Apple is set to kick off this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote presentation on Monday at the San Jose Convention Center. Historically, the WWDC events are typically dedicated to introducing software updates, covering iOS and macOS, as well as tvOS and watchOS in recent years. On this front, Apple is expected to unveil the next iteration of iOS, with enhanced security and productive features, along with a refreshed design. The other OS’es should receive their respective updates as well, although details have been scarce.
Notably, however, this may be the year when Apple announces a new hardware product at WWDC, as reports on Apple starting production for a Siri-enabled smart speakers started to emerge earlier this week. The Cupertino company has long been speculated to be working on an Amazon Echo competitor, and Monday could be the moment of truth for Apple to reveal its first conversational smart home product.
For now, the Echo lineup dominates the smart speaker market with an impressive 70.6% market share, according to an eMarketer study. Late to the market, Apple will have to produce a superior user experience and significantly improve Siri’s capabilities in order to catch up.
As always, the Lab team will be watching the event live on Monday and bringing you all the marketing-related implications coming out of Apple’s announcement. Follow us on Twitter @ipglab for our live updates, and remember to check back later this week for our in-depth analysis of all the things marketers need to know.
Source: The Verge & Bloomberg
Apple announced on Thursday that it has acquired Workflow, an iOS automation app that lets you sync up apps to create quick shortcuts and automated actions, such as uploading the pictures you posted on Instagram to your Dropbox, or sending an automated message to someone when you crossed something off your to-do list. Apple is not shutting down the app for now, and is instead making it free to download. But it seems safe to assume that sooner or later Apple will be integrating Workflow’s cloud-based app automation capabilities into IOS, therefore opening up a lot of new possibilities for users to set up customized automation integrated with the core iOS features such as Siri and screenshot.
What Brands Need To Do
Beyond improving the accessibility and user experience of iOS devices, this acquisition also hints at what the future of Apple’s strategy for Siri and home automation might be. By adding Siri support, Apple could vastly expand Siri’s capabilities and make it easier for users to customize their experiences. As major tech players rush to build out AI-powered, voice-enabled platforms, as Amazon is doing with Alexa, Google with Google Assistant, and Microsoft with Cortana, Workflow will give Apple a much-needed boost in creating a user-friendly entryway for customizable voice experiences.
For brands, this means two things. One, there are opportunities in creating automation recipes that help integrate your branded app or web-based services into the iOS ecosystem so as to expand your reach and provide users with extra value. In addition, brands also need to prepare for the rise of conversational interfaces and figure out an authentic brand voice to reach customers.
How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The “Miller Time” Alexa Skill we developed with Drizly for Miller Lite is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.
If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a visit to the Lab.
Source: The Next Web
Apple announced Search Ads in the App Store at this year’s WWDC event, and now the Cupertino-based company is ready to release this much-anticipated ad product which will appear at the top of the App Store’s search results based on search relevancy and keyword bidding. iOS developers can sign up and start planning search ads for their apps starting today, but the ads won’t appear in the App Store until October 5th. Apple is also giving developers a $100 credit for Search Ads.
What Brands Should Do
Apple announced at its iPhone event earlier this month that more than 140 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store, up 10 billion since June. In order to stand out in the over 2 million apps currently available in the App Store, brands seeking to engage mobile users via a branded app should consider buying Search Ads to give distribution a boost.
On Tuesday, Mozilla launched an iOS content blocker named Focus by Firefox, promising to block out all tracking codes on mobile webpages. It will most certainly wipe out the ads as well, given that most online ads today have some sort of tracking code built in.
What Brands Need To Do
Following Apple’s decision to allow ad-blocking extensions in iOS 9, a handful of ad-blocking apps have been making waves among mobile users. While it is still debatable how much damage it will do to online publishers and advertisers, there is no denying that today’s consumers are becoming increasingly aware that they are being tracked, and that personal data holds value to advertisers. Therefore, publishers and ad tech providers will have to figure out new ways to acquire the audience data they need for retargeting and analytics. For one, offering consumers added value to incentivize them to volunteer their personal information and data is a good way to bypass the rising trend of ad avoidance.
