So, the only thing we seem to have seen in the news and trade press of late is information about the iPhone5 and Apple’s new mobile operating system (OS), iOS6.
There are some good and bad points. Nevertheless, there are some developments that are baked into the new iOS that are important for us to know and take note of. Here at Holler we have distilled some of the more technical developments and tried to contextualize these into why this new iOS is important.
The reason that iOS upgrades are important to take notice of is not only their 37% share of the smartphone market. It is also because unlike Android’s latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich which has only 5% market adoption. iOS6 is already tracking at roughly 60% adoption in iPhones after less than a month in market. Meaning that we will need to start designing mobile sites and apps with all the OS’s new features in mind.
We feel that the key developments fall into two main categories Social Baked In and Increased Utility. It is widely known that when developing apps and sites for mobile that you have to take into account the primary functions and benefits that the device, especially smart phones bring to consumers. Ostensibly the new iOS6 makes it easier and more seamless for the user to interact, create and share. Location, Social and Photo are all core benefits that people derive from using their devices. Therefore these should be used as almost mobile laws when we are developing for smartphones. All of which are now more integrated into the latest OS.
Social Baked In:
Most of us have heard this term being used in relation to campaign and strategic development. Relating to how we need to ensure that social or conversational ideas are at the center of our brands activities. This is basically what Apple has done with the new iOS6. They have now along with Twitter hardwired Facebook functionality into the entire operating system.
This may not sound like a huge deal and a function that Android Operating Systems already have. But, with over 50% of mobile Internet traffic coming from iOS devices. They have a pretty commanding position when it comes to people connecting to content being created for the mobile web. So the more seamless it is for people to share, the bigger benefit we reap when they connect with our brands.
We actually think this social baked in concept for the new iOS will have some pretty dramatic impacts on the amount of content that people will be creating and disseminating.
So in short through native applications and within the iOS:
- Single Sign On through the iOS to allow for easier access for app to open graph, meaning more customization of native app
- Calendar and Contacts are Synced with Facebook Event and Friends
- Upload content from your local photo album directly to Facebook
- Can upload to Facebook and share to Facebook in apps or through Safari/Web Browser
- Like apps and see what apps friends have liked in the app store
We know already that people are relying more and more on their mobiles as a key touch point for content, connecting with friends and influencing their purchase decisions.
The changes in iOS6 would suggest it is even more important than before to ensure that campaign and brand presences are mobile optimised to account for these developments.
Some of the key developments around iOS6 have been based around making it easier to perform everyday functions and use your phone for more tasks. But also to give users and developers tools that make it easier to use some of the primary functions of the device in conjunction with their apps and sites.
There are two key developments in this space, one of the more exciting being able to create and share media easier through native apps or mobile sites. This basically now means that we can have people through either mobile-sites, mobile optimised campaigns and mobile apps, connect to the phone’s hardware such as the camera and create content specifically for that application or site. Alternatively ask to be given access for the site or app to gain access to their photo and video library.
This may sound like a bit of a non-event. But it actually bring us closer to being able to encourage with the minimum amount of friction for people to connect with our brands and executions, interact, create, participate and share.
We know that reducing barriers to engagement and participation are absolutely key to the success of a campaign in which we are asking for more than just eyeballs on. It is a great way to get people closer to our brands and the campaigns that we are creating.
The second large development in iOS6 helping people further integrate their smartphone into their day to day is Passbook. Unfortunately, Apple has done a pretty poor job of actually describing what this is to users. Firstly lets outline what it is. Basically, passbook is a virtual wallet where you can store a variety of cards and services that you use regularly. So you can have a Passbook file for your loyalty cards, boarding passes, online receipts that you need to collect in-store and concert tickets etc.
So in essence you would accept a passbook from a brand, business or service operator that you trust. This stays in your passbook until in some instances you have used it, such as scanned your way into a concert and subsequently its use expires. Alternatively your Fly Buys card can remain a constant staple to be scanned every time you are making purchases at participating retailers.
Alright, still nothing too flash. But this is where having it baked into the operating system really comes to the fore. Partners can push alerts and modify users experiences of passbook based on changes to their particular circumstance or relating to their geographic location. So to provide an example, let’s imagine an airline ticket:
- I download the passbook file for the ticket that I have purchased and it remains at the back of the passbook until the day of departure
- It could push a notification to my phone alerting me to a gate or time change of a flight
- Once I have arrived at the airport it would send an alert to my phone and bring up the passbook ticket for that particular flight out of Sydney for argument sake
- If the flight changed gates it could tell you that. Even alert airline staff that you hadn’t boarded 10 mins before closing time and you were in fact in the airport, hence perhaps missed the alert to the gate change. Directing them to call you.
It is about providing a seemingly perceptive experience for brands to consumers. So you have to do less and the phone and business does more to enhance your experience in a seamless way. This really seems as though it will be one of those applications that you will not know what you did before you had it.
The beauty is that it is really simple to create passbooks. For an FMCG business for argument sake, this might finally be a way around creating loyalty schemes that do not rely on Coles or Woolworths.
These are really exciting developments for all brands and their ability to further correlate digital connections to sales and improved brand connections. One of the companies already using passbook in an interesting way is DMG’s Nova through a ShopperNova App. With the app you can start to receive push notifications from participating retailers about local deals around you. You can highlight and favourite particular vendors so that they can contact you directly etc.
I’m sure we will start to see iterations and adaptations of the 200+ changes in the new iOS6. But these core system developments present some exciting technically creative opportunites.