Apple kept their keynote for WWDC20 short and sweet this year while still delivering some of the biggest software and hardware news. Some announcements were expected—like Apple dropping Intel for its Mac processors—but some were shocking. So, let’s get down to some of the biggest announcements for mobile this year.
Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) Opt-In Notifications
One of the biggest announcements, one that likely went under the radar for many mobile developers, is Apple’s subtle offensive against IDFA. Currently, advertisers and mobile marketers are easily able to track conversions on their spend: vendors can easily connect a user’s ad click to a user’s application install.
Soon though, users will get a big pop-up notification that basically amounts to: “Would you like to give up your personal information so [Big Company] can track you across applications and websites?” Because this is presented as a push for more privacy, it seems, on the surface, to be solely for the benefit of users. The feature adds nothing new anyway—it was already available deep somewhere in the settings, right?
Wrong. This visibility on a loss in personal data, especially when security and privacy are growing concerns, means more and more users will decline tracking. I mean, who would say yes to a pop-up like that?
Apple’s solution for mobile marketers is its own network, the SKAdNetwork, which will still be able to verify the results and conversions on a campaign, just with privatized versions of the personal data that would usually be collected. This allows Apple to gain ground on that valuable mobile ad real estate.
Mobile Apps Run on Other Apple Devices
Now, users won’t need an iPhone to run any mobile app from iOS. Instead, they’ll be able to run it, as if native, on devices like their Macs. Mobile is taking over the world, though admittedly, a MacBook does count as a mobile device.
Will we see companies produce fewer desktop applications in favor of a continued push into the mobile sphere? It’s unlikely that we’ll see any immediate major change since mobile has already been growing extremely quickly, but it’s interesting to see Apple attempting to create unified, seamless experiences across all of their devices.
Speaking of a seamless experience, iPhone users will now be able to use App Clips, which are the little “required” bites of an app you need to get through your day. For example, if you suddenly feel the urge to use an electric scooter, you won’t need to sit around while the application downloads, create an account, and plug in your payment information. Instead, you can download the app clip and pay using ApplePay without creating an additional account.
Though this could mean an increase in conversions and users on your mobile apps, it could also mean fewer iPhone users creating accounts and staying within the unified user experience your application would usually produce.
CarKey was a big, though very much expected, announcement. With CarKey, you’ll be able to unlock your car with your iPhone or Apple Watch. Even more interesting is that, because CarKey uses NFC, you’ll be able to share your unlock access with other Apple users.
Groups in iMessage
Apple also added many updates to group messaging. Features like inline replies, new notification settings, chat and profile icons, and the ability to pin conversations mean iMessage now acts much like chatting on a social media platform would—just without all the social media.
Apple’s upcoming IDFA notifications already put a lot of pressure on Facebook’s position as an attribution vendor; will Apple’s added support for group messaging further put the social media giant at risk?
More Pushes for Wellbeing on WatchOS
The Apple Watch has always had a focus on health. Wearers love to see those rings fill up and just won’t stop talking about them. Given that WWDC20 went digital this year because of a global pandemic, it should be expected that Apple would do even more in this space.
One unique addition is the Apple Watch’s new ability to detect and guide you washing your hands. Now, for the first time, you can inadvertently crash your Apple Watch by washing your hands!
In this post, we’ve gone over some of the exciting new things Apple is releasing this year. At Embrace, we’re overjoyed to see the increased attention mobile is getting. After all, we’re the only mobile-first and mobile-only monitoring and developer analytics platform.
We’re your one-stop shop for your mobile app’s performance and error debugging needs. If you’re curious about how Embrace can help you as a mobile developer, feel free to reach out and ask us a question or get right down to it and see the product in action with a live demo.