How to use App Clips on your iPhone, and save time when ordering food or using new apps

  • To use App Clips on an iPhone running iOS 14, you'll have to first find a compatible website or business and tap the App Clips button.
  • App Clips let you use part of an app without downloading the entire thing, which is great if you only need to use it once, quickly.
  • Different businesses and websites will have their App Clip option in a different spot, so you might have to search for it.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

App Clips are iOS 14's new timesaving alternative to traditional app downloads. 

These mini web-based versions of apps give you access to a select feature of an app, without having to wait for a full download. A single app may have multiple "clips" for its different features. 

Think of it as a preview or shortcut. App Clips give you the option to try an app before downloading it, or use part of an app that you don't want to use more than once. If you're bothered by clutter on your iPhone, App Clips can help save you from wasting more space.

App Clips can appear when searching for a business in Maps, or in links found in text messages or in Safari. In the future, Apple claims you'll be able to open App Clips by scanning QR codes that you find at real world businesses. But for now, only a handful of websites offer them. 

The only thing you need to use App Clips are iOS 14 and an internet connection.

How to use App Clips on an iPhone running iOS 14

In Google Maps

To use an App Clip, you'll first have to find a business or website that uses them. Unfortunately, it isn't always obvious who uses them, or how to find them.

The restaurant chain Panera Bread is one of the earliest adopters. Here's an example of how to find and use their App Clip.

1. Open Maps — specifically the pre-installed app called "Maps," not Google Maps — and search for the nearest Panera Bread.

2. Once you find one, select it so you see its info page appear at the bottom of the screen.

3. Hit "Order Food."

4. This will make a preview window appear that says "Panera Bread," along with a big "Open" button. Tap "Open."

5. You'll be brought to Panera's App Clip. This is a small section of their official app that's now been downloaded to your iPhone.

Select what you want to buy and hit "Continue."

6. From there, you can pay with Apple Pay.

7. When you're done, you can close the App Clip like you would any other app.

In Safari

In Safari, App Clips will appear as banners at the top of your browser window. For example, you can try the new camera app Kontax Cam this way.

1. Go to kontax.cam in Safari on your iPhone.

2. Look for the white banner below the search bar that reads "Open in the Kontax Cam app clip." Hit "Open." 

3. When the App Clip preview window appears, hit "Open" again.

4. Give Kontax access to your camera, and you'll be able to test out some of Kontax's filters, and even take a test photo with it.

To quickly reopen an App Clip that you've used before, head to your App Library, which is another new feature of iOS 14.

5. Scroll right on your home screen until you reach the "App Library."

6. Look in "Recently added" in the top right hand corner of the library and tap the clip you want to open it.

How to delete App Clips

App Clips are automatically deleted after 30 days, but if you can delete them sooner if you want to.

1. Open your Settings app and scroll down to "App Clips." Tap it.

2. Select the app clip you'd like to delete, or hit "Remove all App Clips" to delete them.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to update your iPhone automatically or manually, so that you always have the latest features

  • How to add a smart stack to your iPhone's home screen with iOS 14, and get a revolving window of useful apps

  • How to tell which iPhone model you have and find your exact model number

  • How to change the default email app on an iPhone using iOS 14, so that you can send emails from the app of your choice

  • How to take a time-lapse video on an iPhone and condense lengthy footage into a short, sped-up clip

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