On September 17, Apple will release iOS 12, a big update to its mobile operating system that’s packed with a lot of useful user features that are also a boon to marketers.
Let’s dig right in.
Changes to notifications make it easier for users to opt in – and opt out.
The update gives users more control overall – adding new modes to Do Not Disturb and offering users ways to manage their time online. But those changes give marketers a real opportunity to better engage with their customers, according to Mike Herrick, senior vice president of product and engineering at customer engagement company Urban Airship.
In iOS 12, users can control how notifications are delivered. Notifications will be grouped by app instead of chronologically. And users will able to choose what type of delivery they want – prominent, which displays on the home screen with an audible alert; quiet, which slips into the user’s notification center without an alert; or none.
Herrick says that marketers using iOS 12 can offer users of their app a trial of quiet notifications that do not require an opt-in. In order to shift that provisional quiet message to a prominent one, marketers must create compelling and relevant content that earns the upgrade.
AR becomes more accessible and easier for marketers to create.
Apple worked with Pixar to create a new open format called ‘usdz,’ which makes it easy to put AR anywhere throughout the OS, including apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News. The ARKit 2 gives developers new tools to create shared experiences, and ones that can be saved and resumed at that point later.
Michal Koor, CEO of developer Vectary, whose 3D design kit lets “anyone” create AR in iOS 12, says that Apple’s AR advances will provide “easy AR content creation that will really let the AR content go mainstream. Until now it was a domain of skilled developers and designers only … This is a great opportunity for e-commerce owners, bloggers or even every iMessage user.”
No need to know machine learning to reap its benefits.
Apple says its Core ML 2 will process models faster than ever before and provides an easy platform on which to build and train models using the new Create ML framework, with no machine learning expertise required.
User-friendly features make for happier consumers.
Apple is making some big boasts about speed updates – such as a swipe-to-Camera speed increase of up to 70 percent faster, and an app launch of up to two times faster. If true, consumers will be clicking and scrolling faster than ever before. But with additional data privacy controls for users in the wake of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other laws, marketers need to be savvier than ever before.
Marketers should be aware of some security enhancements to Safari that prevent Share buttons and comment widgets from tracking users and block advertisers from collecting device data.
Even the fun features could spell opportunity for creative marketers.
Updates to Animojis, the addition of personalized Memojis and new camera effects provide users an opportunity to play and marketers a chance to bond. Coming up with ideas that spotlight these features should help to attract younger consumers who already use them through Snapchat and Instagram.
The release also includes other new features such as group Facetime and Siri Shortcuts, which gives Siri the ability to pair users’ daily routines with apps to suggest convenient shortcuts right when they’re needed.
“As usual, with a new release of iOS there are more than a few things to get excited about,” said Michael Tidmarsh, chief technology officer for Oglivy.
“A couple that stand out from the perspective of helping our clients share real differentiated, contemporary experiences are the extension of Siri’s capabilities through the ShortCut API and, of course, ARKit 2.0, and everything it offers by way of next-generation augmented reality,” he said.
He also praised two of the standout features – persistence (being able to leave virtual objects around the world for others to explore) and shared experiences (multiple people sharing the same experience).
“It’s not hard to imagine a ton of creative uses where these features will add real value to client-built experiences.”