A crowded home screen is an inevitable problem faced by all iPhone users. To reduce app overload, Apple has introduced app clips in iOS 14 that allow users to try out the basic functionality of the app without having to download it completely.
Think of app clips as half the point between a mobile website and a full app download. App clips reveal themselves as a quick option to perform simple tasks such as making reservations, making an appointment, appreciating a ride share, or submitting a takeout order, depending on your location or what you are doing on your iPhone.
You have to hunt around to find apps that support app clips, but here’s how it works.
How to use application clips
I used Apple Maps to search for local businesses that offer app clips integration and stumbled upon local Panera bread, which gave me hints of location and gave me an order food option in its Apple Maps list.
Tapping the Order Food option provided an option to download the official app along with the app clip. After opening the app clip, I was taken to the limited menu, where I was able to select sandwiches and other items. In fact, to see the full menu, I was recommended to download the official app.
I ignored that message and completed my order. I was then able to choose the pickup option and pay with Apple Pay. Since Apple Pay already contains my basic information (name, address, phone number, etc.) I do not need to fill out the customer form — all required information is copied to the bill and I am given pick-up time at my command.
If you find you need to reuse the service, Apple will save a copy of the app clip to your “recently added” application library folder. It will be removed automatically after 30 days, but you can quickly delete your app clips by going to the app clips section of your iPhone settings or downloading the official app.
Waiting for the app to download or searching through a mobile-friendly website — and then creating a dedicated Panera account — the app clip is simple and easy with enough information to complete my work with pre-demographic information from Apple Pay. Speed up the process.
Not all businesses use app clips in this exact way, it will be interesting to see how businesses integrate app clips into their mobile strategy.