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What Apple’s Latest Announcements Mean for Your Company’s App

Today during its keynote address, Apple announced some big changes to its product line. If you weren’t able to watch the event yourself you may be wondering how this will impact your mobile initiatives immediately, throughout 2017, and into 2018. Here are the biggest changes coming to Apple products in the back half of 2017.
Apple Watch
Apple began the keynote by unveiling big changes to the Apple Watch. Here are what we think will have the biggest impact on your company’s app:
Enhanced and Expanded Health Capabilities:
The Apple Watch has added features to the popular heart rate app. Heart rates will now be shown on the home screen so that users can closely monitor key vital signs, but even more importantly the app will help users track patterns to catch irregularities before they become life-threatening. The app will notify the user of an elevated heartbeat when the user doesn’t appear to be active, and will also track heartbeat patterns to notify the user of a potential arrhythmia. Advances like this only help cement the importance of incorporating wearables into healthcare organizations, which you can read more about by clicking here.
Cellular Functionality:
The biggest news for the Apple Watch is that it now includes cellular capabilities. This means that the Watch can operate on its own, without needing to be tethered to a nearby iPhone, allowing a user to go wherever she wants without needing her phone. As users continue to embrace the Apple Watch as a standalone product, it creates more and more potential for your business to reach a new subset of users. If you’re not already, it’s time to begin planning for how Apple Watch fits into your mobile strategy.
iPhone X
The iPhone X is the biggest departure from traditional iPhone design perhaps since the introduction of the iPhone.
Edge-to-Edge Display and Removal of Home Button
The edge-to-edge display and removal of home button are huge design changes to the iPhone that will directly impact your user experience. Apple has given your app more real estate and users will expect the experience to take full advantage of that. Planning how to use that extra space now will help you be prepared to stand out among peers that lag behind on updates.
The hardware changes in iPhone X will change how we design apps moving forward. By giving designers a new canvas, Apple has opened up new UX possibilities that the best companies will quickly take advantage of.
Facial Recognition
The iPhone X introduces the newest biometric feature in a smartphone: facial recognition. Instead of swiping to unlock a phone, users now only need to look at the phone with full attention and the iPhone X will recognize facial features to automatically unlock the screen. Not only will this feature be included on the lock screen, but it’s incorporated into Apple Pay and third-party apps. If you’re operating in a secure industry, adding FaceID functionality will help you stand out among peers as taking security seriously. Apple quoted that with TouchID the chances of someone with a similar fingerprint being able to access your phone was 1 in 50,000. With FaceID those odds decrease to 1 in 1,000,000.
This may be the most crucial feature for companies to consider as users will quickly come to expect facial recognition functionality in their most heavily used applications.
Undoubtedly this release was one of Apple’s biggest in the past few years. Now that we have the facts and are no longer speculating about changes, it’s time to begin adapting and update your app so that it offers the best user experience possible.

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Anna-Claire Gibson

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