4 Important iOS 9 Features App Developers Shouldn’t Ignore

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The updated iOS features will change the way apps are searched, discovered and displayed. App developers will need to adapt their app marketing strategy based on these changes. ComboApp chose the most important and overlooked iOS 9 features that app developers should consider.

Search API, Deep Linking

What’s New? Deep-linking based technology is integrated into the Search feature. This means that Spotlight will use user’s apps as a major search channel, thus exposing in-app content that will help to improve app discoverability. App content could now be displayed after typing App Store keywords. This is how it works. A user searches his or her device for “pasta” and gets results from a recipe app even if he or she doesn’t have the app installed.

How should app developers adapt? Think about what content can be found within your app and pay more attention to keyword relevant content. Deep-linking will certainly help enhance app promotion and app retention by providing a new channel for attracting potential user’s attention to enhance LTV via reactivation campaigns.

Siri Suggestions

What’s New? Before a user reaches the search box on his or her device, Siri fills a search page with apps and new suggestions that are most relevant to the user. Siri does this by learning user’s habits and gathering behavioral data.

How should app developers adapt? If your app is one that gets regular user attention, you will definitely benefit from the search page shortcut. On the other hand, apps like contextual and seasonal ones may experience a small negative effect when a user is constantly distracted by popular app suggestions. If your app icon could potentially get lost among tons of other apps that are already installed on a user’s device, don’t forget to create relevant short names for you app to make it more visible and easy to discover.

Reduced OS and Apps Sizes

What’s New? iOS 9’s file size is small in comparison to iOS 8 (1.3 GB vs 4.58 GB). There is also a technology called App Thinning that helps optimize the size of installing an app. No more space restriction when it comes to installing app updates!

How should app developers adapt? Small iOS 9 size has stimulated its quick adoption so developers should not hesitate with adjusting a marketing strategy. As for App Thinner, app developers should be careful. Now in Xcode 7 a bit code is generated during compilation for platforms that are supported by the app. This option is enabled by default but some third-party libraries are not compiled with bit code. If your app uses these libraries, then you should deactivate code generations (Include ENABLE_BITCODE=NO into the project settings).

Ad Blocking Option

What’s new? It’s the first time that Apple is allowing users to block ads. It is only available in Safari extensions, so this affects mobile web ads only. Ad blocking is supposed to help bring advertising relevance and quality.

How should app developers adapt? There will be no impact on in-app ads so no need to worry. If your user acquisition activity depends on the mobile web then it’s time to reconsider your marketing strategy and turn to better performing app inventory.

Some additional tips on iOS 9:

  • App Transport Security technology, as it is clear from the name, can help make data transportation more secure. It is enabled by default so if you server does not satisfy the ATS requirements, connection will end up with a mistake saying “An SSL error has occurred and a secure connection to the server cannot be made.”
  • We strongly recommend that app developers look through the official list of iOS 9 innovations and implement them all, if possible, into apps. You can get your app featured after release because Apple likes to feature apps that have implemented maximum novelties.

Although there is a lot for app developers to consider and apply, iOS 9 provides a great opportunity to create valuable in-app experience and reach out to a wider audience.

If you need professional help getting your app high on the App Store and acquiring new user for your iOS app, contact the ComboApp team.