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10 ways CIOs and CMOs can tap iOS 8 for better mobile apps

Tom Kaneshige | Sept. 24, 2014
New APIs abound in iOS 8, bringing the promise of making the lives of mobile users easier. But taking advantage of these opportunities won't be easy or cheap, according to a Forrester report.

Apple iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad

New features in iOS 8 will help CMOs reimagine their mobile apps to better reach iPhone and iPad customers in the critical "mobile moment" -- a small window of opportunity to pitch a marketing message effectively. For CIOs with in-house app-making factories, it's time to get busy.

There are more than 4,000 new application programming interfaces in iOS 8, with many aimed at making the mobile consumer's life easier. Yet taking advantage of these opportunities won't be easy or cheap. The cost of creating and developing apps could increase by up to 20 percent, according to a Forrester report.

Forrester has highlighted 10 ways CMOs and CIOs can improve their consumer-facing mobile apps and seize the mobile moment with iOS 8.

1. With iOS 8, Apple has given third-party access to Touch ID for scanning thumbprints on the home button to verify identify. It's a good idea for companies to add this feature into their apps. The thinking goes that companies should make identification verification as mindless as possible. Customers drop out of app and purchase processes with each extra click or required step, Forrester says, and authentication is one of those steps.

2. Apple's newly unveiled Apple Pay service promises to finally usher in the era of the mobile wallet. Apple's scale and key partnerships, not to mention massive sales of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- a record-smashing 10 million units in the first three days -- gives Apple Pay real potential. If Apple Pay does take off, companies will want to be out in front with their Apple Pay-enabled apps.

3. Apple iOS 8 makes it harder for third-party apps to track a user's location. Apps must now give the user the option to let an app "always" track location or only "when in use" or not at all. While this makes it more difficult for marketers to capture the mobile moment by, say, serving up a coupon when a customer is near a store, the opportunity lies in the idea that you can earn the "always" designation and beat competitors that can't.

"First, ensure that if you do ask for location, you are offering value to the consumer that you can articulate in a small pop-up window; second, consider alternatives to sniffing out the location of your customers," the Forrester report advises. "Your best-case scenario is if they self-identify in a location through a code scan, via NFC, or by checking in."

4. The notification system in iOS 8 doesn't just provide snippets of information but also allows users to perform actions, such as deleting an email and replying to a tweet. For CMOs, notifications are critical for reaching a customer in the mobile moment, much more effective than a user having to fire up an app. Add in the ability to do something, such as hit the "buy" button, and you've got a marketer's dream.

 

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