August is over, your summer holiday is a distant memory and for those of you who follow Apple releases, you are excited to see the new release of iOS 10 - the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system - and super excited to be the first person in your office to get your hands on the new iPhone, available in stores from Friday the 16th September.
As with Apple's previous OS releases, there will always be a vast range of new features and newly designed features that you can have fun with. The new phones themselves will most definitely reveal updated hardware to make any new owner beam with joy at being the first to get their hands on their new best friend. (I like the Jet Black).
While this is all seemingly good news for consumers, I cannot help wonder if there is a benefit for brands with each new release? Will businesses or app creators tailor their apps for this new iOS release? Is there a value that can be gleaned from these new iPhone 7 devices that will deliver better returns for App creators?
The key question I hear is “Do I need to upgrade my App to the latest iOS or not?”
So with that in mind, I thought I would touch on a few of the key new features that could deliver not only an improved customer experience but in some cases increased ROI for any business that has mobile at its heart.
Improved experience and service
Firstly, there is an improved virtual assistant, Siri. The introduction of Siri and value Siri provided to date has been questionable. However with iOS 10. Siri will now be able to control third-party apps (at present only six types of third-party app services are supported: audio/video calling, messaging, sending and receiving payments, searching photos, starting workouts, and booking rides), meaning you can use voice commands to initiate a Skype call with a client, hail a cab or Uber ride, or send a message on Slack, or dictate a message on LinkedIn. Hopefully over time this will expand into other services.
Introducing what is essentially a voice driven interface can have huge benefits over time. Improved customer engagement can increase retention, conversion and increase sales by being able to by-pass some of the old style laborious menu driven interfaces. So implementing Siri as a voice driven interface could be a game changer for certain type of Apps.
Safari - Apple Pay on websites
After enabling Settings → Safari → Check for Apple Pay, Safari will check if the website you’re visiting offers Apple Pay integration. If so, you’ll be able to use Apple Pay at checkout. Apple Pay on websites adds another layer of security when you shop online because you don’t have to enter any payment details.
Like Apple Pay within apps and in-stores, its web-based counterpart uses Touch ID for verification and uses authorization tokens that don’t contain any payment or personally-identifiable information. Removing barriers to payment via mobile has always been seen as a Holy Grail. I believe the introduction of Apple Pay on mobile websites can generate substantial returns.
Improved syncronisation with Continuity
With iOS 9, Apple introduced features to enable the iPhone and iPad connect to Mac computers. These Continuity features have been updated with new abilities for iOS 10. You'll be able to view and access your desktop files and folders on your iPhone, which will be synced across devices, thanks to iCloud. Removing the need for customers to email links from their phone to their computer, will save precious time. Time is money as they say!
Deeper Search in Apps
When you search for something on your device with Spotlight, you’ll notice a new “Search in App” link to the right of app headings in search results. Tap it and Spotlight will take you to the app of your choice and automatically run the query inside it, provided the app is integrated with Spotlight. This deeper capability to sear from the Home screen will save time and enable users to jump immediately to the relevant content in the relevant App. If your competitors have implemented this feature in their Apps and you have not you will lose that all important customer.
Because Messages are now a platform in its own right, third-party Apps can include extensions that enhance Messages’ functionality. For example, send payments or schedule dinner or a movie, all from within Messages. Put together, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber have 2.125 billion monthly active users globally. So it makes sense to explore extending your App functionality in Messages. It can save customers time, be more relevant for a younger audience and generate more revenue than traditional payment methods.
According to data compiled by Mixpanel nearly 15% of all iOS users were running iOS 10 within 24 hours of release. It will reach 50% penetration in just 11 days.
These are just a small handful of over 100 new features that iOS 10 has introduced. So if you have an App that is key to your business and are unsure of the need to enhance, evolve and upgrade, just think about the how these features, if implemented well, could evolve and transform your customers experience, ultimately helping to transform your business impact in a positive way.