iOS & Android: Optimise your app-marketing with these new features
Summer is officially getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror and like everyone else we are ready to get back to work. We do so with an update on some newly arrived and coming features from iOS and Android. The new features was introduced just before summer and will as always be released in the fall. Apple has just confirmed that the new features will be available on September 15th. To prepare you for this, we will now take a plunge into how the new features can be utilized to create more value for companies and users.
We’ll start by having a look at widgets.
First up is widgets. Something that’s been available for Android for a long time, but finally arrived on iOS. Which is why the feature is worth mentioning now, since it’s able to provide value for users of both operating systems.
In short, widgets are able to display information from your app, on the home screen. It can be everything from showing this week's weather, to selected offers, to important information, upcoming events etc.
It’s a great way to provide business crucial information, while getting a more noticeable spot on the users home screens, which might lead to the user visiting your app more often.
Check out this demo:
App Clips / Instant Apps
Next, Apple presented App Clips!
In short App Clips works as an extension of your app, which the user can use without installing the app itself. For instance, say you have to park your car and don’t have one of the 27 different parking apps available. Then you’d scan a QR code or NFC tag which installs a part of the parking app, making it possible for you to pay for a ticket, without installing the entire app + creating an account.
When the App Clip hasn't been used for a few days it’s automatically uninstalled.
If the user wants the entire app, they’re able to download the full version from the App Clip.
Android has had more or less the same functionality since 2017. Now that both operating systems provide the same feature, it’s more relevant to implement.
The key takeaway from this feature is that you’ll be able to deliver key features for users easier than before. Let’s say you’re providing e-commerce it’s a way to sell products to the users, while adding the possibility of them downloading your app and creating an account.
For more information, check out this video:
Dark Mode is a feature from iOS 13 / Android 10. Now, a year has passed and over 70% of iPhone users are running iOS 13.0 + 22% of Android users running Android 10. Which means that it makes way more sense to implement now.
The concept is simple. When users have Dark Mode enabled on their phone you’ll be able to display your current app in darker colours. This feature mainly exists to ensure a great viewing experience in low-light conditions + save battery (darker colours cost less battery consumption). It might seem gimmicky, but there’s a ton of users out there who expects certain - if not all - apps to support this feature.
In short, rich notifications are customised notifications.
Compared to regular notifications, rich notifications can provide images, GIFs, video and audio (some of this is restricted to iOS), all of which makes your notifications stand out. The reason why you should consider doing this, is because going rich might increase your users interaction with the notifications with up to 50%, while being able to provide more information within the notification.
Using rich notifications also gives you the possibility to provide context to your text in form of a picture/GIF/video. When users receive these kinds of notifications, they’re often more likely to read the whole message + enter the app for whatever purpose the notification calls for.
It can also be a great way to provide useful information for the user, without them having to enter the app and navigate to a certain location within it. For instance, if you’re talking about a certain product or brand, then put an image related to that in the notification. The same goes for news articles, movies, locations, property listings etc.
You’ve probably heard about it before, and might also have been using it in regards to your website or existing app. But rest assured, accessibility will be an important keyword for the years to come.
Accessibility encompasses everything in terms of using your app as a user. Making sure that the majority - if not all - of your users are able to fully understand and use your app. It’s already a part of the basic understanding of a UX-designer and something we have been focusing on here at Adapt for years. But the possibilities users have in their hands now compared to only a few years ago, have dramatically increased. Both Apple and Google have been adding accessibility features to iOS and Android for years. Especially Apple have had their focus on accessibility to such a degree, that one might think they knew that regulation on the area is on it’s way. And that’s the reason why we’re taking a few seconds of your time to let you know, that regulation is coming and we should probably talk about it.
A new accessibility regulation from the EU will arrive on the 23rd of June 2021.
The regulation requires both public websites and public mobile apps to adhere to a certain set of rules. But it won’t be long before the same rules apply for private websites and apps.
We’ve already performed the first accessibility review for a client, resulting in actionable feedback, so that they could go back and improve the app immediately, knowing that they’ll live up to the coming regulation.
Privacy / Tracking
You are in all likelihood already familiar with the cookie pop-ups that are featured on different websites - prompting you to give consent to functional, statistical and marketing cookies. All indications are that a similar regulation, where a user needs to give consent to the data being sent, is heading to mobile platforms, which in the future will require a consent much like the one on desktop.
We are following this closely and working with GDPR/Cookie regulation experts to have a market ready solution when this regulation is drafted and ready to be put in effect.
Our solution will of course focus on accessibility and ensuring you get to keep as much as your insightful data as possible.
As a side note we might mention, that Apple is already forcing us to handle this as of iOS 14.
At this moment it’s strictly related to the so-called “IDFA”, which is used by the likes of Facebook, Google and whatever marketing tool you might be using. It won’t affect more simple tracking, for now.
You can read more about it here:
Please, feel free to contact us, if you have any questions!
We’ll be more than happy to meet you online / offline over a cup of coffee, and discuss the possible solutions for your app!
Jesper Bitsch Østergaard
Technical Lead Mobile & Backend