Apple App Clips

A solution that Apple has come up with to the problem of consumers not wanting to download an app is App Clips. An App Clip is mini app for the iPhone that is launched when an NFC tag or a specialized barcode is interacted with by an iPhone; these tags are called App Clip Codes. Both the NFC tag and barcode in the App Clip code contain a special URL that the iPhone detects as an App Clip and subsequently downloads and runs the app. The user does not have to go through the process of installing the app via the App Store as it happens as a part of the tag interaction. App Clips have several limitations including download size, permissions and network access; they are a good solution for the middle-ground between a web based experience and a full app experience. Google has a similar concept with Android Instant Apps, but unfortunately those apps can not use NFC functionality. However App Clips have limited usage in practice outside of gaming apps, but the potential is there especially for Connected Things projects that need direct access to the NFC chip for features such as product authentication.

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App Clip Codes


Building App Clips Target in iOS 14