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What Are App Clips and How to Use Them?

What Are App Clips on iPhone and Why You Should Use Them? Learn More Information With Asolytics.
What Are App Clips and How to Use Them?
Apple developers regularly offer other iOS developers and publishers new and advanced tools for working, interacting with customers, and promoting apps. In 2021, they released a feature called “App Clips” for iOS 14 and up. Few users know about this tool, let alone use it. However, it is incredibly handy for users and important for developers.

If you are one of those who have not mastered all the possibilities of this feature yet, this article is for you as it answers key questions. What are App Clips? What are their advantages? How to use this tool to attract customers?

From Apple’s point of view, App Clips can be an additional way to expand the capabilities of its own ecosystem and retain its audience, thus reducing the likelihood of them leaving for competitors. All these features can be used to their advantage by other developers in the iOS environment. We will cover all this and more below.

What Is an App Clip?

App Clips, according to the official website definition, are app snippets, that is, small parts of the main products that perform one core function. The major advantage of this format is that users do not need to download the entire app to appreciate your service.

They can get familiar with the key functionality with the help of its lite version. Depending on your snippet settings, you can also offer your customers a link to download the full product. It is much faster than manually searching for the app in the store.

As a developer, you can create multiple versions of App Clips for your product for different use cases. You can offer your customers the opportunity to place an order quickly, pay for services, find out a bus route, and so on. At the same time, this feature can keep customer data and offer personalized information, such as suitable menu items.

The maximum allowable size of one such snippet differs depending on the version of the operating system for which you create it. For example, App Clips for iOS 14 and 15 should not exceed 10 MB, while for iOS 16, 15 MB is allowed. Since they use the same code base as the main product, they can be equated with plugins.
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Unlike the full app, you cannot find the required App Clip iOS in App Store. You can access these snippets by scanning a QR code and an NFC tag or following a link in Messages, Maps, or Safari.
Asolytics Team
After that, an App Clip will appear at the bottom of your device screen, and you will be able to interact with it. If you wish, you can share a link to it on your social networks or any messengers. Used snippets are saved in your app library, not on the screen. Those titles that you do not use are deleted after 30 days.

Don’t confuse App Clips with Preview Videos; these are two completely different items. If the former are light versions of apps, the latter are promotional videos that introduce viewers to your product. In our article “App Preview Videos: Showcase Your Product Like a Pro,” you can read about creating and using the latter.

Since you now have the answer to “What are App Clips in iOS 14?” let’s move on and look at cases of using them.

How to Use App Clips to Boost App Downloads?

According to app market data, at the moment, due to the abundance of mobile product choices, users focus their attention on a few basic titles that have stood the test of time and their own experience. That is, it is pretty difficult to convince them to try new products.

App Clips is a tool that helps brands and businesses get around this barrier.
They have the opportunity to offer their services to the target audience at the very moment when they really need them.
Asolytics Team
Such “prepared” clients are easier to attract to the main product.

To take advantage of this unique feature, follow our App Clips tutorial and implement these tips into your work:
Determine the App Clips’ purpose
You need to identify the main feature that will best unlock your product’s potential. As a rule, choosing the tool that can satisfy the immediate users’ needs is better.
Be brief
While you can create snippets up to 15 MB in size (for new iOS versions), it’s best to keep them as small as possible. Thus, the process of downloading and opening them will take minimal time, which is especially important for users with a poor Internet connection. The rapid provision of access to the main functionality is the main value of modern apps.
Select an invocation method
According to the official recommendations on how to use Apple Clips, you can offer your customers the following ways:
  • QR codes;
  • NFC tags;
  • Safari banners;
  • links in messages;
  • Maps place cards.
Do some local testing to see which tools work best for your audience.
Create metadata
Your App Clip needs a title, subtitle, header image, CTA button, and a link to the main product. Currently, there is no documented evidence that this metadata affects rankings. However, using relevant keywords that you have found in ASO keyword research is a good idea.
Use the final banner (with a link to download the full version)
Demonstrating it after using an App Clip maximizes the chance of downloading the full app.
Simplify payment or registration
Save users from manual data entry. Insert Apple Pay and Apple ID technologies into your snippet. They will speed up the work with the service, eliminate errors, and ensure data security.
Don’t use Clips for marketing purposes only
App Clips should have real value for customers to make them want to use the full product. You should not use them to advertise services, solicit subscription payments, etc.
App Clips is a relatively new feature; therefore, its impact on conversions is not fully understood. At the moment, Apple prohibits using any tracking tools (like SKAdNetwork) inside such snippets, so you will have to rely on other indirect metrics to determine their effectiveness.

While this feature is definitely useful for some categories of mobile products, you should not forget about other ways to promote your app. You can read more about them in “Tips on How to Increase App Downloads.”

App Clip Example

By and large, the developers of any mobile app can offer their users App Clips. However, in practice, it turns out that such tools work better with certain categories. They integrate best with services that have mechanisms for ordering or paying for goods and services.

For example, the most striking iOS App Clips example can be seen on Etsy, where you can buy various handmade items. SmartGym, CardPointers, Parcel, Phoenix 2, Drop Recipes, and others have the same functionality.

Among the areas where App Clips find the best use are the following:

  • rental of bicycles and electric scooters;
  • cafes and restaurants with pre-orders;
  • museums offering augmented reality and audio guides;
  • banks and other organizations with electronic queues;
  • super-apps that offer many features;
  • shops for making purchases without cash desks or providing bonuses.

App Clips is a new format for providing services, demonstrating your products, and paying for orders. They are quite flexible in customization, so you can apply them to any business. Apps with App Clips are not so numerous now, but their number is gradually increasing, opening up new opportunities for customers and developers.

Attract More Customers With Clips App

Although App Clips has been launched for more than a year, not all developers fully appreciate its business opportunities. This feature is a handy tool with which you can introduce new users to your app. It is integrated into the global Apple ecosystem and complies with accepted standards for the security and privacy of sensitive data. It helps you to build trust with new clients.
App Clips allow you to instantly satisfy customers’ needs, interest them in this way, and encourage them to download a full app.
Asolytics Team
The fact that they are linked to Apple ID and Apple Pay (which simplifies the registration and payment processes) makes the core features of your product more accessible to customers. All this sets you apart from your competitors, which don’t have these Clips yet.

We hope that after reading this article, you will no longer ask questions like “What is Clips on iPhone?” or “Should I use Clips for my app?” You can have multiple App Clips with access to different tools in your service and provide them exactly when users need them, allowing you to reach a wider audience.