Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week by announcing and previewing its upcoming iOS 11, which will be released this Fall. iOS 11 offers several key enhancements including a redesigned App Store experience, Person to Person Apple Pay, ARKit & Business Chat. Check out the details and how they may affect your apps below.
Businesses Get Chatty
Apple is introducing the opportunity for brands to interact with customers directly from the Messages app for sales, service and support. Built as an iMessage app extension, the Business Chat functionality will be accessible from your app, Safari, Siri, Spotlight Search and Maps. Based on Apple’s introduction of Apple Pay iMessage integration, it is highly likely that transaction processing for iMessage orders will rely on Apple Pay as the standard payment method. Through this offering, Apple is bridging core iPhone functionality with third-party apps to create a seamless user experience and increase engagement.
Apple Pay Everyone…Everything…Everywhere
Peer to peer payment competition is heating up with Apple’s introduction of Person to Person payment capabilities via Apple Pay and iMessage. With iOS 11, users will be able to send or request money directly in iMessage through the iMessage Apple Pay app. All that a user must do is enter a payment amount and authenticate payment through the standard Apple Pay payment sheet. Users receiving money will conveniently have it stored on a virtual “Apple Pay Cash” card that can be used in-app or in-store as a payment method.
Apple aims to increase adoption of Apple Pay through the introduction of Person to Person while ultimately increasing usage of Apple Pay as a digital and physical payment method.
Apple Gets Real with AR
ARKit from Apple is a brand new development tool enabling developers to integrate augmented reality functionality into their apps more easily. The kit takes advantage of Apple’s optimized software and hardware configurations to create realistic looking scenes with accurate spatial dimensions. With ARKit, developers are able to create realistic 3D versions of objects like furniture, clothing accessories and more.
A Whole New (App) World
Apple is redesigning the App Store to enhance and elevate the app discovery experience. There are three major changes to the App Store: Curated Content, Updated Layout, and a New App Product Page.
The updated App Store’s major focus will be content discovery and curation. For the first time ever, Apple will allow developers to fill out a request to have their app featured in a content piece. The new Today tab of the store will feature stories ranging from app listicles to app specific tips & tricks and exclusive app world premieres. Curated content will also be incorporated into the search functionality increasing discoverability for apps that have been previously featured in an editorial.
The Updated Layout
There will be three major App Store sections called Today, Games and Apps. The Today section will feature various app stories and an app of the day while Games and Apps will encompass the rest of the App Store catalog. From an app SEO perspective, separating games out from all other apps is an opportunity from more prominent placement in general app rankings that were previously dominated by games.
Apps Get New PDPs
To complement the shift to a content-driven App Store, Apple is introducing major changes to app product pages including the ability to showcase up to 3 app videos. App videos will be limited to 30 seconds and will auto-play on mute when a user taps into a product page. Videos will be placed ahead of screenshots on product pages and search results.
In addition to more visual content, Apple will prominently display app ratings and chart rankings at the top of the product page under the app title and logo. Apple is also adding a promotional message field that can be updated without submitting a new version to the App Store. The promotional messaging field can be utilized for timely promotions or details to entice users to download the app.
Ratings and Reviews
Although Apple has entirely overhauled the App Store user interface, perhaps the biggest change to the App Store is the change to Apple’s Ratings and Reviews policy. Beginning with iOS 11, Apple will allow developers to choose whether or not they would like to carry over a previous version’s rating over to the new version. This change will allow developers with highly rated apps to preserve app ratings when updating to a new version encouraging developers to update apps more frequently while maintaining their high rankings.
For more information on iOS 11 and how to prepare for the changes coming this fall, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.