App Clips, what are the new super-lightweight iPhone apps

On iOS 14 will come App Clips, mini-versions of iPhone apps that don't have to be installed on the device. Here's what they are

One of the most interesting new features of iOS 14, officially unveiled by Apple on June 22 during WWDC 2020, is the introduction of "App Clips." These are partial versions of the apps on the App Store, which will be used by the user to evaluate the full app and decide whether to download it.

Or, as Apple illustrated, they can be used as a "lite" and customized version of the app so that users can download and install only those parts of the app that they really need. All this, however, will not be immediate or automatic: developers will have to rewrite the apps so that they can be fragmented into "Clips" and downloaded independently. It is, therefore, a big news for the iOS ecosystem that could lead users to use in a very different way (in a sense, more "hit and run") applications and devices. Everything will depend, however, on how developers will want and be able to implement this new feature.

App Clips: how they work

When an app will have Clips, then the user will see them directly in the App Store. A preview of the app will be displayed with an "Open" button. You won't need to download the whole app to use a clip, just the part of the code related to the clip itself. The App Clips system is compatible with Apple Pay and Sign in with Apple, so the user doesn't have to create an account for the app by providing an email address or phone number, for example.

App Clips: what changes for users and developers

The App Clips, if successful, could revolutionize the way Apple users use iOS devices. But it's all down to the ability of developers to create clips that are attractive enough to entice users to use them, and not just previews with limited functionality.

It will be possible to create apps with free clips for basic functions, which will convince users to download (and pay for) the full app. During the entire trial phase, however, the user will not have installed anything and will not have disclosed his data to anyone, which, among other things, will increase the security of iOS devices and Apple accounts.