Apple previewed the latest version of their iOS 12 operating system at their WWDC developer conference in California this week. The new system won’t be available until Fall 2018, but there are plenty of new features and enhancements to look forward to.
Here’s what you need to know about the new iOS 12 system:
Updated security and GDPR compliance
According to Apple, the new iOS 12 will “prevent share buttons and comment widgets on web pages from tracking you without your permission.” Safari will also prevent advertisers from collecting “unique device characteristics, so they can’t identify your device or retarget ads across the web.”
What it means for marketers: This is a big deal for advertisers who use device targeting. But, the provisions make sense in the wake of new GDPR regulations which rolled out last month. Under GDPR, advertisers are subject to stricter cookie policies, which prohibit the collection of personal data without an explicit opt-in (you can read more about that here).
Consumers take more control over notifications
Apple is making it easier for users to control what types of notifications the receive throughout the day. Users will be able to opt in an out of notifications in real-time, and Siri will be able to make suggestions to users to curate their notifications based on engagement. Users will also be able to trigger “Do Not Disturb,” which will silence notifications altogether.
What it means for marketers: Mobile marketers, take notice. Just like we saw with the new Gmail update, making sure your messages are seen (and appreciated) could get more difficult. This new update means marketers must make sure their content is valuable and engaging for audiences, so push notifications aren’t pushed out of the feed.
AR becomes a shared experience
With the ARKit 2, developers will be able to create “more immersive augmented reality experiences,” that Apple says can be shared in messages and through email.
What it means for marketers: ARKit has the potential to allow marketers to share new AR experiences though multiple channels, whether it be through text, email, or on a phone or tablet. This could mean new ways for in-store AR experiences to become more accessible (think of the possibilities for brick-and-mortar retailers to create digital showrooms with ease). Employees in-store could also share these experiences with shoppers with more mobility.
Advancements to FaceTime functionality
Users will now be able to expand their live video chat to accommodate up to 32 different people at once with the new GroupFaceTime feature. According to Apple, video tiles will “get larger automatically” depending on who is speaking.
What it means for marketers: If you’re managing a large team, or have a group of staff that works remotely, meetings just got a whole lot easier. Take your huddles on the go, and get in touch on mobile.
Emojis just got a lot more personal
Apple plans to debut completely customizable Animojis (dubbed “Memojis”). Users can customize based off an number of features, and create as many avatars as they like. Users can also choose from four other animal Animoji – a T. Rex, koala, tiger, and ghost – which can be used in FaceTime or in text messages on the iPhone X. Along with animojis, Apple users will also be able to add stickers, filters and other text effects straight to their FaceTime or text messages.
What it means for marketers: Watch out, Snapchat. The Animoji feature is reminiscent of Bitmoji, an app that allows users to create animated avatars. The feature was first popularized by Snapchat (who acquired Bitmoji in 2016) and has since innovated the product with the introduction or AR Bitmojis (Facebook also has some skin in the game). As SMS continues to be a growing market, the ability to connect with animation could be a new content opportunity to engage consumers.