Apple iOS 14 Clips Could Enable App Previews Without Full Installation

iphone 11 pro
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is still a few months away – and it will be in an online-only format for the first time ever – but that isn’t stopping a steady drip of information from coming out early on iOS 14. iOS 14 is the next iteration of the operating system that powers iPhones and iPads (iPadOS 14). 

Leading the charge on these leaks has been 9to5Mac, which somehow received an internal build of iOS 14 and has been digging through its code to pick out new features. The latest nugget that the publication has unearthed is called Clips, and it reportedly “allows developers to offer interactive and dynamic content from their apps even if you haven’t installed them.”

This is how it would reportedly work: you could either open a link or scan a QR code with your iPhone’s camera, which will open up the Safari browser. From there, a “floating card” will give you a preview of the app which you can then interact with. The app would appear with a native user interface rather than via an actual webpage. 

All of this happens without the user needing to download the full app. However, the user will be given the option to download the app if they want. According to the report, if you already have the app installed, clicking on a “Clips” link will open the resulting interactive experience within the app. Some of the apps that are expected to be available at the launch of iOS 14 with this functionality include YouTube, OpenTable and Yelp.

Although not exactly the same, Clips sounds a bit like Instant Apps that are available in the Google Play Store for Android devices. You can see how this works in the video above.

Other features reportedly on tap for iOS 14 include the ability to [finally] set third-party apps as the default for performing actions (i.e. Gmail instead of Mail or Google Chrome instead of Safari), and interactive widgets available on the home screen.