Apple iOS6 changes
I had earlier touched on Passbook here briefly, but this post covers off all changes that the iOS6 are bringing and not just the Passbook
The smartphone and tablet device is no doubt one of the most talked about areas within the digital technology space, and any changes from Apple are always awaited eagerly whether its devices or upgrade to their OS. The iOS6 has been awaited for some time and while I’ve blogged about the potential of some of these changes, it seems that iOS6 is bringing forward a lot of these changes with their next release.
So what are the changes with iOS6?
Apple’s ecosystem has enabled the emergence of the first wave of consumer apps…Despite Google‘s Android traction withh about 900,000 Android devices’ activations per day, Apple’s statistics shared today clearly demonstrate the huge opportunity to interact with end-users: more than 365 million iOS devices sold to end March 2012, 125 million iCloud users, 650k apps among which 225k that are iPad specific, more than 30 billion apps downloaded since the launch of Apple’s App Store. Apple has already paid out $5 billion to developers since July 2008. While the figure looks impressive, Apple keept a mere $2.1 billion — a very small percentage of Apple’s total revenues over the period. Reality is that for now game developpers are the ones who make the most money out of apps. Most apps from consumer-facing companies are free. Ad-funded business model are gaining traction thanks to the growth of mobile ad $ but marketers are always slower to anticipate evolution of consumer behaviors. However, they will start realizing that time spent by consumers on apps (a key metric to look at moving forward as a potential indication of client engagement) is increasing dramatically and will open up new opportunities for them to interact with consumers. It requires companies to get ready for the second wave of apps and really add value to consumers. Indeed, the first generation of apps — aside from gaming apps and mobile social networks— rarely made the most of the unique attributes of the mobile platform and rarely integrated with back-end systems. The market is poised for a second wave of consumer apps that are more personalized and contextual.
The 200 new features available on iOS6 will facilitate the transition towards the second generation of apps. A couple of months ago, Forrester stated that Siri would be a powerful harbinger of the future use of mobile devices — not just the power of voice but, more importantly, the ability to contextualize a statement or request. We’re starting to see this happening with Siri’s ability to launch apps or with Siri’s integration with Yelp (Google acquired Zagat recently…) and OpenTable for restaurant reviews and reservations. Another example of new opportunities to develop better product experiences is Facebook‘s integration into iOS6. This integration is quite deep. This is not just about Facebook contacts but also the fact that events and birthdays can also sync with the calendar. The ability to “like” apps will also facilitate social app discovery. Another example is Apple’s new Passbook app that collects all of your loyalty cards, ticket information and other information in one place for easy access. Such an app is location-enabled so it knows what to show based on where you are. This app is a first step into a digital wallet and the next iteration of the app could well be the integration with the 400 million credit cards that Apple has now on file. Last but not least is the launch of Apple Maps. This is not so much about generating new revenues – especially advertising – at the end of the day Apple iAd has never been and probably will never be a core source of revenue for Apple. This is mostly about enabling new product experiences for its own Apple branded products and for developers to launch more convenient services on iOS devices. Indeed, location is no longer a service, like maps or navigation, but is increasingly an enabler of new product experiences. It is time to think beyond location alone but to couple this feature — which will be increasingly accurate, particularly indoors — with other data sources, such as user context and past behaviors. Mobile location becomes invisible and will increasingly be embedded into mobile products – from apps to other services.
Aside from the Passbook, which if it catches on, maybe a potential game changer for Apple, it seems that the core changes seem to be:
1) A much more refined Siri. Siri understands more languages and works in more countries. Siri can find the best restaurants in town and make reservations. Siri can now launch apps by just saying their name(s). You can use Siri to post Facebook updates and tweet for you. And yes, Siri now comes to the iPad as well. With the first BETA release of Siri it seems Apple has taken all the feedback on board is and is refining Siri with an advanced algorithim.
2) Passbook I’ve mentioned before but in short:- it’s a single app, but it collects and intelligently displays boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and loyalty cards. Best of all, any changes (gate changes, amount differences, etc.) are displayed in Passbook as they happen so long as you have a data connection. This is more advanced than the concept of a mobile wallet.
3) Facebook integration: Aside from being able to like an app in the app store straight away, it seems that Facebook will be heavily ingrained from a design perspective in the iOS6 as well as the consecutive releases of the iPhone and iPad. One will expect a much smoother Facebook experience across iPhones and iPads.
4) A lot has been written about maps (which I will cover off in a separate post) but in short, Apple reinvigorates its entire mapping system and goes head to head with Google Maps with advanced and defined 3D maps and all.
5) Safari gets more updated to allow for easier offline reading, Facetime over cellular (watch out Skype?) and a much snazzier way to share photos over the cloud.
What do you think of the latest iOS6 Changes? Which ones do you think will be the most popular?
Prashant Harish Hari