Yesterday, Apple held its legendary Apple Event. Arguably the biggest day of the year in tech, the Apple Event is a live production that notifies the world of upcoming Apple products, new software, and the company's new missions and initiatives. This storied event has served many purposes in the past, but most notably introduced the world to the iPhone: the hyper-fast, multifunctional smartphone that would go on to forever change the way that humans communicate with each other.
This year, Apple unveiled a few different products, but their message was clear: mobile is about to be bigger than ever. While new iPhones are always exciting, it's the new software and capabilities that Apple revealed that intrigued us most. With mobile technology rapidly evolving and reaching new frontiers, how can you make the most of it for your mobile brand?
Here are our key takeaways.
#1: Health and fitness apps are about to explode.
Chances are good that you're already addicted to your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or the MyFitnessPal app to track your calories and movement. But yesterday, Apple introduced a brand new Apple Watch. Named the Series 4, this smartwatch has a new slew of capabilities, including new features for Apple's Maps, Calendar, and Photo apps. However, it features technology that is most likely much more interesting to fitness app developers. The Series 4 will have so much understanding of your body's movement and your physical habits that it will be able to detect when you've taken a nasty fall—and immediately call 911 if you're rendered immobile. That seemed cool enough, but Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped an even bigger bomb: the Series 4 is now so in tune with your heartbeat, it can actually record an electrocardiogram.
So, what does this mean for retailers? It confirms an ongoing trend that we've told you about before: mobile technology is no longer just for hip millennials and their Facebook-addicted parents. Smartphone suppliers and app retailers are starting to wise up to the multigenerational features of their products and market to all six generations of active consumers. This is obviously spilling over into smartwatch territory as Apple targets older generations, but smartphones still reign supreme and likely will for a while. So what do you need to know about mobile marketing to older generations? We've got you covered here.
Looks like everyone's grandma is getting an apple watch for Christmas. #AppleEvent— Travon Free (@Travon) September 12, 2018
#2: Augmented reality is here to stay.
Apple also announced new augmented reality technology that they're primarily using for their camera and for their new updated Galaga game. We've written a lot about AR in the past, including a video and a whitepaper that explains why AR is about to be the most useful tool in the retail app's pocket. Need a refresher? It's simple.
AR helps take some of the guesswork out of eCommerce purchases. While shopping in person seems outdated, it does allow you to try on clothing and accessories, or even see the size of a piece of furniture so you know how it will look in your living room. It's hard to do that on eCommerce platforms. Enter the mobile app and AR, which projects images onto your screen to give you an idea of how the products will look on your person and in the world around you. Powerhouses like Ikea have already embraced this—why shouldn't you?
#3: There's no longer an excuse for poor branding or social media marketing.
The new iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhoneXsR all have incredible features, but perhaps nothing impressed consumers more than the new cameras embedded in all of these smartphones. The new iPhone cameras have larger pixels, which means that they produce much clearer and high-res photos. They also have features such as facial landmarking, which enables the camera to eliminate blemishes such as red-eye from your subject's faces, and depth control, which allows you to edit the appearance of depth in your photos to more accurately bring your subject to the forefront.
This will be especially useful for branding and social media marketing purposes. Excellent cameras means that you will have top-notch visual content to bring to the table as you market your app across your organic channels like Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram, as we've described before in our article on beauty apps. However, the trend of user-generated content will also benefit from this. User-generated content (UGC) allows your customers to upload pictures and testimonials of their use of the product. Brands like Sephora have already embraced this, letting makeup speak for itself on real human faces. This is an especially important trend if you're in the beauty, fashion, or athletic industries.
#4: Mobile is the new face of payment.
Through the magic of a high-res camera and FaceID, you'll be able to access Apple Pay on the new iPhone X models with a simple glance of your face. Apple undoubtedly saw the trend we recently reported on: that Apple Pay is miles ahead of other forms of digital payments. However, even if you rely on other forms of digital payment, have no fear: other options are still very much en vogue and relevant to the mobile marketer. As we've written before, mobile payments are the new way to exchange money and purchase products. Whether you employ a digital wallet or a credit card scanner (or both!) in your app, you're still well ahead of the retail game while desktop-only platforms suffer.
You're undoubtedly itching to get your hands on a new iPhone or Apple Watch, and truthfully, we are, too. However, we're more excited about the promises that Apple is making mobile retailers and marketers: though the iPhone has been around for quite a few years now, the journey into mobile technology and mobile success has just begun.
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Author: Casey Gannon
Vice President of Marketing | Casey is an experienced tech marketer, driven to develop marketing strategies that blend traditional techniques with emerging technology. With over ten years of experience in mobile, she believes that mobile apps are the modern solution in helping retailers directly connect with and impact consumers. When she's not looking ahead to the next opportunity, Casey is a busy mom, soccer player and adjunct professor at her alma mater, St. Edward's University.