WWDC: First thoughts on auto-updates and "Popular near me"

While the intial views of iOS 7, unveiled at Apple's WWDC, show a stunning new UI and some fascinating new features, there are two key elements of interest to app developers and marketers. Here are our initial thoughts.

  1. Apps now auto-update. Instead of sending notifications and requiring users to manually update their apps (or risk falling behind), iOS 7 will provide for automatic updating when developers introduced new versions.

    Fiksu's take: This is great news for app developers. It ensures that they can always reach their users with a consistent, up-to-date version of their app, and every update is a re-engagement opportunity. Delivering new features and content provides a reason for users to return to your app, without requiring the user to make a conscious decision to update. Auto-updates also eliminate the need to support multiple older versions - at least within iOS 7.
     
  2. "Popular near me." This new app store feature helps users discover apps that are being downloaded by other people near them - the example Apple used was of a museum patron uncovering a list of arts-related apps. 

    Fisku's take: "Near me" listings could provide a huge advantage for local small and medium sized businesses looking to promote their apps within a given city, state, or region. It could also provide considerable value for dealers, franchise businesses, large retailers, and chains that want to reach consumers in particular areas. 

    Popular Near Me lists may also influence developers of social apps, as they'll be able to generate interest and downloads among users interested in interacting with others in their area and the immediate environment.

We won't be able to see these new features in action until the fall - and there's sure to be more information about these and other enhancements before then. But that won't stop savvy app marketers from starting to plan how they can put them to work. 

 

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