. They launch instantly at the bottom of the iPhone, replacing the need for users to download apps from the iOS marketplace. They cater to the specific needs of users in terms of functionality and offer a fraction of the app experience.


What can App Clips do?

Small snippets of an application, discoverable on-demand, app clips can revamp the way users approach mobile apps.


They allow users to try their hand at a snippet of an application. They also let users download the full app if they like it or want to do more with it.


How do App Clips work?

The App Clip life cycle begins with a user’s interaction with an invocation.


When a user tags an NFC tag (app clip invocation), the iOS system detects it and extracts the invocation URL from it. This URL defines the functionality that the user intends to leverage from the app clip. The system passes down the URL to the app clip along with necessary data to direct the user to the functionality required to execute the NFC tag. On verification, the Invocation URL allows iOS to present App clip card to its users.


While an iOS app can have only one app clip associated with it, it can also be associated with multiple cards offered by the same app clip. That said, an app clip card is associated with a unique app clip experience. The iOS interface matches Invocation URL to the closest app clip card, as per a user’s need. The system then presents the app clip card without any code involvement or developer interaction.


There is a call-to-action button that indicates the main functionalities of the app clip for the user’s clarity. Moreover, a banner guides the user to the full version of the app on the Apple app store.


How Can iOS Users Discover App Clips?

There are multiple ways a user can discover an app clip on their iPhone devices.


1.) NFC Tags

Users can tap NFC tags to launch an app clip which businesses place at specific locations on the iPhone. This helps them perform the task even through a locked screen.


2.) QR Codes

Businesses also place QR codes in specific locations on the iPhones that enable users to launch an app clip by merely scanning the code through a camera app or barcode reader.


3.) Smart App Banner

With the Smart app banner, Apple users can tap onto a business’s web page to open the Apple clips app.


How Can iOS Users Discover App Clips


4.) Message Links

App clip users can share them with internal messaging via iMessage to their acquaintances.


5.) Cards in Maps

App clips linked to particular locations can be registered by business to appear on a place card in Maps.


6.) New App Library

To avoid cluttering the iOS home screen, Apple’s app clips can be discovered and launched from the Recents section in the new App Library directly.


How Can App Clips Help App Businesses?

The recent shift of focus from improving the iOS app experience to simplifying it is evident in the App Clips launched by Apple. With App Clips, the company takes the user experience beyond app installs, aiming to bring distinct value to its users.


There is no apprehension about the fact that App Clips promise vivid advantages for businesses. App businesses can quell the intense competition on the app marketplace with the help of optimally designed iOS app clips.


a.) Businesses can showcase relevant features and functionalities to their target market segment, exactly when they need it via app clips. App clips can help enterprises with conversion rates through high visibility that they offer. They aid app discovery.


b.) App clips are time-saving from a user’s perspective and hence profitable for businesses that intend to leverage it. They contribute to app revenue, albeit indirectly.


How Can App Clips Help App Businesses


c.) Users appreciate the enhanced privacy that comes with the use of app clips. Businesses that invest in developing app clips have them integrated with Apple pay. Users that use such app clips can support payments without any need of saving their payment information, provided they sign in with their Apple account.


d.) Businesses can create an omnichannel retail experience with App clips.



App clips promise the kind of instantaneous experience that modern iOS users crave. Apple has a beautifully crafted app clip infrastructure for a seamless transition into the full app experience.


As app businesses gear up to leverage visibility on the marketplace with app clips, they often overlook the importance of the expertise that their app development company has to offer in creating app clips. Businesses can not compromise on the app UI and UX even if most users would want to interact with an app snippet in the form of an app clip. If an app clip fails to provide the necessary convenience in its user experience, it would defeat its own purpose and bring a bad name to the brand.


Promatics’ iPhone app developers provide excellent services for multiple businesses across the globe. Since Apple’s first announcement about the iOS 14 software updates, we have experimented with App Clip’s development guide as well as design guidelines. In the process, we have chalked out ways to escalate the overall user experience that we offer with the iOS app that we develop. As we eagerly wait for Apple to launch the tools for creating app clip codes with encoded URL and an NFC tag, we recommend our business clients allow deep linking and Siri integration into the iOS app experiences we create for them.

Ready to Take the Next Step?


Hariom Tiwari

Associate Project Manager

A dynamic professional with strengths in both project and time management. With strong analytical skills and the ability to provide tremendous business solutions, he made his way to a Project Manager in a short span of time. He is collaborative and highly skilled in working as a team member, incorporating best practices in successfully executing complex projects. His expertise includes analyzing the technical needs of the clients, proposing effective solutions and delivering large scale projects on time. He possesses strong communication skills as well as interpersonal skills with the ability to interact with people at all levels. In leisure time, Hari Om enjoys cooking and roving with his loved ones.

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