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September 27, 2017

iOS 11 : and now what?

Posted by Thomas Halter

Technology sometimes ages like a good vintage: the best things come to those who wait. And Apple has rarely failed to exhibit their sense of timing: rather than hurrying their way to the shelves with gimmicky gizmos to profit from the latest trending-yet-unripe technology, Apple shows patience. Quietly fine-tuning user experience and overall usability to offer users the experience they want AND need has become the forbidden fruit brand’s trademark and strength. The recent release of iOS 11 is the ideal occasion to highlight this typical Apple trait.

Three quarters of Belgians use Android, but although Apple has a minority share of the smartphone market, it decides the pace of innovation. Apple platforms aren’t necessarily first to the ball: they only join the team and integrate mature technologies when they are relevant to the user. This means other firms can then use them to serve their customers and improve their brand experience.

Eleventh heaven?
iOS 11 will bring to life a whole series of pre-existing tech that wasn’t fully developed until now.

You can scan a QR Code using the camera or just swiping the lock screen, without having to unlock the iPhone, find and open the app first. This allows users to react in an instant, instead of requiring a whole education in downloading and opening an application. From now on, campaigns using QR codes will finally reach more users than just the agency’s and client’s staff!

NFC technology, ubiquitous on Android devices, was available since the iPhone 6 but only for Apple Pay; it can now finally be used for other apps (as a read-only feature). NFC chips that could already be printed on product labels are now accessible to 100% of consumers owning a smartphone.

Until now, augmented reality was limited to a few devices, as the Android Tango smartphone or the Microsoft HoloLens: since the launch of iOS 11, Apple’s ARKit is available on more than 300 million iOS devices (iPhone 6 and ulterior models). Its Android counterpart, the ARCore software development kit, is unfortunately only compatible with the Samsung S8 and Google Pixel smartphones: it will add tens of millions of users, but most Android customers will fall by the wayside.

Shared Web Credentials eliminates constant password checks

Shared Web Credentials will also help create a more positive, streamlined experience online. This innovation means that you no longer have to re-enter your user name and password when entering a new application or website. The conditions are that you, the website and app have given prior permission, and you’ve already connected to the web version of that site/app via Safari web browser. Thanks to the iCloud, your identity is synchronised across all Apple devices.

Apple’s vintage-of-the-future today

All of these pre-existing technologies, integrated into the iOS 11, will finally reach the wider public. If users were already digitally savvy enough to take full advantage of them, Apple has now given its stamp of approval to things that were previously considered as gimmicks at best, and as a waste of good science at worst.