Takeaways from WWDC 2016: App Store 2.0, Privacy, and Playgrounds
Team Apptentive had a blast at WWDC 2016 in San Francisco last week! Three of our team members attended the show, including Andrew Wooster, CTO Co-founder; Frank Schmitt, iOS Engineer; and Robi Ganguly, CEO and Co-founder.
Today’s post is a roundup of their biggest takeaways from the conference, and how the announcements coming out of WWDC will impact both developers and consumers.
But first, time for a selfie! Here’s Frank enjoying the conference:
Significant iOS Updates
Apple announced major updates to their iOS platform, including a new Siri API, and a unified login system. Minor updates were also announced, including new iMessage features, and the ability to hide built-in apps. All of the changes focus on creating a better, more seamless user experience.
Siri’s API will allow iOS users more freedom—introducing the ability to use Siri for video calling, messaging, search within photos, and even calling an Uber or Lyft. While the use cases presented at the conference for Siri’s API were limited, the actual function will be quite useful. Single sign on will also provide more freedom to move in and out of third party apps, particularly media apps. The ease of signing into apps will likely increase the amount of content consumers view, as will the the number of sources from which they access content; this is a potentially opportunity to increase monetization for media apps.
Also in the interest of creating a better user experience, Apple is giving companies the ability to update push notifications. In an effort to help companies avoid bombarding their customers with push notifications, they’ll have the option to update existing notifications instead of sending entirely new messages.
The App Store 2.0
Major changes are coming to the App Store, namely a new app subscriptions model and paid search ads. These changes will mostly have a positive effect on the consumer experience because it will shift developers’ focus towards retention.
The app subscription model is designed to be a win-win for consumers and developers. Apple will reward app developers who have subscribers for a year or more by cutting their revenue sharing model from the traditional 70/30 split to 85/15. Developers who have create enjoyable mobile customer experiences will reap the benefits of this new model, while consumers will benefit from an increased focus on CX—in theory.
However, there’s been pushback from the development community that not all of the changes are in their best interest. App developers argue that paid search ads will make it even more difficult for consumers to discover their app, in a store that already has a discoverability issue. The introduction of paid search ads give an advantage to app developers with bigger budgets.
Bozoma Saint John, Apple Music’s Head of Global Consumer Marketing, presenting at WWDC.
Privacy and Playgrounds
Apple continues to put its foot down on privacy (in case you’ve been living under a rock, they took on the Department of Justice head-on earlier this year), announcing differential privacy—an iOS 10 system that gathers data on consumers without compromising their individual identities. Data has become the backbone of many businesses’ strategies, and also creates a more personalized customer experiences. Apple’s working to protect the interests of consumers while not sacrificing their need for data with the creation of differential privacy.
Swift Playgrounds for iPads was an announcement people of all ages are excited about. Designed for kids, but welcoming for adults, Playgrounds helps teach beginners how to develop using Swift. This is a smart move for Apple—entrenching their language in future developers, creating a magnet towards developing apps on Swift. The barriers of learning code are significantly lowered with Playgrounds, with children as young as seven successfully learning Swift using the program.
Showed my son(7) Swift Playgrounds, greeted with audible gasp of delight. Ten minutes later he was teaching my daughter(4) to program.
— David Smith (@_DavidSmith) June 18, 2016
To wrap it up, there was one overarching theme throughout the entire conference that stood out most to us: Mobile is the present and the future. Many of Apple’s announcements were focused on making current mobile customer experience better, from incentivizing app developers to create strong customer relationships to opening up Siri with an API. Apple looked ahead to the future as well, releasing tool and systems that will ensure they’re protecting the interests of developers and consumers as the world of mobile continues to evolve and become more complex.