It was another high profile Apple event in San Jose last week, and we’ve picked out five highlights that we think brands need to keep an eye on.
Apple enters the world of Bots
Bots are big business, and Apple is looking to capitalise on the push that many brands are making into this area.
Business Chat is coming to the new iOS11, allowing consumers to use the Messaging app to communicate with organisations in an attempt to resolve certain customer queries or issues. A consumer could, for example, send a message to a delivery company to check the status of their package.
The appeal of chat bots for organisations is obvious. It allows brands to significantly reduce the costs of their customer service operations, ensure that call centres and live chat channels aren’t being clogged up by relatively simple customer queries, and ensures that such queries can be handled at any time of day or night.
Business chat looks to take this further by integrating Apple Pay to the process, allowing users to complete a purchase during their conversation. So as an example, a user could send a message to an airline asking whether a seat upgrade is available on their flight, and the airline could respond in a way that allows the customer to pay the upgrade fee their and then.
A big push on Apple Pay
That’s not the only development with Apple Pay.
Apple has been trying to push its payments service but has so-far struggled to turn it into the ‘default’ option for low value items that it perhaps hoped to do. Adoption is falling, and they are using iOS11 to try and arrest that.
P2P payments is one way the company hopes to do really push the platform, and the ability to pay back a contact for the share of last night’s restaurant bill through nothing more than an iMessage could be that key viral hook.
There’s also going to be a big push on the retail merchant side, with Apple hoping that half of all US retailers will accept the platform by the end of 2017.
More Augmented and Virtual Reality
Apple is catching up with the rapid AR development by launching ARKit, allowing app developers to bring advanced augmented reality capabilities to their iOS apps, including facial recognition, simultaneous localisation and mapping, and ambient lighting estimation.
Virtual Reality is also a big area as well, with support for virtual reality content creation coming to the new macOS, High Sierra.
A new look App-Store
The App Store is getting a new, graphic-heavy look and as part of this, games and non-game apps will be broken into separate tabs. Users will also find new highlights for notable apps with “Editor’s Choices.”
Why does this matter? Well it could have implications for your App Store Optimisation (ASO) strategy.
So long, Siri – sort of.
She has been with us since 2011, but Apple is saying “see you later, Siri” with the launch of iOS11, and rebranding it as Apple Intelligence Engine.
Why? Well, Apple is taking on Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home smart speaker systems by launching its HomePod.
In essence it probably doesn’t mean too much to the way in which people will interact with personal assistant devices, but it will mean that Apple will be able to provide much more personal results, including personalised recommendations and predictive layouts for the iWatch interface.