5 cool ideas for iOS 14 App Clips

December 12, 2020

background

What is App Clips?

App Clips can be considered an App Preview ( however, we will see that it is much more than App Previews ). App Clips allow new customers to experience a small subset of your iOS App. This is only possible if the users does not have your App on their iOS device.

App Clips, like normal Apps are downloaded from the AppStore. The major difference better App Clips and nomal iOS Apps is the friction to download them is removed. App Clips are downloaded automatically without any AppStore approval.

Ideally, App Clips should appear instantaneously for the user. App Clips should have a small app size foot print - less than 10mbs! Thus, a small app size reduces the download time for your App Clip. This is important - especially if your target customers are in countries with low internet bandwidth.

What strategies can I use to adopt App Clips?

App clips on iphone

App Clips adoption can be grouped in one or both usage cases

  • Help increase visibility of your App ( App Marketing )
  • Help provide convenience or functionality to customers

App Clip helps increase visibility of your App

App Clips allow new users to preview and try out your App. If users find value in you App, they can decide to download it. For apps with huge download size, this may be beneficial in acquiring new users. Users do not have to wait for a full download to experience your app features.

Apps without a free version can adopt App Clips to their advantage. Instead of creating a duplicate free app on the AppStore, developers can upload an App Clip for customers to try. Likely, exposing your apps core and unique features can help gain new customers

In addition, your App Clip is given 8 hours to send notifications to users ( without use approval ). Leveraging on notifications can be used to convince your users to install your app.

App Clips can provide convenience to your customers

App Clip can be used to serve your customer needs immediately at premise. Examples are:

  • Skipping the queue
  • Ordering and paying at a restaurant
  • Purchasing movie tickets

There are multiple use cases where App Clips can enhance a business. And users can have this experience without downloading your app.

How are App Clips distributed?

Based on apple documentation on App Clips; App Clips can be invoked by the following:

  • App Clip Codes
  • NFC Tags
  • QR Codes
  • Safari App Banner
  • Links in Messages
  • Place Cards in Maps
  • Recently Used App Clips

Most importantly, App clips are meant to be contextual. Discovery of App Clips, should be a natural experience for the user. It does not make sense to receive an App Clips for Ice cream shop in the middle of the Sahara.

Business that can benefit with App Clips adoption

I did a quick brainstorming session to find use cases of App Clips. I believe these businesses are the best use cases to adopt iOS 14 App Clips:

1. Let customers skip the queue type

Queuing in line

Businesses that operate in queues can benefit the most with App clips. No one likes lining up and waiting for the queue. Businesses can enhance their customer experience by allowing customers to skip the queue with an App Clips.

Great examples of App Clip usages:

  • Restaurants can allow customers to order and pay from their iOS device with an App Clips.
  • Attractions like fun fairs, can allow customers to pay for the entry fare with an App Clip.s
  • Movie goers without the movie/cinema app can purchase movie tickets from an App Clips.

2. Hotel and Airports

Waiting at Airport

Apps like Airport and Hotel apps are the type of apps that I do not install. Their use cases are limited. I only need them when travelling.

However, an App Clip for Hotel and Airports is a different matter since theres no friction to download the app Imagine arriving at the airport, scanning on a Apple Code Clip instantly presents an App Clips with your flight number, boarding time and boarding gate.

All without downloading the app.

Or at a Hotel, skip the check-in queue with an App Clips. And use the App Clips to order room services and in-stay services like massage, without picking up the hotel phone.

3. Coupons, Loyalty and Reward Apps

Starbucks coupon

Coupons and Loyalty Apps can increase their install rate by convincing users to install their app. Customers can scan a receipt with an App Clip Code. They will receive an App Clip that shows their earned reward points.

App Clips expire in 8 hours after their last usage. The coupon app can warn customer that their reward points will be lost unless the full app is installed.

4. Pay for Parking

Parking lot

Places with local parking apps may leverage App Clips. Most likely drivers would need to scan a QRCode to open the App Clip which allows them entry to a parking facility.

Upon exiting the facility, they could pay with Apple pay from their iOS device. Pretty cool!

5. Privacy COVID-19 Tracking

CoronaVirus

A lot of premises require customers to register before entering a premise ( shopping malls and restaurant ). This is important to help contain an outbreak when a new virus cluster is detected. Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 tracking websites and apps are very fragmented. Plust, they do not help maintain your privacy.

With App Clips, users can register themselves in a premise by Apple Signin. Unlike QRCodes on websites with cookies, tracking with App Clips and Apple Signin is privacy friendly.

Though I do wish we will not need this feature when iOS 14 is public!

Resources

App Clips is still very new. Over time, I will revise some more ideas as needed. I the meantime feel free to read more about using App Clips on Apples developer resource.

Maybe some of my usage ideas is to far fetched !