When Apple introduced App Clips a couple weeks back, it reminded me of when I hosted the Smart Home Show podcast and I’d intently monitor the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for any developments Apple made to its smart home platform, HomeKit.
The reason I paid attention is Apple was (and still is) central to so many parts of our lives. Any new direction by Apple in a given market usually has significant ramifications for an industry or company.
This market power is derived from the strength of the iPhone. The device’s widespread adoption makes Apple and its associated app ecosystem a necessary consideration for any new consumer-facing technology (or technology adjacent) product launch.
But as Techcrunch wrote last week, the world of apps that Apple ushered in a dozen or so years ago (yes, it’s been that long) has become long in the tooth. Not only are grid-based apps becoming less relevant in an age of voice assistants, AI, and chatbots, but most of us have become fatigued with app downloads and are reluctant to cede space on that ever-important first screen.
This app fatigue is a problem for any products that rely on the aging app ecosystem Apple has built. If customers don’t use apps, brands can’t monetize through them.
Some products have tried to move almost entirely to voice, but it’s almost impossible to make a voice skill the primary interface for a device because they are so ephemeral. If we can’t see them, we aren’t going to use them. There is no first-screen for voice apps.
Say Hello to App Clips
Which brings us back to Apple. At WWDC in late June, Apple introduced the App Clips, which are slimmed-down versions of an app or, more specifically, the portion of an app that is necessary in a given moment.
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