Today Apple unveiled the street date for iOS 7, their largest mobile operating system update in the history of their ecosystem. First shown to developers at WWDC last June, iOS 7 represents the latest view into cutting edge smartphone features for all of us, and Push continues to be at the forefront, gaining full background execution privileges.
Urban Airship is pleased to announce full support for iOS 7 Background Push. Our core API’s and iOS SDK will have direct support for this important new capability, and will be rolled out over the next 8 days preceding iOS 7’s launch on September 18th, 2013. The ability to use push to wake an app up to take action is just one aspect of how Apple has delivered on many requests for enhancements over the last few years enabling developers to build anything they can envision on an iOS device. Along with Notification Center updates and a fresh, subtly transparent visual design that highlights beautiful always-up-to-date apps, iOS 7 continues to place a premium on mobile engagement and Urban Airship is excited to help drive those experiences.
Messaging and Actions are Urban Airship’s reason for existence. We’re passionate about giving our customers the best tools for creating the exact experience that will thrive on iOS 7. Using our audience segmentation tools you can deliver a message to iOS app users based on their preferences, location, and location history. Or you can tell a user’s app to retrieve fresh content or an Urban Airship Rich App Page based on these same preferences, silently in the background, and then alert the user that is it ready to go. And in iOS 7 the app can look pre-loaded and ready to engage in the task switcher. Our iOS 7 SDK will also lay the groundwork for further automating these actions and we’ll be posting more examples through the fall that highlight the power of Background Push and driving your users to act on experiences that they desire.
When you use an iOS 7 device, as the developer community has been doing since WWDC, you start to get a feel for the importance of an engaging app experience. The new visual design is striking, but the user experience is wholly new. The act of touching the screen is more directly tied to your visual context than ever before – pans, zooms, transparency and fast screen-capture create a level of connectedness that was absent before. To get the most out of this new visual context, apps would do well to keep their state, visuals and content up to date based on users’ interests. Key to that is messaging to your user at just the right time, as well as triggering action around just the right content.
Of course there is more in iOS 7 than anyone realizes at first, including Location capabilities using Bluetooth Low Energy technology (Apple iBeacons), app auto-updating and enhancements to the notification center, to name a few. All of it is completely configurable by the user of the device.
Under the hood developers and product owners gain background execution flexibility and thousands of API enhancements. Additionally the larger Apple ecosystem continues to blur the lines between mobile and desktop by adding Push support to Safari on Mavericks. Urban Airship is eager to see where these technology enhancements take us. Look for us to share more soon.
That’s a lot to take in. We’re excited to see how the community of apps evolve to take advantage of iOS 7. Our updated APIs will be available for Sandbox Apps this week. Our iOS 7 SDK and Production APIs will be available before September 18th. Keep an eye on our Developer Blog for more details. Our currently published SDK (v2.0.x) is also completely compatible with iOS 7. You only need to upgrade if you want to take advantage of new features. We’re sure you will, and look forward to working with you in the fast-paced world of mobile.