The tech world is filled with news about all the new features that will be included in iOS 8, but what does it actually mean for aspiring app entrepreneurs and existing startups? Where are the major opportunities for new apps? And how can existing startups optimise their app for iOS 8?
We selected two areas that are major opportunities for new apps and two iOS 8 features that existing startups should take advantage of. We also have one extra feature that was not even mentioned in the presentation!
The new Health Kit and corresponding Health app lets various health and fitness applications live in one place. The app essentially acts as a centralized storage place for all your health information.
Combine this with the new extensibility tools and it opens up a whole new range of apps. For example, by using this information in diet apps, users could actively keep track of how their diet influences their blood pressure and sleep performance.
A big step has been made towards smart homes. Soon it will be possible to control your smart lightbulbs, thermostat, and fridge through your iPhone to create your own smart home.
It’s interesting to see that Apple has taken a different approach than Google here. Instead of getting involved in the actual gadgets that make up the smart home, Apple is aiming to be the facilitator that make it a smooth experience, with your phone as the remote control.
The opportunities for startups are both in the hardware and in the development of apps. These take advantage of all the different smart gadgets or as Apple puts it: Grouping devices into scenes. For example, an app that combines your smart iHome speakers and your Hue lights to turn your living room into an epic club.
For new and also existing apps, the new interactive widgets are a great way to give users the core functionalities of your app on their fingertips. This major new possibility gives users the chance to have all the core information of their favourite apps in one place. Your app being one of them could significantly boost engagement and see users returning to your app.
The interactive widgets are also part of Apple’s new extensibility system, and it will be interesting to see how much is actually possible in the widgets. During the presentation of iOS8 the eBay widget was used as an example. Apple demonstrated how bidding on a guitar was possible straight from the widget without password verification.
The App Store is getting a major update and of the coolest new possibility is video previews. Currently you are only able to show 5 images of your app to people before downloading. Video previews bring a whole new dimension to the app store experience.
It will probably strongly influence the ranking of your app in the App Store. I find it highly likely that Apple shows apps with a video preview higher in the App Store than apps that don’t. For existing apps, there is a considerable first mover advantage because of the influence it could have on your app’s ranking. If startups are able to create a video that is able to convince users to download the app, the costs of making the video are definitely worth it.
LOCATION-BASED APP NOTIFICATIONS ON YOUR LOCK SCREEN
A small extra that wasn’t mentioned in the presentation (but we are really excited about) is the small button that has appeared in the bottom left corner of the lock screen in iOS 8. The button changes to the app that can be used in conjunction with a nearby store.
As you can see on the slide, it works with the Apple Store and Starbucks app. One Twitter user noticed a similar icon’s appearance at this local train station, giving him easy access to the station’s app, which would allow him to view his ticket.
This is a great opportunity for Retailers, Airports, Stadiums, and many other brick and mortar locations to create a seamless omnichannel experience.
All in all we think iOS 8 opens great new opportunities and we are excited to help startups to take maximum advantage of the new possibilities.
All in all we think iOS 8 opens up great new opportunities and we are excited to help startups to take maximum advantage of the new possibilities.