Apple just hosted its annual huge developers conference, WWDC where, among other things, it released key details about the latest update to iPhone and iPad devices - iOS 8.
Apple just hosted its annual huge developers conference, WWDC where, among other things, it released key details about the latest update to iPhone and iPad devices - iOS 8. Among the 4,000 new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) available to developers enabling multiple new experiences to be delivered, were some key updates that all retailers should take note of.
The amazingly useful and secure fingerprint scanner on every iPhone 5s was previously only able to unlock your phone or make an App Store payment - not any more! This feature has been opened up to third-party developers, meaning every retailer with an iOS app can now use the fingerprint sensor instead of passwords. This means quicker and more secure logins, and it really leads the way to painless payments.
Long-loved on Android, think of widgets as tiny apps that live on your notification centre, updated in real-time with the latest relevant content. Widgets give retailers a new presence on an iPhone or iPad screen and the ability for companies to deliver tailored experiences that give relevant information at a glance. A simple way to picture this is a widget for Shop Direct that pulls in only the items that have been previously viewed, and are now on sale. There is a real opportunity for all retailers to create a simple widget that delivers a super-bespoke experience and keeps their brand front of mind.
Now apps can ‘talk’ to each other, share data, and ‘lend’ functionality to each other. Extensions allow an app to utilise some functionally, or share data, between apps without exiting an app and opening another. This means retailers can share their data to other apps more seamlessly - for example share a dress on Instagram without exiting an app. Fantastic for not breaking an in-app experience.
What may sound limited and dull - notifications - now allows iOS users to perform simple actions from a notification. This means that a notification can directly lead to an item being added to a basket, a notification prompting a social share, or a notification allowing shoppers to instantly review a product, all triggered from a notification.
iOS 8 is a huge update for iPhone and iPad owners. It also includes a large user experience and user interface update, serious steps towards becoming an enterprise platform of choice, more actions available through the improved Siri, as well as placing itself at the centre of your new smart home with its Home Kit, and even at the centre of the forthcoming wearables movement with Health Kit. Now is a great time to be an iPhone owner!
Joel Blackmore is head of innovation at mobile agency Somo. He is on Twitter at @joelblackmore or @Somoglobal.