iOS 14 might let you try out apps before installing them

(Image credit: Future)

Code spotted in an early build of iOS 14 suggests that Apple is working on a new feature called Clips, which would let you test out dynamic and interactive content from apps without actually installing them.

As 9to5Mac reports, the idea is that you could watch a video from YouTube, for example, without actually having YouTube installed. Users would be able to try out various features before they commit to downloading the app.

Based on the Clips API, it would kick into action when you scanned a QR code or tapped on a link for an app that wasn't installed on your iPhone. In addition to YouTube, apps for Yelp, DoorDash, OpenTable and PS4 Second Screen are specifically referenced in the code.

App developers will need to specify in the App Store which parts of their apps are available before installing. There will then be the option to install the full app, if required. A similar sort of tech is available in Android with Slices.

What's coming in iOS 14

Like everything else that has been spotted in the iOS 14 code ahead of time, Apple may decide to scrap the idea between now and June, when we're expecting the first official preview of what the software will bring.

Previous leaks have suggested that Apple is thinking of adding extra home screen and wallpaper customizations to iOS 14. We've also seen hints of changes coming to the app switcher.

iOS 14 is expected to be compatible with all the iPhones that can currently run iOS 13, which would mean everything since the iPhone 6S from late 2015 and the iPhone SE which launched in 2016. It's always possible this could change, but we haven't heard that more phones will be left off the upgrade list.

We traditionally get our first look at new iOS versions at Apple's annual WWDC event, held at the start of June. This year's event has been called off in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, though Apple's announcements are likely to still arrive around the same time.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.