​iOS9: 3 New Opportunities for App Developers

By Laurie Galazzo | November 26th, 2015

Apple’s latest operating system, iOS9, was introduced at the annual Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote, held on June 8 in San Francisco.

Since the general launch in September, we’ve observed an impressively quick adoption rate: there are now more than 67% of devices that are running on iOS9. Surprisingly enough, iOS9 is also supported on “older” devices such as the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2.

Although iOS9 is not significantly different from iOS8, we must admit that several of its new features and enhancements to stock applications are reshaping users behaviors within their device, which is becoming increasingly intelligent.

Indeed, throughout this release, Apple sought to integrate intelligence on its new OS to get closer to its users and learn about their habits and preferences. The whole point is to simplify the users’ daily routine and everyday tasks by providing with intelligent and contextual responses.

Many improvements were therefore brought to Siri, Search, Apple Pay, Maps and more. As stated on Apple’s official website, “the more you do with iOS 9, the more you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.”

These new changes represent new opportunities to app developers and app marketers who should have by now already iterated their app marketing and App Store Optimization strategy accordingly. Indeed, iOS9 has definitely impacted the way apps are searched, found and displayed, especially thanks to deep linking technology.

1. Siri Getting Closer to a “Real” Personal Assistant

One of the major innovations recently introduced is proactivity. Apple has indeed created a predictive digital assistant app called “Proactive”, which has been implemented into multiple apps on iOS9.

Siri, Apple’s computer program working as an intelligent and personal assistant, is now more than ever close to becoming a “real” personal assistant. Siri has gotten smarter and can now suggest apps according to the context and can take some intelligent initiatives, like for example playing a certain song at a specific time.

By taking time and place into consideration, but also data coming from Calendar, Contacts or other third-party apps, Siri is now able to suggest apps or to use information directly from these apps to answer users requests.

It is now possible to ask Siri things like “remind me of this when I get home” or “remind me to call my dad when I’m in the car”. Everything’s been done to make our lives easier. Apple clearly shows that it is ready to compete with Google Now.

2. New Search API using Deep Linking

With the same core idea of making iOS9 smarter, “Spotlight”, the Apple’s native Search app, has been entirely reviewed. The Search window now displays frequently used contacts and apps according to the time, to facilitate the user experience.

But there’s more. A new search API, based on deep linking technology, has been integrated in Apple’s Search feature on iOS9. You may have certainly noticed it already, content from third-party apps now appear in the search results.

This represents an extremely important - and good - news for app developers and marketers, as this new integration gives them more space to show off their unique apps and create useful content. Their app content can now be found through another point of access in addition to the App Store. This API is also increasing app retention since forgotten apps can now surface again and thus remind users of their existence.

Regarding these new changes and frameworks, app developers and marketers inevitably need to take these new opportunities to their advantage and therefore adapt their app marketing strategies appropriately.

Organic discoverability is now more than ever a major concern since apps or app content appear in the Search (Spotlight) results of any Apple’s devices. These results will be displayed once users have typed various app names or keywords; App Store Optimization (ASO) is therefore indubitably a key element to focus. AppTweak ASO tool can be very helpful here.

3. Swift 2 on Open Source

Another important change for both app developers and users is the arrival of Swift 2, the second iteration of Apple’s new programming language.

Swift 2 comes up with a lot of refinements and enhancements like faster compiler and a huge debugging. More details right here.

The biggest news for app developers is that Swift 2 goes open source. Again, this represents a great opportunity for app developers, as they can now get into the code freely and add new capabilities to the language. It also demonstrates Apple’s willingness to open-up a little more.

These big changes have (and will) certainly reshaped the way app developers and marketers organize their work and build their strategies. The WWDC15 Keynote can be watched, or re-watched right here.

Have you already adopted iOS9? What do you think of its new features?

A version of this article originally appeared on Smart App Marketer.

About the Author:

Laurie Galazzo
Laurie Galazzo is content strategist at AppTweak. Passionate by new technologies and apps, she loves finding new ideas to spread valuable content on App Store Optimization and App Marketing. She’s in charge of the company’s blog, crafting articles helping users to increase their app downloads and rankings. She’s also at the head of the ASO University , teaching App Store Optimization basics through video tutorials, all available for free on AppTweak blog. Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn