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App clips for your iPhone were “the next big thing,” but where are they?

When Apple introduced app clips for your iPhone in 2020, during the corona pandemic, that option seemed like a spicy good idea. It let you use features of applications without having to download the apps in full. However, users and developers after two years are like, well, why bother?

But the idea was once cool. Because you don’t have to install a full app, it saves space and clutter on your iPhone. This is a big advantage for users, but somewhat less so for developers. Those may attract fewer users as a result, and thus pull in less data.

App clips on iPhone not popular

By now we are two years on and it’s fair to wonder aloud: what’s the status of those app clips? Well, the feature was mainly aimed at traveling iPhone users. And since everyone was indoors for two years, the option snowballed a bit. And then there were developers’ objections.

iPhone apps App Store

Developers earn from users who keep apps on their smartphones. This allows them to see how they use the apps and collect all kinds of (sometimes anonymized) usage data, such as through an online account. With app clips, they don’t get access to that data, making it a worthless feature for them.

Waiting for it to go away again

This results in a wait-and-see attitude from developers; they’ll bide their time until the feature disappears. Besides, why invest in app clips for iPhone when you already have a full app or website? So for companies, this is nothing, and meanwhile users also shrugged their shoulders.

The idea behind appclips was to provide user-friendly software features for iPhone users. And that idea makes sense, but not for all apps within the App Store. Perhaps for restaurant apps, for example, for when you want to order something quickly. But according to many users, that’s all there is to it.

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