On September 17th, Apple released iOS 12 to the public. While users of the new operating system will notice a more responsive keyboard, faster apps, and a series of new features or functions, what does the new OS mean for companies and development teams?
iOS 12 supports new features that brands and development teams can take advantage of to upgrade the performance and user experience of their apps and websites.
What devices are eligible for the iOS 12 upgrade? All iPhones dating back to the iPhone 5s, all iPads dating back to iPad mini 2, and the iPod Touch (6th generation).
Here is what to expect...
Augmented Reality (AR) is getting upgraded thanks to iOS 12. Apple wanted to make it easier for customers to experience AR so they designed a new file format called USDZ. This innovation will allow developers to create and share 3D AR experiences through a single, compact file format.
While AR is still a very new technology, brands can use AR to create personalized-shopping experiences for their customers as well as marketing opportunities to engage customers. Using the USDZ file format, it should be easier for brands to take advantage of AR.
Aiming to engage a younger audience, Lacoste created an AR app that allowed users to try on a 3D model of their shoes as well as interact with window displays, in-store signage, and promotional postcards. Deemed a success, the project allowed 30,000 customers to engage with Lacoste’s product.
American Apparel too used AR to engage its customer base. The American retailer used AR in their stores to provide customers with product details, customer reviews, color choices, and pricing by scanning signs in the store using the American Apparel app.
Within the scope of AR, Apple also upgraded its ARKIT platform with iOS 12 to allow developers to create shared AR experiences while using the same app on different devices. The innovation will enable new AR gaming possibilities that were previously impossible under iOS 11.
While this feature will undoubtedly come in handy for game developers, it can still be leveraged by brands to create marketing and customer engagement experiences.
Improved QR Reader
iPhone and iPad users will also receive an upgraded QR Reader with iOS 12. With the new update, iPhone users will no longer have to point their camera at the QR code. Instead, iOS 12 will automatically detect a QR code and notify the user. Additionally, users can access the QR reader from the control center for quicker and easier access.
With an improved and built-in QR reader, brands can use QR codes to bring customers directly to a specific page on their website or app. Brands can also use QR codes to make shopping online easier. Assigning a QR code to a product can direct customers to your app or website where they can discover more information about a product or search for alternative colors or sizes. QR codes can also used to enhance customer loyalty programs and more.
Third-Party Apps in CarPlay
iOS 12 will also allow CarPlay to access third-party navigation apps like Waze or Google Maps. This will provide greater choice to users to use their prefered navigation app while driving. For third-party navigation apps, it will be important to upgrade their platform to make them compatible with CarPlay.
Thanks to Siri Shortcuts, Siri is a more capable vocal assistant thanks to the new Shortcut app. This will give Siri a greater ability to open and take actions in third-party apps. For example, a user can say, “Hey Siri, I lost my keys” which will automatically allow Siri to open the Tile app and activate the user's geolocation badge attached to his or her keys. Likewise, Siri can make the badge beep to help locate the keys as well.
In general, making apps compatible with Siri can make it easier for users to access messaging, navigation, or other useful apps while using a smarter and more capable Siri.
Apple's iOS 12 provides important new features for both users and developers. However, upgrading apps and websites will be key for brands and their development teams in their attempt take advantage of the new capabilities of iOS 12. Nonetheless, testing both existing and upgraded apps and sites is vital for uncovering UX and performance-hindering bugs.