October 1, 2014

Five important iOS 8 features for businesses online

Written By Rebecca Larkin

The iOS 8 updated has been controversial but despite the series of faux-pas from Apple there are some important updates to take note of if your business wants to fully embrace opportunities online.

Biometric scanning rolled out for general app use

Touch ID is already heavily integrated into newer iOS devices, however third-party apps will now have the ability to use this personalised technology. Smaller firms will now be able to take advantage of consumers having both increased security and speed on iOS 8 devices when logging into a variety of applications without having to remember a range of complicated passwords.

Launch of Apple Pay
Apple Pay is set to launch this month, but what is it? The aim is to reduce the time and effort associated with entering card details when online shopping by scanning credit/debit cards to automatically fill out the necessary information. Data security is a top concern, Apple Pay will work with Touch ID to be the first level of security, preventing unsolicited use. The Secure Elements chip is designed to securely encrypt and store payment details. This update also makes the payment process more private; Apple will no longer have access to detailed purchase information as the transaction is purely between the customer and the bank. The feature is already built in to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ hand-sets and is designed to be compatible with the Apple Watch.

Tim Cook (Apple CEO) is predicting that Apple Pay will be a feature many developers embrace and the App Store will soon be home to a whole host of new apps integrating this feature.

Reader View option
Reader View is deigned to remove clutter from websites to make them more user friendly when browsing in Safari. Viewers will have the option to use this feature by tapping the three horizontal lines logo on the top left hand side of the address bar. With this viewers can also increase or reduce the font size on the page making navigation as simple as possible. However this feature will only be available if the site has a Reader View version available, which is something to consider when planning your mobile campaigns.

Request desktop site
This is an important change for mobile sites allowing users to request to view the desktop version of a mobile site if they find the mobile viewing experience frustrating. This should keep developers on their toes if they want to retain users on the mobile versions of their sites.

Siri’s new Shazam like feature
This, along with the ‘Hey Siri’ feature on the iOS 8 update, is retiring the need to touch the iPhone handset to activate Siri, making Siri more user friendly. Developers have taken inspiration from the popular song finder app Shazam to enable iPhone users to recognise songs and purchase tracks with just their voice. This clever move from Apple to could be seen as an effort to generate a new channel for iTunes, given that 10% of digital music sales are currently generated via Shazam. Shazam has also made waves in the advertising industry by allowing viewers to ‘Shazam’ ads they’re watching to engage more closely with the brand. Watch this space to see where Apple goes with this new feature.