App Clips For iOS Help Increase App Discovery

How App Clips work

An App Clip is a valuable “clip” of an application available when it’s most relevant and valuable to users. In some ways, it’s like the classic try-before-you-buy experience. Users have a chance to have an engagement with a business before they fully commit to downloading their app. App Clips are small, on-demand files — with a maximum size of 10MB — and are downloaded in seconds, at the exact moment you need them.

A user story: Ordering takeout with an App Clip

Imagine you are ordering takeout at a restaurant for the first time. As you’re browsing the menu on the restaurant’s website, you tap a banner that says “ORDER NOW.” An App Clip downloads in seconds, and through it you complete your purchase. The App Clip tells you when your order will be ready, and includes a link to join the restaurant’s loyalty program.

Why companies should create App Clips

App discovery is always a hot topic among developers and brands, as acquiring new users with more than 2 million apps in the App Store is a huge challenge. Apple’s App Clips expand app discovery beyond the App Store, and gives companies the ability for users to discover their app in the exact context when it’s most valuable in their customer journey.

App Clips trigger at the right time and place

App Clips can be triggered through a variety of sources that companies can use in physical locations, as well as their digital presence. According to Apple’s App Clips developer documentation, these include:

  • QR Codes
  • App banners through Safari browser
  • Links in Messages
  • Place cards in Apple Maps

How Apple App Clips and Google Play Instant Apps compare

Though Apple’s App Clips appear to work similarly to Google’s Instant Apps for Android — the two companies differ in how they position them. Google focuses more on providing a preview of apps, with a big emphasis on games. Apple wants developers to provide something valuable in the moment — including completing transactions without needing to download apps.

  • Once run, App Clips appear in the Recents category within the New App library (which makes it easier to discover the full app experience in the App Store). Google offers no history, making it harder to find previously used Instant Apps or make the connection to the full app.
  • Both App Clips and Instant Apps pass user data to the full apps after they’ve been installed, so the user doesn’t have to input the same information twice.
  • iOS asks user permission before opening each App Clip. Android only requests permission to open all Instant Apps the first time you use one — it won’t ask you again. It’ll just open the Instant App.

Interested in creating an App Clip?

Coming soon to the ArcTouch blog, our development team will walk through the step-by-step process for creating an App Clip. We’ll also cover how apps can use iOS Widgets to show slices of information at the moment users need it. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to get updates on our blog.

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A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store