Wednesday, June 24, 2020

App Clips for iOS

Apple (also: Hacker News):

App clips are a great way for users to quickly access and experience what your app has to offer. An app clip is a small part of your app that’s discoverable at the moment it’s needed. App clips are fast and lightweight so a user can open them quickly. Whether they’re ordering take-out from a restaurant, renting a scooter, or setting up a new connected appliance for the first time, users will be able to start and finish an experience from your app in seconds. And when they’re done, you can offer the opportunity to download your full app.


App clips can adopt a new type of notification that can be presented within eight hours of a user launching your app clip.

Erica Sadun:

All App Clips are accessed via URLs and limited to 10MB or less in size. Their job is to move a user through a quick transaction and then either return control to the user or solicit the user to download the full application. So if you’re selling cupcakes, you can “upsell” the experience from a single purchase to a loyalty program app.


When I first saw this feature, I wasn’t all that excited. Now that I’ve dived in a little more I’m much more impressed by the thought care and clever delivery mechanism Apple. has put together.

Update (2020-07-27): Curtis Herbert:

Interesting to think about the parallels between AMP and App Clips (at least for URL triggering). Both are an attempt to keep people in the platform’s ecosystem, and focus on small footprints / focused tasks, without sending them to some JS-loaded BS web page.

If we get enough App Clips registered for URLs, Apple has it’s own mini App-web.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

The funny thing is that when Apple says anything is "discoverable at the moment it’s needed," I've learned that more often than not, the opposite is true.

Like Erica I was initially dismissive of App Clips, but I’ve also come around to thinking they have some potential. I install very few apps on my iPhone. I’m never going to install an app for Local Pizza Place or whatever. But if there’s an App Clip at the shop that I know is ephemeral and locked down by Apple, I might consider the convenience.

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