One of the most anticipated moments of every year for those of us who work in mobile is Apple’s annual developer conference WWDC 2015 underway in San Francisco this week. This is especially true for the keynote address where we all learn where Apple is going to take the ecosystem next!
As expected, the 2015 WWDC brought a flurry of announcements from the tech giant, including the launch of the new streaming service that directly competes with Spotify (Apple Music), a news reader that borrows from Flipboard (Apple News) and the addition of transit directions to Apple Maps, among others. More detailed coverage on the announcements can be found here or here.
As usual, we particularly focus on changes to iOS 9, which launches later this fall, and new features and capabilities that could be pertinent to our business and our customers: marketers, developers/publishers, and consumers. We collected some thoughts from Opera Mediaworks SVP of Product Strategy, David Kurtz below.
- Multitasking for iPad
Apple introduced a new split-screen app mode, which allows iPad users to run two different apps side-by-side. “On the advertising side, advertisers may be able to provide a better and more seamless experience by deep linking users to a specific page in their app, without taking the user away from what they were originally doing,” says David.
- SpriteKit, SceneKit
iOS 9 upgrades several of its graphics APIs (specifically SpriteKit and SceneKit) which will obviously allow developers to continue to create even better native apps. “It will be interesting to see whether these new APIs also offer opportunities for deeper/richer engagement within ad experiences inside native apps,” David adds.
Some other key announcements that we’re keeping our eye on:
- Continued commitment to Apple Pay
When Apple launched Apple Pay last year, we were very excited by the possibilities to accelerate trends in mCommerce (both in-app and offline). Obviously it hasn’t gained the traction we’d hoped for. But the promise remains tantalizingly within reach — the ability for users to easily pay for purchases through their mobile devices so marketers can close the loop between marketing spend and final purchase.
We’re thrilled to see that Apple is doubling down on Apple Pay!
- Apple Pay is adding more retailers, more store credit, debit, and rewards cards, and more corporate partnerships.
- Apple also announced a mobile Apple Pay reader with payment company Square.
- This will enable anyone, including the vendor at the Farmer’s Market, to be an Apple Pay vendor.
- In equally exciting news, Apple Pay is expanding internationally to United Kingdom.
- Picture-in-Picture Video
The last feature that really caught our eye was the ability to offer picture-in-picture video viewing. Craig Frederighi, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering, demonstrated an example of watching a video within the ESPN app, opening the eMail app, and seeing the ESPN video go into picture-in-picture and continue to play, so the user can keep watching video while they answer email!
We’re not highly focused on advertising within those picture-in-picture frames. We just love to see validation of our focus on video as the dominant user behavior on mobile.
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