On September 18, 2013, as many already know, iOS 7 was released for the Apple iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C and 5S as well as iPad 2 and later and iPod Touch 5th Generation and later. There is a lot of good that came from this update, and very little bad from what I’ve seen so far. But what does this upgrade mean for the web development and marketing industry? It means new opportunities. Some new features, and some upgraded features now allow marketers to reach more people with greater ease.
“Passbook keeps your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons and loyalty cards in one place, and shows them on your lock screen when you need them. To get passes, you can scan Passbook bar codes with the camera, or add them from apps, emails, and websites.”. This means that consumers can now easily store coupons on their phone from a variety of different media including:
- QR codes
- Coupons that have a bar code
There are many possible uses of this technology for marketing purposes. Emails, rather than forcing someone to print off a coupon or promotion, can pull the offer right from the email and put it right into their passbook to be used in store. Even airlines could have a “go paperless” promotion if someone were to keep their boarding pass on their phone rather than have them print it out. Now may be the best time to jump on this technology and start getting creative with how this plays into your marketing strategy.
Going along with passbook, is the air drop functionality. Air drop allows consumers to send promotions and other offers to their contacts that they are with. Imagine if someone has an offer in their passbook that gives 10% off a purchase of 50$ or more. They want to use that offer but their friend that they are with at the time does not want to spend too much money. The person with that offer then could send that offer to their friend and now instead of one customer that day, there are now two. Sometimes word of mouth travels farther than any email, advertisement, or coupon could ever go. Air drop only enforces that by helping your brand reach farther just by people talking about it and sharing it with friends and family.
To use this feature, blue tooth needs to be enabled on the phone and air drop turned on. This can be done from two locations. It can be turned on through the settings app that iPhone users have been used to for a long time. iOS 7 also introduces the control panel which can be accessed by sliding from the bottom of the screen to the top of the screen as long as you are on a home screen. There are many uses for this control panel, but the center icon in the top row of circle icons is the blue tooth setting. If it is white, its turned on, otherwise its off. Air drop then is at the bottom of the screen just above the row of square icons.
Auto-Update for Applications
iOS 7 brings another feature, auto update for applications. Before this update, users would have to go into the app store and go to the updates tab and choose to update applications. Sometimes, people will wait a few days before caving and updating their apps. I, on the other hand, can’t stand having notifications on my phone and would have to go in and update instantly. Now, you can follow these simple steps to allow apps to auto update as soon as an update becomes available:
- Go into the settings application.
- Scroll down and touch “Itunes & App Store”.
- Scroll to the Automatic Downloads section.
- Make sure that Updates is turned on.
After that, there is nothing a user needs to do in order to update an app they have on their phone. This means that all new marketing initiatives or new features will be available instantly for all who have that feature turned on and have your app installed.