iOS 14 could let users access small parts of apps without installing them
Thanks to the upcoming 'Clips' featureBy Cohen Coberly
In context: Although Apple doesn't include nearly as much bloatware in its devices as some of its competitors, users will often still find themselves with a sizable app backlog. At any given point, you could have a dozen (or far more) apps that have seen very little use -- perhaps you downloaded a shopping list app for one grocery trip, but then moved to online ordering.
Or, maybe you downloaded a few new games and got bored with all of them. Whatever the case may be, if you aren't diligent about removing these unused apps, they can stack up pretty quickly, eating up valuable space and possibly draining your battery in the background. While there's no perfect solution to human forgetfulness, Apple is reportedly aiming to stave off the problem with the launch of iOS 14.
When the update hits the digital streets, users will allegedly be able to take advantage of a new feature called "Clips." Clips, according to 9to5Mac, will let you download and use only a specific part of a third-party app without needing to install the full thing. Using the Clips API, developers could offer this "interactive and dynamic" content through things like QR codes.
If you scan such a code on an app's website, you could effectively try out its featureset via an on-screen "card." Which features are shared via Clips is entirely up to developers -- 9to5Mac says they can specify which part (or parts, we suppose) of the app will be downloaded to a user's smartphone or tablet. While this has not been explicitly confirmed yet, we wouldn't be surprised if closing the card, or otherwise ending the task eliminates the data from your device.
It's worth pointing out that the Clips feature as a whole hasn't received an official announcement from Apple. While we have no reason to doubt 9to5Mac's claims, software development is hardly a linear process. If Clips isn't ready in time for the official launch of iOS 14, it may be pushed back to a later date, or it could be scrapped entirely. Still, we hope that doesn't happen -- it sounds like an incredibly useful feature for anyone that cares about mitigating app bloat.
We look forward to learning more about Clips later this year, perhaps at WWDC 2020.