As spotted in a leaked early build of iOS 14 by 9to5Mac, it seems that Apple is working on a new feature called ‘Clips’ that will allow users to experience specific parts of third-party apps on iOS without needing to have them downloaded and installed by simply scanning a QR code.
The upcoming Clips feature will offer a new API that will allow developers to offer interactive and dynamic content from their apps even if you haven’t downloaded them.
According to the source, the Clips API is “directly related to the QR Code reader in the build we have access to” which allows the user to interact with the app directly from a card that will appear after scanning the code. Developers will need to specify which part of the app should be downloaded by iOS as an Over-The-Air package to read that content.
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.
The floating card will show options to download the full version of the app from the App Store or to open that content with the app if it’s already installed.
The source has also discovered that Apple is testing the new feature with OpenTable, Yelp, DoorDash, Sony, and YouTube to implement the new API in their apps.