Something similar is already available on Android, in the form of Slices, since Android P.
Taking cues from Google’s Android, Apple may soon allow iOS users to try out certain apps without even installing them. Folks over at 9to5Mac have found evidence within an early build of iOS 14 of an API that’s apparently called Clips internally at Apple that would let developers offer certain aspects of their applications up for tryouts without needing a download and install. Something similar is already available on Android, in the form of Slices, since Android P.
Apple is however looking to go a slightly different route with regards to Clips, according to the report. While Google offers Slices as an over-the-air package in Search and also within Google Assistant, Apple’s Clips would have a broader appeal. In that, iPhone users would be able to access them possibly throughout the system.
Of course, it would require developers to make certain aspects of their apps available for Clips, which means that using Apple’s new API, they will be able to create dynamic and interactive elements that could then be used by iPhone users. The way that Apple is looking to do this is through the in-house QR code scanner — although, there could be more ways to access Clips-compliant apps, we just don’t know yet. Scanning a QR code for an app that supports Clips, would open a card with options that users would then be able to make use of. This could help them decide whether they would want to download and install the app, something that would be particularly useful in case of paid apps.
The card would have links to download the app. In case, a user already has the given app installed on their iPhone, the functionality could simply take you there so they could do more.
Apple is reportedly working with OpenTable, Yelp, DoorDash, Sony, and YouTube to implement the new Clips API in their apps.
Apple is expected to announce iOS 14 at its online-only WWDC 2020 in June and while Clips API seems like a very useful thing to have, we will have to wait and watch if it’s indeed coming to an iPhone near you anytime soon.