How iOS7 fits into your mobile strategy.

By Posted in - Product Strategy on July 26th, 2013

Tech savvy. Early adopter. Trendsetter.
Often used to describe the typical Apple user. As of June 2013, more than 93% of Apple users had updated to iOS6. Compare this same time frame to Android and an unimpressive 33% were running a version of Android operating system released within the year, and only 4% were using the latest major release, Jelly Bean. Apple knows that their users jump on the band wagon at a fast pace and are encouraging their enthusiastic adopters and developers to prepare for the newest major update, iOS7, coming this fall.

As an Apple Developer, Apollo Matrix is testing the beta operating system and to prepare our clients for the fast-approaching update. We’ve found many improvements in design and functionality and have very much enjoyed diving in to the new iOS. We’re excited to advise clients who want to make the switch to Apple about the new features, design enhancements and opportunites that Apple has created. With the first of more blog posts about iOS7, we will better prepare you for what is to come.

Is Android Apple’s Role Model?

Although Android users being slow to update, Apple has taken some cues from the useful features and interface design of Google’s mobile operating system.

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The first of these is the ‘Control Center’, a feature that Android users have been enjoying for quite some time. Soon available to Apple users, the Control Center will help users quickly access toggle apps and other commonly used features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Apple sees that users want to share videos, photos, contacts, songs and more has taken note of Android’s ‘AndroidBeam’ feature and is releasing Airdrop for mobile with iOS7. Airdrop will allow peer-to-peer sharing over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and hopefully answer users’

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How many photos do you have on your mobile phone? My iPhone has 2,240 of my most prized pictures- mostly of my dog. But it also has pictures from trips, holidays, family and friends. With iOS7, Apple users will be able to group photos into ‘moments’, ‘collections’ or ‘years’. Like Android 4.2 offering similar grouping strategies, users will finally be able to organize and later share their photos faster than ever. Great feature? I think so.

What about Social Media?

According to Experian Marketing Services, social networking accounted for 15 percent of time spent on mobile devices, or 9 minutes each hour, for Q1 2013. iOS7 brings intuitive integration with social media. The camera now offers square photos with plenty of filter options that are social media ready — especially instagram. As you would expect with Apple, iOS7 makes all of your shooting formats (photo, video, panorama and square) easily accessible. With a swipe, you can capture what you want and even add a filter. Be as creative as you wish with filters and effects immediately or days later. If you decide you don’t like a filter you’ve added weeks ago — just remove it! I think users are going to really enjoy this feature! As an aficionado of touching and editing photos in my free time, I’m excited Apple understands its users to allow them to be creative without downloading and opening extra apps.

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Better App Discovery

‘Apps Near Me’ is a new feature of the iOS7 App Store that shows a collection of popular apps relevant to their current location. Whether traveling to Europe or just down the road, see what apps most users have that might prove to be very useful. This feature will help localized apps get discovered. The new ‘Kids’ category will spotlight the best apps for children based on age.

What Devices are compatible?

After learning about these amazing features coming this fall, you might ask, “Is my iPhone or iPad compatible?” The answer- most likely yes. But will your device be lacking features? The reasoning ultimately goes back to the hardware but is also a part of Apple’s master plan to get users to continue upgrading and purchasing new products. See the table below to see the features supported by device.

Device Features
iPhone5 All features
iPhone4S Will not support: filters in the camera, AirDrop
iPhone4 Will not support: filters in the camera, AirDrop, panoramic photos and Siri
iPad Mini All features
iPad 4th Generation All features
iPad 3rd Generation Will not support: filters in the camera, AirDrop
iPad 2 Will not support: filters in the camera, AirDrop, filters in the photos app, square photos and videos, Siri

When should you release for iOS7?

This really depends on your userbase. Are you targeting a younger, hipper audience? Or is it a larger audience or employee base who may be more hesitant to update?

Adoption is usually seen in a bell-shape curve with enthusiast and early adopters starting the trend followed by early majority, late majority and laggards at the end. For iOS6 adoption, 50% of users had updated their iPhone within the first week. While, the majority of users will wait, remember that Apple has been working with early adopters and testers with multiple beta versions for months prior to the release in order to confirm a smooth and bug free iOS for an easy update overall.

If you are planning on releasing for iOS7, we recommend understanding your audience’s adoption pattern. For the younger, hipper, early adopters, or for urban apps, we recommend building to iOS7 right away. For the larger audience or enterprise app, we recommend waiting to launch your iOS7 app until this winter or a couple months after iOS7 is released.

Stay tuned for more posts on iOS7.

Sources

Experian Marketing Services, 2013. Experian Marketing Services reveals 27 percent of time spent online is on social networking. 16 April. http://bit.ly/15okqHs

Keller, J., 2013. Apple once again tells developers iOS6 has a 93% adoption rate, dares them to compare to Android. June 21. http://bit.ly/16UsTjV