What are App Clips on iPhone and how do they work?

(Pocket-lint) – Apple’s iOS 14 software launched in September 2021 and came with a host of features, including App Clips, which are snippets or clips of an app that focus on the part of the app you need, making access to certain tasks easier.

Here we are explaining everything you need to know about App Clips and how they work.

What is an App Clip?

There is an App for pretty much everything you might want to do on your iPhone, but there are often times when you don’t have the app you need when you need it, such as a specific parking app when paying for parking. That’s where App Clips come in.

An App Clip is a small part of an app that is focused on a specific task and designed to appear as soon as you need it, like ordering a coffee or renting a scooter.

App Clips are small in size – under 10MB – launching within seconds at the bottom of your iPhone, and removing the need for you to either find the correct app on your iPhone or download it from the App Store, both of which take a lot longer than the App Clip launching will.

As the name suggests, App Clips are snippets or clips of an app that focus on the part of the app you need, like the parking payment page.

How do App Clips work?

If an App Clip is available for the app you require in the moment, you’ll be able to find them through App Clip codes, NFC tags or QR codes, scanning them with your iPhone’s camera or tapping the NFC tag. They can also be launched from Safari, Maps, Messages and the Recents category in the App Library.

An App Clip card will appear at the bottom of your iPhone display with the option to “Open” the App Clip. The task the App Clip will complete when you tap on Open will be displayed next to the Open action button, below the name of the app.


For example, if you wanted to rent a scooter through Spin, a Spin App Clip will appear at the bottom of your iPhone when you scan the code on the scooter, with “Tap Open to unlock this scooter and ride”.

After you tap open, the option to pay with Apple Pay and agree to the terms and conditions will then appear. You won’t need to open the full app to complete the task, but there is the option to see the full app in the App Store at the top of the page if you want to download it, or view it if you already have it on your iPhone.

AppleWhat are App Clips on iPhone and how do they work image 1

You can login using Sign in with Apple for those apps you need to sign up to and make transactions instantly using Apple Pay, making everything quick, simple and secure. Once you’ve finished the task, the App Clip will disappear.

What Apps are App Clips be available for?

Whether an App Clip is available for a particular app is dependant on its developers. The feature makes more sense for some apps than others, like parking apps or bike or scooter rental apps. We will continuously update this feature when we discover apps that offer App Clips. 

Here’s a list of a few of the apps available offering App Clips:

  • Spin
  • Etsy
  • Drop Recipes
  • Park Whiz
  • Phoenix 2
  • Panera Bread
  • ChibiStudio
  • Parcel – Delivery Tracking
  • SignEasy
  • SmartGym
  • Unwind
  • WaterMinder
  • Quit Anger
  • CardPointers

Are App Clips available on my iPhone?

App Clips are available for devices running iOS 14.3 or later. 

Writing by Britta O’Boyle.

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