iOS 10: The Top 5 Things App Publishers Need to Know

iOS 10 brings massive changes to Apple’s operating system that put better and richer app engagement front-and-center. If past adoption rates hold steady, it won’t be long before all of your iPhone app users gain richer experiences that offer deeper insight into what they care about.

Here’s what businesses should be aware of:

1. Reap Before You Sow with Key Improvements

iOS 10 solves existing barriers that will make current mobile engagement efforts more effective:

  • A “Raise to Wake” feature means TouchID users won’t blow past lockscreen notifications when unlocking their phones.
  • Notifications are immediately visible as users pick up their phones.
  • Notifications also become the default view for the Notification Center — a chronologically ordered archive that makes messages easier to find later.  

2. If a Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words, Then a GIF or Video Could Be Worth Even More

Grab your audience’s attention with notifications that inspire action. Rich notifications can include images, GIFs, audio, and video and interactive buttons embedded directly within push notifications. Our recent Android rich notifications data analysis found a 56% higher response rate to notifications with pictures versus those without.

3. Better Visibility for Richer, Actionable Notification Experiences

With iOS 10, users get visual and written cues that there’s a richer notification experience awaiting them. Lockscreen notifications arrive with rich media thumbnails and either “press for more” or “slide for more” depending on whether Force Touch is available on the device.

That’s stark contrast to prior Apple operating systems, which had businesses building these instructions into notification text to help ensure users swiped left to discover interactive buttons.

4. Mind Your Media, or Risk Ruin with Too Much of a Good Thing

Apple provides maximum file sizes for images, audio and video, but marketers would be well served to undercut those sizes dramatically. Rich media will impact consumers’ data plans, ranging from barely noticeable with judicious use of images, to potential reasons to delete an app for sending files that are too large or too frequent.

All files sent as rich notifications get downloaded in the background whether the user opens the detail view or not, and will add to the amount of data consumed by your app. These files will impact your bandwidth costs too. Think about opt-in campaigns where users can get a taste and choose to receive larger, more immersive and data-heavy experiences.

5. Don’t Be Blunt or a Blockhead with Rich Notifications

With brands running to emojis for a quick if quirky engagement hit, it would be easy but wrong to approach rich notifications in the same manner. When rich media is tailored to specific users’ interests, it adds immersive depth not interpretive color to messaging campaigns.

Also, remember, not all users will immediately upgrade to iOS 10. Messaging should be made to work without reference to embedded rich media — or sent specifically to the segment of your users that have adopted iOS 10. Some solutions (like Urban Airship’s) will allow you to provide alternative text if the rich media successfully downloads.

Get ready for rich notifications – iOS10 will be released on 9/13!

This article was originally published in Mobile Marketing Magazine.