Have there been times when you had to install an app simply to do one quick task? Are you someone who doesn’t like to install a lot of apps on your phone? Apple is looking to put an end to your misery with iOS 14 later this year. The software update is expected to bring a new feature that allows you to run snippets of apps without having to install the full thing.
The folks over at 9to5Mac continue to comb through an early iOS 14 build and have now discovered strings of code pointing to a new ‘Clips’ API. Not to be confused with the Clips video tool. This API will enable “developers to offer interactive and dynamic content from their apps even if you haven’t installed them,” says the report.
As for how this feature might work, iOS users will be able to scan a QR code (links to content related to a certain app) and see a pop-up card with the native app UI instead of a web version. They can attend to the task at hand in the pop-up card but will later see the option to install the full version. Developers will have to define the parts of their apps (the functionalities) they want users to be able to access via Clips in iOS 14.
Apple is said to be beta testing the Clips framework with a few early participants such as OpenTable, Yelp, DoorDash, Sony’s PS4 Second Screen app, and YouTube.
I know this functionality may sound familiar to a lot of you. This is because Android users have had access to such a feature, known as Instant Apps, for about two years now. The Instant Apps feature allows users to test run an app of their choice before going forward with the full version install. You can also use Instant apps for quicker payments (Google Pay), buying stuff online (Wish), and more.
Since this feature was spotted in a leaked early iOS 14 build, we suggest you take this report with a grain of salt. Apple may be testing this feature internally but we can’t be sure whether it will ship it in the final build, to be unveiled at WWDC 2020 in June, or not. iOS 14 is also rumored to bring other new features like homescreen widgets, a full-fledged password manager, and more.