Increase Downloads of Your iOS App by Including Awesome Features

Increase Downloads of Your iOS App by Including Awesome Features

When clients contact us, they want to have a wider outreach, yet some can make a radical mistake though. Clients may ask to support outdated iOS. At first glance, it seems to be the right decision. However, it is the wrong move from the marketing standpoint. Here is why:

  1. According to App Store, only 7% of users use iOS older than 10. The support of older versions increases the percentage of possible issues during the development process. What’s more, it enlarges the amount of time and effort spent which could be used more effectively be the focus on a newer version of iOS.

2. Many devices with older iOS can be jailbroken. Its users won’t buy applications in the App Store.

3. Users with bigger income are likely to update their devices and switch to newer iOS.

4. People with older iOS devices often don’t have enough storage. They’re likely to be careful about choosing which software to download, so they’re less likely to install something just out of curiosity.

Why should you stick with the latest iOS features?

If you want to make your application stand out, you should support the newest functionality. Just follow Apple’s updates, stay tuned for iOS development and growth, and implement the functionality Apple puts a greater emphasis on.

So, instead of trying to support old iOS versions, it is much more effective to use those opportunities latest iOS versions present. Some clients oftentimes ignore this functionality, which makes up Apple’s core or will become one, let’s say, in half a year. If you have already implemented the new functionality, it is a big plus. Here is why:

  1. Chances for your app to appear in a featured categories in the App Store rise. This guarantees success and a great number of downloads.
  2. The app can also get accepted to specialized categories (applications built with ARKit, or the ones with the Apple Watch companion) which will increase the number of views and downloads.
  3. The quality of digital solutions rises, especially its UX components. Implementation of specialized Apple functionality automatically attaches the app to the Apple ecosystem and gets positive feedback from picky users.
  4. Sticking with the newest functionality allows you to make a tremendous investment into the future growth of your platform and headway in iOSmarketplace.

Taking the most from iOS

Apple decides which app gets into featured sections. Whether or not it will appear in specialized categories, and whether the application will stay within main category only, leaving out the opportunity to be noticed by more users.

As a rule, our team supports the current version of iOS (10th or 11th for instance). This approach always pays off, embracing a bigger part of the market, allowing us to not get distracted with supporting outdated functionality and implement newer features instead.

We can divide iOS functionality into three categories and describe each feature within given categories separately.

Features that come by default

3D Touch. 3D Touch welcomes iOS fans with two new gestures — Peek and Pop. Peek and Pop are pressure-sensitive gestures. To perform a Peek, you need to press the screen with a medium strength. If you push it harder, you perform a Pop.

Here are some of the things we’ve seen Peek and Pop is used for

  • Previewing and opening Mail messages
  • Viewing and opening web links in Safari
  • Previewing images across apps
  • Opening a location in Maps

Developers can now implement Peek and Pop gestures in applications. Peek and Pop is especially convenient when working between multiple apps.

Quick Actions can be performed on an app’s icon as part of 3D Touch functionality. They serve as shortcut to specific features within the app. For example, the Pinterest app includes direct access to trending pins, the search function, and board creation. Instagram’s Quick Action lets you create a new post, view your activity, search, or send a direct message.

To trigger Quick Actions, users need to give a firm press on an app’s icon. When the menu appears, users drag their finger to the shortcut they would like to use. The app will open directly to that feature.

TouchID/FaceID. This functionality is not time consuming to implement. Clients often request just login and password and authorization through accounts in social networks. However, using Apple’s TouchID or FaceID elements make the developed app secure, native, and quick.

Rich media notifications. Even big applications tend to ignore this great functionality. Rich media notifications provide efficient interaction with users. Regular notifications usually have a headline and text. Rich media notifications, on the other hand, can contain pictures and videos previews. All depends on the core functionality you want to include. They can contain custom views like maps for instance.

If it’s a chat app, you can respond to a message without opening the app. If its some location app, you can preview new hiking track or directions right through a notification without opening the app. It’s fast and convenient, it saves you time and provides all details you need at one place.

Desired features

Haptic feedback. Starting with iPhone 7, when users perform any actions in the phone or within the app, a payment completion for instance, the device responds in the form of a small vibration. It raises the level of interaction with the device.

Apple added haptic feedback not just to the Home button, but to interface elements, such as pickers, switches, and sliders which lets users feel as they interact with them. Therefore, adding this feature to your app could provide more user-app interaction.

SiriKit. Big apps support Siri. You can call a cab by asking Siri to do it. The same thing works for text messages and calls. If clients know that their audience uses Siri, developers can implement SiriKit.

iOS 11 has improved its SiriKit, enabling iOS and watchOS applications to support Siri’s intelligence. Users can get things done by simply asking Siri to do (e.g. sending a message, call someone, or get a cab). Westerners are really fond of Siri’s capabilities. Content and services can be accessed from the lock screen in a hands-free mode.

