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The ups and downs of iOS14 for your mobile apps

Sep 3 2020
4 min
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Corina Știrbu
Chief Marketing Officer

What is iOS14 and when it will be launched? 

 

iOS is the world’s most simple, straightforward, and yet advanced mobile operating system. According to Statista, there are more than 100 million iPhone users in the United States, which means 45% of all smartphone users in the United States use iOS.

 

The newest version of iOS released by Apple will be launched this fall and it will cover a great amount of customer-centric features and functionalities — from one-time use apps in no time to a whole new level of privacy and App Tracking Transparency.

What are the new features of iOS14 and why will it change your mobile app strategy?

There are plenty of updates with iOS14, but we will keep it short and sweet and only cover the features that impact business owners, app developers, mobile app pricing models, and the ADTech industry.

 

  • iOS 14 announces app clips to help users engage with a small part of your app at the right moment — read about what is an app clip and how to use it here.  
  • The new widget API for SwiftUI makes it easy for you, as a user, to find what you need with just a couple of taps. Basically, widgets now come in multiple sizes and the widget gallery helps you search, preview sizes, and place them anywhere on the Home screen. 
  • Augmented reality apps will just get better!  
  • RealityKit and ARkit 4 will allow app developers to create even more true-to-life augmented reality experiences — this means that all entrepreneurs planning to build an AR app can do that now even more realistic and strategic!
  • ARKit 4 introduces Location Anchors, allowing app developers to place AR experiences, like life‑size art installations or navigational directions, at a specific point in the world. This opens a lot of opportunities for experiential marketing campaigns, brand activations, museums, and travel experiences through AR apps!
  • Not to mention that all devices with the A12 Bionic chip, which means more users can delight in AR experiences accessible only via the front camera, with expanded support for face tracking on all devices with the A12 Bionic chip and later.
  • Privacy information in the AppStore. The new changes will have a huge impact on the app developers and app owners, ADtech industry, but for users as well. 
  • As a user, you can now see all the privacy details of an app before you install it, which enforces huge transparency from the iOS app developers towards their users. To put it bluntly, you will now be able to see what is each app tracking from your phone usage even before you start to use it.
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  • On the other hand, companies using IDFA, basically the thing that contains the advertising identifier, is now almost useless. IDFA was used to track what type of ads a user clicks, to tell mobile ad networks and, as an app owner, you could just say: I like users who do this and this; go find me more when I place ads. 
  • All this information was already in the terms and conditions, cookie policy, and all sorts of things you agree when you sign up for an app and they could change your opt-in by going through a haystack of taps, in the depths of the Settings app. But now, iOS14 will just ask users for consent when you start using the app, so just before proceeding to actually track anything. 
  • As you can imagine, Facebook and Google are not really happy with the news and started to take action and find workarounds, as we are talking about billions of dollars in ads at stake.
  • Recording indicator. Some apps use our camera and our mic to make our experience better, sometimes we do not even realize that these are still used by our phone. iOS14 will display an indicator at the top of your screen whenever an app is using them, so you are fully aware that they are still on. To see the apps that were using your mic and camera recently, you just have to check the Control Center.
  • App Store & app monetization. If you are an app owner or app developer we have good news for you! 
    Apps can make their subscriptions available for sharing among members of a Family Sharing group. You might be already aware of subscription sharing because of all the people in your Netflix account, but sharing a mobile app with your family opens a lot of doors now — to give you an example, think about all the opportunities of sharing a subscription for health apps or financial management apps within the same family members! 
  • Health App.
    The default health app provided by apple for all iOS users is really good, but with iOS14 the health app is improved and covers a set of amazing features:
    • Sleep app functionalities to help users meet their sleep goals
    • Hearing app features, to track and inform users how loud the media through headphones is and how that could impact their hearing over time.
    • Health Checklist to keep track of all health and safety actions
    • A set of new data types for mobility, health records, symptoms, and ECG.1

From a customer point of view, this is amazing news: you will have all your health info at your fingertip! But as an app developer in the healthtech industry or an entrepreneur with a health app in the AppStore, this may sound a bit concerning as most of the features that we tend to see within the health apps will be covered in a single app that comes by default to all iOS users!

 

iOS14 takeaways

This may be the beginning of a huge change in the ADtech industry or mobile app development sector and the start to an all-in-one digital experience for most of our activities — a single account for multiple apps, subscriptions and keys sharing, and even a default health app to cover most of the things we are concerned about.

All in all, the fall of 2020 is going to be a customer-centric one thanks to iOS 14 and its approach to meet customer needs and to also digitalize some offline experiences with solutions at their fingertip — e.g., providing the option to share your car keys with friends or family, launching app clips for a one-time usage of some services and multiple features to organize your apps and widgets and to keep your data private. 

 

Want to build an iOS app, an app clip, or AR functionality, and no idea how to start?
We help entrepreneurs like you quite often (and here is the Wolfpack Digital portfolio to prove it). Drop us a line in the chat or via e-mail about your plans and we will guide you from idea to the app launch!

 

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