iOS 14 could allow app previews without a full download | Cult of Mac

iOS 14 could allow app previews without a full download

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You might soon be able to use applications without downloading them with iOS 14 Clips.
Photo: Graham Bower

iOS 14 will reportedly be able to run part of third-party applications, giving users access to some of their features without them needing to install the entire app on their iPhone, according to a published report. How much of each application would be available in these “Clips” would be up to that app’s developer.

iOS 14 offers ‘Clips’ of third-party apps

Supposedly buried in the code of a leaked copy of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac is an application programming interface – or API – labeled with the name “Clips.” Sort of a menu of features, an API lists a bunch of operations that developers can use, along with a description of what they do.

The “Clips” API would reportedly enable an iPhone user to scan a QR Code to get a functional part of a third-party application to appear in a pop-up window. Whether the same functionality will be available by tapping on a link on a webpage is not yet known.

If this a feature really is built into the next major update to iOS, it will allow someone to, for example, try out a game without having to install it on their iPhone. Instead, the user could get a Clip of just the first level.

This feature is supposedly being tested with several companies including Yelp, DoorDash and YouTube.

Looking ahead to the next iOS

The leaked version of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac has apparently yielded a treasure trove of information about changes coming to iPhones. The home screen could get a significant facelift, with widgets added. The iCloud Keychain password manager supposedly will get two-factor authentication. And it may be possible to unlock and even start some vehicles using only an iPhone or Apple Watch.

If Apple follows a long-held practice, it will unveil iOS 14 in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which this year will be entirely online. The public release would then happen in early autumn.