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App Development
5 minutes read

What Are App Clips?

By Mario Tatis
By Mario Tatis
App Development
5 minutes read

If you are asking yourself what App Clips are, this post is definitely for you. This reduced form of an app was introduced in Apple’s WWDC 2020 as a way to help users perform specific tasks without actually having a mobile app installed.

App Clips allow Apple users to perform a specific task thanks to a specific App Clips feature that is downloaded without having to install the full version. In other words, the user only downloads the information necessary to perform a specific task. If a user sees value in the task performed, they can easily download the full app.

App clips are great for certain types of apps. If you want to reach out to potential users in a new and exciting way or are having trouble improving your user acquisition metrics, this user-friendly solution can help you.

In this post, we discuss what App Clips are, how they work, and how you can benefit from them to increase your pool of users. In general, they are a great way for any mobile app to bring in more users.

What Are App Clips: The Fundamentals

App Clips are a more compact, reduced version of a regular iOS app. They can be used without having to download and install the full version of a new app that the user might not have heard of before. This allows Apple users to perform certain tasks through specific App Clips features, helping them gain trust in the app before fully downloading it.


App Clips work like a regular app in the eyes of a user, but they will not appear as downloaded on the mobile device. In other words, as a user, you will not find App Clips on the main screen of your mobile device. However, the specific App Clips feature used will appear in the app library.


Like a regular iOS app, App Clips are built as an Xcode project with the iOS SDK. This is very convenient for your development team, as it allows you to build one without demanding considerable additional resources.

Performing Tasks

One way to activate App Clips, users just have to open the camera app and point to regular QR codes. An option will pop up, just like when using a QR code. This will trigger the download of the App Clip to help the user complete a task.

Another way to activate App Clips is by using an NFC tag. This way, users just have to bring their devices close to the tag so that it sends the request to use the App Clip. Like QR codes, NFC tags help make the User Experience better.

Lastly, you can also use special App Clip codes. Like the other two alternatives, App Clip codes send users to specific App Clips.

The important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what alternative you choose, you should always add value to your users. Don’t use an App Clip just because it is a trend or looks like something cool to do. Make sure to deliver a clear and concise benefit.


When using them, App Clips allow your Apple mobile device to perform specific tasks. For example, you might want to check out the restaurants in a new city while looking at a map with a QR code that helps you download a recommended App Clip. You may also find App Clips useful when renting public bicycles with an NFC tag. 

Creativity is key when implementing ways for users to interact with App Clips.

App Clips: Benefits and Opportunities

There are many benefits and opportunities for your mobile app when using App Clips. Because it is a smaller version of an app, it has the potential to help introduce your services to users who do not have your app installed or are not familiar with it. However, there is much more to them.

These are some of the benefits and opportunities of implementing App Clips through your regular mobile app development project:

  • Come into contact with users who would have otherwise never heard of or used your app.
  • Trigger a specific call to action in a given situation, making it easier to guarantee a powerful User Experience throughout the entire user journey.
  • Perform specific tasks with Apple Maps, Apple Pay, or other Apple-related services.
  • Facilitate purchases directly through Apple Pay, reducing the risk of potential pain points like introducing a credit card.
  • Allow users to access your clip directly from the recently used App Clips section on their mobile device.
  • Make it easy to download the full version of your app directly from the App Clip.

Final Thoughts

App Clips are an ingenious way to improve the User Experience of Apple mobile users. The best way to determine what is the best App Clip strategy for your app is to contact an experienced app development company. The right mobile app project management expertise can help you come closer to existing and potential users without demanding additional development resources.

App Clips are not that complicated, and they can deliver a lot of value to your app if you know how to use them in creative ways. Hopefully, you now know what App Clips are and how to use them to benefit your mobile app. 

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