Apple might let you preview apps without installing them in iOS 14

Apple appears to be creating a new iOS feature that will allow you to see and even use parts of apps without installing them on your iPhone.

Referred to as Clips, the feature works when an iPhone user scans a QR code, according to 9to5Mac, which reviewed a leaked early build of iOS 14. The code shows a Clips API that will allow developers to offer “interactive and dynamic content from their apps even if you haven’t installed them”, 9to5Mac reported. So, when you scan a QR code, a card will appear to let you try the app.

Let’s say you get a QR code with a link to a restaurant on Yelp, Clips will float the restaurant’s Yelp listing via a card on your screen rather than open a webpage. In order to scan this QR code and preview part of the app, you don’t need to have Yelp installed on your device. Clips in iOS 14 will serve up a mini interactive experience anyway, though you may see the option to install Yelp.

Apple might actually be testing Clips apps previews with Yelp, as well as OpenTable, DoorDash, YouTube, and Sony’s PS4 Second Screen app. 9to5Mac also specifically said that the leaked iOS 14 code only mentioned Clips working with QR codes, so there’s currently no evidence to suggest Apple plans to integrate Clips throughout iOS, like into features such as Spotlight or Siri.

For more about iOS 14 and what you can expect from the next major iPhone operating system update, see our rumour roundup here.

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