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iOS devs: Anyone have experience, good or bad, with App Clips? Any pitfalls or unexpected benefits to be aware of?
48 replies and sub-replies as of Oct 10 2021

I’ve yet to ever encounter one. Seems a giant flop . Perhaps Covid doesn’t help typical use cases but still..
I loved the TikTok one. It allowed me to open TikTok links from iMessage without using their app (which required an app) and without dealing with the cookie banners on their website. Recently it has stopped working though.
Not as dev but it’s used for COVID-19 contact tracing here in Australia. It’s pretty good, loaded quicker without the app installed than with, although they’re slowly improving on that.
Here’s an example. Implementation leaves a lot to be desired, still don’t know why they had to put a whole JWT payload in the QR code but it works.
I’m about to update my app to be ios15 only, and I think all the iOS14 devices that scan the currently working clip will get routed to the web instead. Food for thought for backwards compatibility.
Getting them set up and showing was kind of a pain. Lots of trial and error, including viewing the browser console in ASC to see more useful errors.
I've seen exactly one in the wild, at a Mobil gas station near me.
My mistake. I meant I've only seen one of the Apple QR circle things in the wild.
It was a bit of a pain to develop at first because of the size constraints and the nature of my app (@chibistudioapp). I don’t get a massive amount of installs from it, but it’s been good for marketing and press attention.
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Uploading my first build with an App Clip unexpectedly broke App Store Connect for me last week, was unable to release for 3 days because of this.
Web clips exists already?
I honestly forgot about them until you and @_DavidSmith were talking about them on UTR. I’ve never encountered one in real life.
excuse me for my ignorance, but what even are they? i’ve never experienced one or used one
Paying a bill via Toast: scanning the QR opened the “app” It was eerily seamless. I didn’t notice any download time & it took a bit for the app clip to appear in my App Library, so it was as if I had an app on my phone that I didn’t know about.
Toast for paying a restaurant check was the first (and, so far, only) App Clip I’ve used in the wild.
Same. I forgot they existed & had a few moments of “wtf was that sorcery?!” before remembering. The QR->App Clip flow seems pretty good if you can’t do what you want to in a webpage. I wonder if low bandwidth would have an impact on the experience (that seamless download!)
Toast worked so nice when I tried it. Made other restaurant bills look instantly dated.
Panera has one launched from Apple Maps and I’m aware other people in our industry will have some soon as well 👀
The biggest gripe is the manual association between locations and App Clips along some caching assumptions you can’t make as they persist for 30 days on device.
I built two and shipped one. They have fewer restrictions than I expected, and are basically smaller apps. Estimating the final size was complicated because of all the potential optimizations, and building with an enterprise certificate is not possible so we had to hack around.
I found it good, especially as it encouraged me to write more modular code. The only gotcha was that I couldn't reliably get the SKOverlay to work (…), so I just added a link to the App Store. ( if you wanna try it)
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I use on at a gas station to pay for gas at the pump. But I have to, like, start from scratch every single time. It’s semi-convenient.
The built-in Shazam in Control Center is an app clip!
I’ve yet to experience app clip
The guys from @pointfreeco made an app clip for @isowords so you could try the game without installing it. It’s open source.
uses App Clips nicely. @ivan_pavlov any insight?
Yeap, if someone shares a delivery in @parcel_app with a different person via iMessage, an app clip is shared. It shows tracking with a map as if it was the app itself. It was not too hard to implement.
The experience feels pretty magical, but it is very hard to direct potential new users to your App Clip. There is no way to directly link to them, only indirectly via the web and that must be Safari or nothing happens. And even then the App Clip banner loading is fairly slow.
Did one as a bit of a lark for a travel app and have found via Apple analytics that it’s being offered (and downloaded/used) a good bit in Spotlight and Siri suggestions widget when people are visiting the place the app is for.
Getting the size down (app has some larger assets that were tough to work around needing) was the biggest challenge. Beyond that, it’s just like regular UIKit or SwiftUI.
Biggest downside is the 10MB limit, which is pretty easy to hit Testing them can be a bit obtuse, as it either magically works or it doesn’t. Lastly app clip codes do not work on curved surfaces at all.
We definitely see devs using @emergetools for this exact reason -- to try to make their app fit under the 10 MB limit for app clips. It's pretty damn hard to stay under, especially without continuous monitoring in place.
Overall positive experience, didn’t take much to get one working for Slopes. Great user experience. I think It would be great to try as an alternative to the podcast player web experience you have. Give everyone a full preview of Overcast’s abilities.
If you send someone a TikTok link in an iMessage, it opens in an app clip player. First one I’ve ever seen, I thought it was very well done.
No background activity would make the app clip worse than the web player though imho, at least that’s what held me back from making one for Castro
Ooof that's a hard limitation.
After noticing that background audio works just fine if you add the relevant Info.plist key, I had to try…
Thanks for checking. “Just” a policy change away from being a great idea so 😅
I’ll join the chorus of “have used Toast to pay at a restaurant and it was magic”.
Mostly good. Limitations are only on the size of the binary, which I don’t think will be a problem for Overcast.
Many pubs and bars in UK are now using apps to scan QR code on the table, see menu and order directly with ApplePay via an app clip. No human contact necessary, so very popular after Covid. I was happily surprised the first time. Not sure about the dev experience.
Where in the UK? I haven’t seen any in the wild yet.
I implemented it for my meditation app. It plays either from the web page (non iOS) or from the clip (would be similar for a podcast app). It’s elegant and you can expose more features. Also useful, you can migrate user’s history to their new app install.
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Great in our use case. We've added them to retail packaging and numbers in App Store Connect are good.…
We've worked with some amazing teams who often ask crazy questions like: "Can our customers have a taste of the app through a chocolate bar?" 🍫 So here's what we did using App Clips: