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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.

"An airline could obtain permission from a passenger to rebook her on a later flight if she is running late," the Forrester report says. "Alternatively, a credit card company could request permission from a parent for a charge on a child's credit card."

5. iOS 8 supports app extensions for widgets on the Today screen and importing-exporting functionality in a company's app. What does this mean? CMOs of airlines, for instance, can have a widget on the Today screen that lets passengers check in for flights. Or an iPhone owner can print a sales receipt from a credit card app. These are just a couple of examples cited by the Forrester report.

6. Apple's HomeKit in iOS 8 lets apps communicate with appliances in the home. This opens up an entirely new market and ecosystem for companies to sell services, accessories and connected devices with complementary iOS apps that control them or give owners important information about them.

Forrester report's take: "Apps today monitor connected products for usage and performance. Based on these inputs, apps can send reminders to charge devices, sync data, replace filters, or switch products off, for example."

7. In a similar vein, Apple's HealthKit in iOS 8 lets apps communicate with other apps and devices that monitor various aspects of an Apple device owner's health. Data gleaned from HealthKit can be collected and analyzed and used to offer ways to improve one's health.

Forrester report's take: "The opportunities to leverage HealthKit lie primarily, though not exclusively, with healthcare providers and payers. Both payers and providers can get more extensive and accurate health data, enabling them to reward consumers for good health choices that lower the cost of care."

8. Consumers often use multiple devices such as an iPad and MacBook before arriving at the iPhone's mobile moment. This means CMOs can't think mobile only. Apple has created the Handoff feature in iOS 8 that works with OS X to create a seamless experience where tasks are "handed off" between the two operating systems. It's an important feature that should be built into the mobile experience: Forrester surveyed digital business professionals, and 44 percent said their primary aim with mobile is to offer a consistent experience across devices.

9. The iPhone 6 Plus boasts a 5.5-inch screen size, while the iPhone 6 has a slightly larger screen size than its predecessor. That's extra valuable real estate CMOs and their apps can use to market their messages, enhance the brand and provide even more features. Great, right? Not so much if you're the CIO who now has to design apps for multiple screen sizes. CIOs might be tempted to shrink the iPad app into the iPhone 6 Plus screen, but Forrester advises against this. The iPad often connects via WiFi, while the iPhone tends to use the cellular network -- and the different apps reflect this, Forrester says.

 

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