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Taking Advantage of Siri & Improved Notifications

Posted Sep 16, 2016

iOS 10 adoption has been swift, faster than both previous versions of Apple’s mobile operating system. Mixpanel is predicting that iOS 10 will reach 50 percent adoption in less than 11 days. To put that in perspective, iOS 9 took 12 days to reach 50 percent, and iOS 8 took a full month to reach the same benchmark.

This fast adoption is great news for developers, who have the opportunity to take advantage of some powerful new tools, and have a majority of their users seeing the new and improved tools quickly.

Talk to Me
Some app categories like VOIP, messaging, payments, photo, workout, and transportation can now hook directly into Siri. This makes Siri do the heavy lifting for all voice recognition and developer extensions get called to perform the actions, all without a user having to open the app.

This is a feature users have been asking for since Siri has been introduced. Users can now initiate Siri and say “Call my mother on Skype” and voila, Skype places the call. Similar implementations are already live in messaging apps like WhatsApp, all done without the user having to open the app first. Payment services like Venmo now lets you say, “Siri, pay Tim $50 for new headphones,” and your payment is sent. The same goes for requesting money.

SiriKit isn’t quite as powerful as some were hoping. The restriction to specific app categories may seem limiting at first, but Apple has cracked the door open. Expect to see more updates as new iOS versions are released.

Updating the Updates
Apple also now lets apps replace unviewed outdated notifications with new ones that have fresh information. This means users won’t have to see a bunch of outdated notifications when they look at their phone. The new notification ID replaces the old one and and pushes it up to a more relevant time.

For example, this feature could save sports fans a wild roller coaster of emotions when checking a device after ignoring their phone for a short while; instead of a list of outdated scores and game info, only the current score and information would be on the screen.

More Flexible Local Notifications
Apple has greatly expanded the flexibility of native notifications for pre-set messages, changing the old “UILocalNotification” class to the new “UNMutableNotificationContent.” Much has been said of the new notification changes for users, but these notifications greatly enhance how publishers can send notifications to users. With the new framework, notifications can act on push, scheduled time, location-specific triggers, or proximity to a beacon.

Without a server-driven content system, the limitations for local notifications are still the same – you can’t add new notifications without submitting an update to the App Store and waiting for approvals, then wait on users to update. This hampers the speed at which publishers can act on data they have about engagement and retention.

Using third-party messaging solutions and server-driven content systems, publishers can manage custom messages that developers and publishers can create, customize, and send to targeted user segments on the fly. Unlike Apple’s notifications, these third-party-powered notifications can be edited by the developer before delivery, maximizing user engagement and retention.

Putting it Together
With new notification updates and Siri API access, iOS devices will begin to feel more and more like one smart machine, and less like a collection of useful apps. Developers and publishers should relish the opportunity to expand their reach, but be sure to engage purposefully and personally. Third-party engagement and messaging tools are still as important as ever.

AdColony Aurora
If you’re ready to take advantage of iOS improvements and enjoy a swathe of amazing new growth, engagement, and monetization features, like messaging, vertical video, and more check out AdColony Aurora, our latest SDK.

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