Apple introduced App Clips with iOS 14 at WWDC 2020. They are basically small parts of an app that can be used without installing the app itself. This is a very useful feature for apps to be integrated, allowing more people to discover the app and use it very quickly. Now that App Clips have been rolled out to developers and are also available for users with iOS 14.3, chances are you’ll want to try them out on your devices. Well, here is how to use and delete App Clips on iPhone and iPad.
How to Use App Clips on iPhone and iPad
App clips come in many forms. There are codes you can scan, NFC tags you can tap, and simple links that can be opened. Of course, NFC codes and tags will end up in the real world. However, the links are something you can find online and try for yourself.
In this article, I’ll walk through the entire App Clip lifecycle. We’ll start with how to find and use them, how to see which App Clips you’ve been using, and even how to delete them if you want. Plus, there’s a handy list of apps that currently support App Clips so you can try them out for yourself. You can use the table of contents below to jump to the relevant sections.
What are App Clips?
As I mentioned above, App Clips can be found in many forms. Here are all the ways developers can implement and share App Clips online and in the real world.
- App Clip Codes/QR Codes
- NFC Embedded App Clip Codes
- As links in Safari/Messages
- Supported locations in Apple Maps
App Clip codes built into NFC and normal App Clip codes are quite similar. They can both be scanned with your iPhone’s camera or QR code scanner. For NFC embedded codes, you can also simply tap your iPhone on the code to launch the App Clip if you wish.
Now, these App Clips are specifically for real-world use cases. Things like bike sharing will really benefit from App Clips. Indeed, new users will be able to use the service quickly by simply scanning the code instead of downloading an entire application.
On the other hand, App Clips on Safari and Messages are just simple links that can launch part of an app. These are useful for apps that want to offer users a demo and even games. And these are the application clips that we will use as examples in this article.
Now that we have an idea of App Clips, let’s see how to use and remove them.
How to use App Clips
Using App Clips in Safari is very easy. Here’s what you need to do.
- On your iPhone or iPad, open Safari and navigate to a web page that has an App Clip. For this example, I’m navigating to Firi Games’ “Phoenix 2” title webpage (website).
- On this website, you will see a strip at the top with the “Play” button. Press it.
- Now you will see the App Clip dialog pop up, press “Play” again.
- A playable intro of the game will launch and you can play the game as if it were installed on your iPhone or iPad. You will also get a button to install the full game if you like it.
Obviously, Phoenix 2 isn’t the only website that supports App Clips. In fact, app clips for apps that aren’t games won’t even say “Play.” The button will say “Open” instead.
How to View Recently Used App Clips
If you’ve used App Clips, like me, you might want to keep track of which App Clips you’ve recently used. Here’s how to do it on iPhone and iPad.
- Go to the App Library and open the “Recently Added” folder.
- You will see the App Clips you have used. You can recognize App Clips by the dotted lines around their icon.
Unfortunately, iPadOS 14 does not bring the App Library to the iPad. So here is how to view recently used app clips on iPad.
Go to Settings -> Application Clips on your iPad. You will see all of your used app clips here.
To note: This method also works on iPhone.
How to Delete App Clips on iPhone and iPad
Obviously, App Clips are quite useful. Plus, they don’t take up much space on your iPhone for no reason. Also, your iPhone and iPad will automatically delete App Clips 30 days after you use them.
However, if 30 days seems too long and you just want to delete the App Clips you’ve been using on your devices, here’s how to do it.
- On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings. Tap “App Clips”.
- You can now tap on any App Clip and then tap “Delete App Clip” to remove the particular clip from your device.
- Or, you can tap “Delete All App Clips” if you just want to bulk delete them all at once.
List of apps and websites that support App Clips (continuous update)
- QuitAnger: anger management
- Phoenix 2
- Kontax camera
- Pocket Lists
- Top dollar
Use app clips to check apps without installing them
App Clips are very similar to Instant Apps on Android. You don’t need to install them on your iPhone just to check them. Although there aren’t many apps that support App Clips yet, the number is steadily growing. It’s great because App Clips has the ability to let users try an app very easily without waiting for it to install, then if they like it, they can just get the full app on the App Store.
It seems like a win-win for developers and users. So, have you ever used App Clips? And do you know of any app clips that we haven’t included in this article? Let us know in the comments below.