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Apple's TipKit to Streamline App Onboarding: A Boon for Developers

Apple's newly announced TipKit provides developers with a native solution to streamline app onboarding, offering user-centric, customizable tips.

This week, Apple announced TipKit at its Worldwide Developers Conference, a new developer toolkit designed to simplify user onboarding for mobile apps by presenting helpful tips. Previously, developers either had to design their own user onboarding experiences or opt for third-party solutions. With TipKit, Apple offers a native solution for a more seamless experience.

Developers are already expressing interest in transitioning to this new Apple solution. According to the documents released by Apple, TipKit includes templates that echo the user interface of system apps, allowing for customization to match the aesthetic of the developer's app. Furthermore, developers have control over the timing and placement of their tips.

This means the tips can be used beyond initial onboarding. They can be introduced when users delve into a new app section or can be rule-triggered. This latter option allows experienced users to bypass redundant tips, providing a more personalized experience.

For instance, a developer could program a tip to appear after a user has visited a specific app section or used a particular feature multiple times. This tip could then guide users towards advanced options or hidden features, enhancing their app proficiency over time.

Developers also have the flexibility to determine the frequency of their tips, avoiding user overwhelm. It's common for users to feel bombarded by numerous pop-up tips upon first launching an app. With TipKit, developers can offer a few well-timed, targeted tips to assist users without hindering their initial app exploration.

Stretching tutorials over a few days is another option, introducing users gradually to an app's full functionality. Being an Apple-provided framework, TipKit's rules and configurations easily sync across users' devices, eliminating repeated tips on different devices.

Apple plans to utilize TipKit for its native apps, such as FaceTime, Photos, and Messages in iOS 17, as shown in images shared by developers. This ensures a consistent onboarding experience across the platform, promoting user education and reducing confusion.

While Apple had previously launched a dedicated Tips app in iOS 8 to guide users through its apps and features, the future of this app is unclear in the wake of TipKit's introduction.