iOS 14.3 is the big coming out party for App Clips now that App Clip Codes are in place. Apple posted App Clip Code HIG documentation, App Clip Code Generation tools and more. There are lots of interesting tidbits and 3 ways to engage:
- iPhone XS and later models with NFC reader mode: “The NFC-integrated variant uses an iPhone icon at its center that guides people to hold their device close to the App Clip Code.”
- Pre iPhone XS models without NFC reader mode: “scan it using the NFC Tag Reader in Control Center.”
- All iPhones using Camera app or Code Scanner: “scan-only variant uses a camera icon in its center to let people know to use the Camera app or the Code Scanner in Control Center to scan the App Clip Code.”
The guideline also states, “for NFC-integrated App Clip Codes, choose Type 5 NFC tags.” Type 5 tags are ISO 15693/NFC V used for library books, medical packaging, ski passes etc., but choose instead of use is a recommendation not a rule. Core NFC lists ISO7816, ISO15693, FeliCa, and MIFARE tag support. NFC Forum Tag definitions are:
|NFC Forum Tag||ISO||JIS||NFC||Products/Protocol|
|Type 1||ISO 14443-3-A||–||A||TOPAZ, various|
|Type 2||ISO 14443-3-A||A||NXP MIFARE Ultralite|
|Type 3||ISO 18093||JIS X 6319-4||F||Sony FeliCa|
|Type 4||ISO 14443-4-A|
|A/B||NXP MIFARE DESFire|
|Type 5||ISO 15693||V||NXP ICODE, various|
So why is Apple going to all this trouble to market App Clip Codes? They could have done it all with QR Codes and NFC tags but App Clips are mini apps, App Store quality apps without the App Store. The branding of App Clip Codes defines a different and unique user experience. The NFC reader mode App Clip experience is slick ‘point and run’ fun, but the 2 for 1 ‘scan only or NFC embedded’ in one App Clip Code is practical: (1) physically accessible and close = NFC, (2) physically inaccessible or far away = code scan.
There will be many different App Clip user experiences running from general app launches to specific actions. Based on my Kitasando Coffee App Clip experience I would say, the quicker and more focused the App Clip experience, the more likely the user will use it again or go in for the full app. Apple’s HIG documentation emphasizes clarity and simplicity…good advice.
Now all I want to know is when can I finally buy softcream with an App Clip.