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May 13 2021 · Video Course (30 mins) · Intermediate

Whether you’re picking up coffee or renting a bike, you’ve likely
been faced with the decision of installing an app or not. Living in a time where
there truly is an app for everything, it’s often frustrating to download an app
just to get a ride home or book a hotel on-the-go. With App Clips, developers can
make a small portion of their app available for near-instant use, so users can
avoid the installation, sign-in, and onboarding process. In this course,
learn how to implement your own App Clips in your iOS apps and help users discover
your app while on the move!

Version

  • Swift 5, iOS 14, Xcode 12

App Clips in iOS

An App Clip is a small, lightweight portion of your app that users can
install immediately. App Clips allow your users to experience your apps without
needing to download your full app. In this episode, learn what App Clips
are and get a tour of this course’s lemonade-ordering app, SwiftyLemonade.


Since App Clips are technically a different version of your app, you’ll need to
create a separate target for them, almost as if you were making a cross-platform app. In
this episode, create an App Clip target for SwiftyLemonade. Then, share
code and assets between the two, for a seamless integration between your App and its
corresponding App Clip.


An App Clip experience is how your users first interact with your App Clip: by scanning
an App Clip Code, or following a link. In this episode, learn how to design your
App Clip experience by using a URL.


Since your App Clip’s launch URLs contain data, you’ll need to parse them before use. In this case,
they contain longitude and latitude data to map you to the correct lemonade stand. In this episode,
you’ll learn about parsing your URLs and use the location data to return the name of a lemonade stand.


After your App Clip is launched, you’ll need to implement its real-life features. With the
SwiftyLemonade App Clip, users should be able to order lemonade from the correct stand. In this
episode, you’ll display your lemonade stand’s menu and allow users to place their order through
your App Clip.


While it’s useful to pass location information through a URL, there are many obvious security
flaws with relying solely on URL data to place orders to a lemonade stand. In this episode,
use the Location Confirmation API bundled with App Clips to confirm that a user’s location matches
the one provided by the URL before allowing users to place orders.


Now that you’ve used the Location Confirmation API to verify your user’s location, you should
disable the ability to order lemonade. In this episode, prevent the user from being able
to place an order if their physical location doesn’t match the URL location.


The SwiftyLemonade App Clip should now respond to user location and prevent users from placing
orders, where appropriate. To test these features, simulate a user’s location in various
scenarios. In this episode, explore ways to simulate situations and test your App Clip’s
intended functionality.


To add a finishing touch to the SwiftyLemonade App Clip, you can notify your user when
their order is ready. Even though an App Clip isn’t the full version of your app, it can still send
notifications to your user up to 8 hours after it’s been installed. In this episode, learn to use
push notifications with App Clips.


Who is this for?

This course is for developers looking to add App Clips to their apps. If you’re someone
who already has an app, especially one which involves brick-and-mortar stores, and wants to
make your app more discoverable, this is the perfect course for you! This is also a great
course for someone who’s just curious about how App Clips work and how they can be an invaluable
tool in any developer’s toolkit. If you have some experience working on Swift apps in Xcode or
if you already have a basic app up-and-running, this course is for you!

Covered concepts

  • Launching App Clips by URL
  • Passing Data to App Clips
  • Location Confirmation API
  • Simulating User Location
  • Sending Ephemeral Notifications

Contributors

Whether you’re picking up coffee or renting a bike, you’ve likely
been faced with the decision of installing an app or not. Living in a time where
there truly is an app for everything, it’s often frustrating to download an app
just to get a ride home or book a hotel on-the-go. With App Clips, developers can
make a small portion of their app available for near-instant use, so users can
avoid the installation, sign-in, and onboarding process. In this course,
learn how to implement your own App Clips in your iOS apps and help users discover
your app while on the move!