App Clip in iOS

Updated 30 December 2020


App clip is the mini-app of any main app which provides users to quickly access and experience, what your app has to offer without downloading and installing the full app. It is a small part of your app that’s discoverable at the moment it’s needed. It is fast and lightweight so a user can open them quickly. Whether they’re ordering take-out from a restaurant, renting a scooter, or setting up a new connected appliance for the first time, users will be able to start and finish an experience from your app in seconds. And when they’re done, you can offer the opportunity to download your full app from the App Store.

Offer a Great User Experience

Consider creating an App Clip if your app provides an in-the-moment experience that helps people perform a task over a finite amount of time. For example:

Keep Your App Clip Small in Size

It must be small — no more than 10 MB for the uncompressed App Clip— to launch instantly. If possible, keep your App Clip well below this limit.

The output folder for your exported App Clip also contains its size report: a file named App Thinning Size Report.txt. Open the text file, and note your uncompressed size, and make adjustments to your project to keep its uncompressed size below 10 MB.

It comes with limitations to ensure a fast launch experience, protect user privacy, and preserve resources.

Creating an App Clip with Xcode

Add an App Clip Target

It requires a corresponding full app that offers at least the same functionality as the App Clip; you use the same Xcode project for your full app and your clip. If you’re starting a new app project, first create a new iOS project with Xcode. If you want to add a clip to your existing iOS app, open its Xcode project. Then, add the target to the Xcode project:

  1. Add a new target using the App Clip template.
  2. Choose a product name, select applicable options for your App Clip, and click Finish.

  3. Add the Associated Domains Entitlement to both targets. If you are familiar with Universal Links(deep linking), this process should be pretty easy. Don’t forget to add applinks prefix to your associated domain name.
  4. Now you can add normal code  or you can use the same Xcode project for your full app. For demonstration, I have used the WKWebView to run it.
  5.  I have also added the feature to click on the button to get the full app.

  6.  Now for testing, click on the active scheme selector in Xcode and select Edit Scheme.


  7. Select and set _XCAppClipURL environment variable value with the required URL.
  8. Run the app on the device or simulator to test the invocation.



    I hope this tutorial will help you if you have any comments, questions, or recommendations, feel free to post them in the comment section below!



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