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ENO8 Guide To Apple App Clips

App clips are a recent invention that aim to improve the user experience and offer a part of the app experience in seconds. App clips offer a great way for users to discover the thing they need the moment they need it with fast and lightweight programming that allows a start to finish experience in seconds.

We’re unpacking what app clips are, and how brands can use them to boost their marketing efforts, improve the user experience and connect with their audience in the moments that really matter.

What Are Apple App Clips?

According to Apple, “an App Clip is a small part of an app that lets you do a task quickly, like rent a bike, pay for parking, or order food. You can discover App Clips in Safari, Maps, and Messages, or in the real world through NFC tags, QR codes, and App Clip Codes—unique markers that take you to specific App Clips”.

App clips are a useful tool that makes the user experience a lot more simple, and are on the rise as developers look to make apps even more attractive to the user. App clips allow the user to open the clip and complete a task in seconds, without even having to download the app in full. In this sense, the user gets a taste for just how amazing the app is, without having to make any commitment upfront.

Integration With Other Apple Features

One of the great things about Apple Clips is that they integrate nicely with other Apple features. This makes the user experience super easy, and aligns the brand with the efficiency and support that people have come to expect from Apple. The fact that Apple is known to put security at the top of their priority list and are trusted by so many consumers makes the integration a great opportunity for brands to capitalise. 

By offering Apple Clips that link to features like Apple Pay and Apple Sign in, the customer can feel instantly assured that they are on a safe app. The integrations that App Clips work with include:

  • Apple Pay

Instead of asking for card details, brands can take payments using Apple Pay. This makes the whole process seamless for the customer and encourages them to spend on their mobile.

  • Sign in with Apple

App Clips can use Sign in with Apple to sign in to apps services on a device. This allows a more tailored experience, and again reinforces the ease and efficiency of having everything connected.

  • Apple Notifications

App Clips are able to utilize a new type of Apple Notifications that encourage the user to enter back into the app clip within 8 hours of first leaving it. This puts brands using app clips in a really strong position to be able to retarget their customers.

How Can Customers Find App Clips?

App clips are designed to be easily discoverable, lightweight versions of a full app. In this sense, they need to be easy to find and pull up. This is where app clip codes come in, offering the opportunity to discover a brand’s app clip in seconds.

App clip codes are scannable images similar to QR codes that encode a URL and use an NFC tag so that the user can scan the camera and receive information. These will be placed in easy to find places (posters, websites, apps, messages, maps etc.) to lead the user to the app clip that will be of use to them in that moment.

The App Clip code provides a quick and easy way for users to get information and utilize a service without having to download the app in full. For brands, this prompt to download the app in full is a great opportunity and will likely see app downloads surge.

What If The User Already Has Your App?

If the user already has your app, then the app clip teaser element isn’t necessary. For this reason, app clip codes will link to the app automatically if it is already downloaded on a user’s phone. This way, the user can complete the task as part of the full app experience, and be reminded of how great that app really is.

How Do Developers Create App Clips?

App clips are created using the same XCode as the full app. The clip will need a full app to correspond to, and from there a developer will be able to offer a lightweight version allowing some of the functionality. Often, companies will opt to work with an external digital innovation lab like ENO8 to help manage the project and ensure that the best talent is overseeing the app clip build.

App clips have only come out recently, having been a feature of the Apple iOS 14 software update. In this sense, many developers are still coming to terms with app clips themselves, and therefore it is important to work with people who fully understand the requirements of your app clip. 

Creating an app clip should be done by a professional so don’t try to create your own unless you are a developer with the skills and knowledge. If you are curious about the process it is good to know the key steps that developers will take:

  1. Adding an App Clip target
  2. Add codes and assets
  3. Using active compilation conditions
  4. Reviewing and testing the app clip
  5. Working on an app clip launch experience

Why Should Brands Consider Using App Clips?

Any brand looking to up their digital game should be considering creating app clips for their app. This is because we believe that they will be a game changer in terms of how people interact with mobile apps and how people live in the real world. App clips have many benefits for the user including:

  • Making difficult situations easy

App clips are designed to help the user in their most challenging times. For example, say you’re looking on maps for a take out pizza restaurant. An App clip will allow you to view the restaurant, make contact and place an order without having to navigate away from maps. The user won’t have to download an app or even reach for their card to pay, as the app clip is linked to their Apple wallet.

  • Reducing the time spent downloading an app

When you’re in a remote location with minimal internet, there is nothing worse than waiting for an app to download. Not only will you probably be using a huge amount of data if you’re using phone data, you will also be wasting time waiting for the app to download. App clips reduce this faff and mean that the customer can perform an action in no time.

  • Integrating real world experiences with the digital experience

App clips provide a great bridge between the real and digital world. We all know how amazingly helpful digital tools can be, but sometimes we need a push in the right direction in order to be able to utilize the digital tools we have available. App clips do just that – providing the right thing at the right time and ensuring that the digital world aligns with the real world. 

For more information on app development, why not head to ENO8’s showcase page? Here you’ll be able to see the kind of clients we work with and better understand our offering. Or, if you want to further unpack how your business can use app clips, why not get in touch to have a chat?



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Jeff Francis

Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff founded ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.

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