Siri has a natural voice and is much more expressive in iOS 11 with machine learning and artificial intelligence. Users can ask Siri in English to make translations in real-time in Chinese, Spanish, French, German, or Italian. Currently, the real-time translation feature is in beta.

Siri identifies SiriKit requests made on HomePod and sends those requests to the user’s iOS device for processing.

Apps can adopt the new SiriKit by implementing an extension that communicates with Siri, even when an application isn’t running. Siri handles all user interactions as well as the voice and natural language recognition. It works through that extension to get information and handle user requests.

Today widgets. Widgets provide quick access to relevant daily information in iOS devices. In 2018, when users swipe left, the camera opens. If they swipe right, they get a complete list of all widgets for weather forecast, calendar views, or the current state of traffic. Users can view short information about the application and actions they can do.

Functionality-related features

ARKit. The new augmented reality (AR) framework lets developers implement immersive and ever more realistic AR experiences for devices that support iOS 11 and above. Essentially, ARKit combines content with the environment of the users around them, adding digital objects. If an app uses maps or if it’s a game, ARKit will be compulsory. Otherwise, AR functionality can be optional serving as an entertaining element to be more attractive and keep users engaged with the application.

Real-world images like artwork, posters, or signs can be integrated into the AR experience. For example, an app powered by AR can fill a museum with interactive content or bring a movie poster to life. And now, the pass-through camera view of the real world is higher resolution and supports autofocus for a sharper view.

If your app contains an AR component, it will be displayed in the AR category in the App Store, simultaneously exposing the app to a wider audience.

AR is the future. There are rumors that next Apple features are going to be AR-related. Many industries are already experimenting how this technology can be integrated into their product.

Drag and Drop. There is a brand new Drag and Drop feature for the iPad to offer a more convenient work on larger screens. This feature easily helps move text, photos, maps, reminders, contacts, and files between apps. You need to tap and hold to pick up the content and drag it to the other app. Drag and Drop powered by Multi-Touch can select several items and pick them up by tapping and move them elsewhere.

Drag and Drop has system-wide integration and can be used in the following places: Home screen, Dock, Reminders, Calendar, Messages, Spotlight, Files, Safari, Contacts, iBooks, News, Notes, Photos, Maps, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. A simple and powerful API allows developers use Drag and Drop in apps they build.

iMessage App. iMessage lets you collaborate with others in a conversation, decorate messages with stickers (there are over 100 new unique emojis to iOS users), share a song, and more — all without actually leaving Messages across iPhone, iPad and Mac.

There are four new Animoji masks for the iPhone X coming with 11.3: lion, dragon, skull and bear. Sadly, they cannot be used outside of the iMessages though.

If you integrate your functionality with iMessage, your app will also appear in the category with stickers and IMessage to gain additional traction. Apple redesigned the app drawer in Messages for iOS 11, making it much easier to browse all the various stickers and emojis. iMessage gives you quick access to some features of regular apps — if those apps have added iMessage support.

Apple Watch app. Almost any big app can be developed with a little functionality for the Apple watch holders who can do quick actions from their watch. For example, some notifications can come to the watch that are linked to reminders, by means of sync. This opportunity exposes app owners to an additional category for their app to appear in.

Machine Learning with CoreML

Core ML integrates a broad variety of machine learning model types into applications. Besides supporting extensive deep learning with over 30 layer types, it supports standard models such as SVMs, tree ensembles, and generalized linear models. Core ML is built on top of low level technologies like Metal and Accelerate so it seamlessly takes advantage of the CPU and GPU to provide maximum performance and efficiency. You can run machine learning models on the device so data doesn’t need to leave the device to be analyzed.

Developers can build computer vision machine learning features into applications. Core ML features include:

  • face tracking;
  • face detection;
  • landmarks;
  • text detection;
  • rectangle detection;
  • barcode detection;
  • object tracking;
  • and image registration.

Natural Language Processing

The natural language processing APIs in Foundation use machine learning to deeply understand text using features such as language identification, tokenization, lemmatization, part of speech, and named entity recognition.

As far as users, ML serves as an entertaining feature. For example, you have a photo app to post it to Instagram. ML functionality can analyze your photo and propose you some hashtags to include. Taking a more professional approach, Fishbrain app uses ML to identify fish species only by photo.

Building apps with the new iOS functionality

If you are not moving forward, you are obviously behind the progress Apple is pursuing with every update they make. The way to expose your app to more users across multiple categories in the App Store is to intelligently add that new functionality to your digital solution. Sooner or later, old iOS versions will be excluded and replaced by the new ones and it’s good to be on your toes as far as new features are concerned.

If you have an app idea, don’t hesitate to message us and will single out the best iOS team to create an application that’s has the latest Apple functionality!


Increase Downloads of Your iOS App by Including Awesome Features was originally published in iOS App Development on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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