Apple has released the much-anticipated watchOS 2 after about a week’s delay due to “unexpected bugs.” The new operating system brings native apps, new personalization features, and HomeKit support to Apple Watch. In related news, iOS 9 was also released to the public last Wednesday after months of beta testing, bringing proactive search, along with several security and performance updates to millions of Apple users.
What Brands Should Do
As we wrote on Apple’s WWDC event earlier this year, watchOS 2 offers more opportunities for brand integrations through its enhanced personalization features like “complications,” which allow branded apps to add functionality to the watch face. The added support for native apps also promises a faster and more reliable user experience for third-party apps developed by brands. Similarly, iOS 9 brings proactive search extensibility to Apple’s mobile devices, which means brands need to get their apps properly indexed to ensure content discovery, both through search and through “peek and pop.”
Source: The Verge
Regular as clockwork, Apple’s annual iPhone launch event took place this afternoon in San Francisco, where the company unveiled some major upgrades to almost its entire product line. Here are the highlights from today’s event that all marketers and brands should be aware of.
• Apple Watch Gets More Apps and Fashionable Watch Bands
Apple demoed various new Watch apps such as Facebook Messenger, GoPro, and AirStrip, and collaborated with Hermes on new models with exclusive bands.
• iPad Pro Gives Brands More Screen Space To Impress
The brand new iPad Pro that boasts a stunning 12.9-inch screen, giving brands more space and processing power to impress their audience on mobile devices.
• iPhone 6s Presents New Features For Brands To Engage
With 4K video recording, animated Live Photo, 3D Touch, and more, Apple debuts the next-gen smartphone that brands need to adept to.
• The Future Of TV Is Apps
With “tvOS”, Apple brings App Store, gaming capability, and Siri to Apple TV, providing brands with a gateway to infiltrate the living room space.
The new iOS 9 will be made available to all users on September 16, with updated iPhones available starting September 26. The Apple TV and iPad Pro will hit stores later this fall, in October and November, respectively. As always, the Lab will offer our hands-on take on these next-generation devices, so remember to check back for more.
Google has updated its iOS Chrome app to integrate Physical Web content into the “Today” view within the iOS Notification Center, where developers can make customized widgets for easier access and controls. While most beacon implementations are focused on notifications and require either a partnership with an app with wide reach or settling for a small audience, Google is attempting to broaden the uses of beacons and gather additional offline data. They want to do this without risking users turning off notifications on an app that relies on them like Google Now. Combined with Google’s newly announced beacon platform Eddystone, it seems clear that Google is determined to push into the Internet of Things.
What Brands Should Do
Physical Web uses Eddystone-URL, which Google’s beacon technology uses to send information to end-user devices, to integrate with its end-to-end beacon platform. Brands, especially those invested in the hyperlocal spaces, should take advantage of this deep integration to get more native-like proximity functionality out of their apps.
St. Jude Medical announced earlier this week that its new wireless spinal cord stimulation trial system has been approved by the FDA. The system uses Bluetooth and pairs with iOS devices to provide control to the patient and doctor. The St. Paul, Minnesota-based hospital is among the first to incorporate mobile technology into medical treatments, and with Apple making a push into medical and healthcare field with HealthKit and ResearchKit, we expect mobile devices to be further integrated into medical practices.
Read original story on: The Information
Apple has blocked app developers from accessing that app-download data for ad targeting purposes as part of the company’s continued crusade to appear more privacy-friendly. This means that third-party apps like Twitter or Facebook can no longer scan your phone to learn about your interests and mobile behaviors from the app you installed. Apple has been increasingly tightening its control over iOS ecosystem—just last week it added support for ad-blocking extensions to iOS 9. Now with this access to app-scanning revoked, mobile advertisers will have to find new way to gain insights into consumers’ mobile usage.
Read original story on: VentureBeat
One year after teasing its arrival at last year’s WWDC, Apple has finally released a beta test for its App Analytic tool for iOS developers. Given that Apple has not been sharing the app user behavior data with any third-party analytics services, this release marks the beginning of huge opportunities for developers and managers to improve attribution of app downloads and learn crucial insights into app users’ behaviors and preferences. It should also be of great help for brands that operate their own mobile apps to adjust their development and marketing efforts accordingly.