New iOS 14 ‘Clips’ API To Let You Use Apps Without Installing Them
We don’t expect Apple to announce iOS 14 until June at its online WWDC event, and the update won’t be coming to iPhones and iPads around the globe until September at the earliest.
But that hasn’t stopped the folks at 9to5Mac working their way through some early code they got their hands on. And they’ve been sharing tidbits for a couple of weeks now.
The latest to come out of that early code is an API called Clips. According to the report, the feature is triggered when a user scans a QR code, with iOS then presenting part of an app – even if it isn’t installed on the device.
The theory is one that Android already acts on. Users can search for something using Google Assistant and have portions of an app and its interface become usable. It sounds like that’s what Apple has planned here, although the trigger is a QR code, rather than a search.
Let’s say you get a QR Code with a link to a video from YouTube but you don’t have the official app installed on your iPhone. With iOS 14 and the Clips API, you’ll be able to scan that code and the video will be reproduced on a floating card that shows a native user interface instead of a web page.
It’s always important to remember that any feature that’s part of an early build of iOS 14 might not make it to the beta stage in June. And even if it does, Apple has been known to pull features before the final release – just look at iCloud folder sharing for a prime example of that. It was part of the iOS 13 beta yet it only just went live as part of iOS 13.4!