This September, Apple took several bold steps that will help brands build lasting relationships with their customers. Across hardware, software, and apps, Apple is building a platform that works for users, on their own terms. Thanks to under-the-hood improvements to performance and repairability, consumers won’t need to replace their phones quite as often as in the past. Paired with new and exciting features that learn how you work and play, Apple’s made sure that customers will be loyal to the platform and, as a consequence, its apps.
Here are some of the major changes in iOS 12 and how they’ll impact app publishers.
With the latest release, Apple has completely revamped notifications to reduce interruptions. Each app’s notifications are now grouped together. Users can perform complex actions, including composing messages, from within a notification, itself. In addition, notifications can be silenced or disabled entirely from the lockscreen; no more hunting in settings. iOS will actually prompt users to disable notifications from apps they seldom use. A new “Screen Time” feature encourages users to disconnect and highlights apps that send the most highlights.
Apple’s created a system that rewards respectful communication. Engaging customers with useful notifications will get apps noticed. Apps that spam users with marketing messages, meanwhile, will get silenced. With iOS’ custom notification settings, quality apps can finally break through the noise and reach users. All they need to do is send specific, personalized, and actionable notifications.
iOS 12 offers new and more convenient ways for customers to interact with apps. In addition to tapping an app or swiping to its Today widget, users can now trigger actions from search, Siri, and Apple Watch. Imagine asking Siri to “order my regular coffee” or tapping your wrist to kick off your commute by reporting traffic conditions and resuming your audiobook. By opting into the new action and shortcut system, app publishers can serve customers without forcing them to break their flow navigating an app.
Apple recognizes that technology should conform to people, not the other way around. Both Notifications and Workflows rely on sophisticated machine learning models that adapt to users’ habits over time. Apple has made these tools available to developers so that they, too, can anticipate user preferences and goals. Apps can leverage Core ML and ARKit to understand users’ behavior and environments. It’s easier than ever for apps to adapt to user habits, repeat frequent tasks, and recommend interesting content. Anything your app learns can be surfaced as an action, simultaneously growing user engagement with your brand and customer satisfaction.
Improving the longevity of devices, limiting notifications, offering quick access to app actions, and learning user habits all demonstrate Apple’s commitment to customer experience. In the iOS 12 era, apps that support users’ objectives without stealing their attention will prevail.