Apple’s New iOS 11 And What It Means For Your App

It feels strange to say this in early August, but fall is right around the corner. With the changing of the seasons comes football, pumpkin spice lattes, halloween decorations and…you guessed it: the inevitable update to your iOS system!

There will be all sorts of new and exciting things we can expect to change once we hit the update button on our iPhones to install iOS 11. In their annual WWDC, Apple has made it known that we can expect improvements to Siri, updates to Maps, and even an Augmented Reality integration (one we’re particularly excited about). Sure, the transition for those of us who use our phones casually is fairly seamless, but what does the update to iOS 11 mean for those who create and publish apps? Here are some of the most important things to be aware of!

Videos In Place of Screenshots

Alongside your app description in the store, Apple currently allows for 5 screenshots that you believe will best convey your apps design and features. Theoretically, the app description should convey the who, what, where, and why of your app, but the truth of the matter is that we are a society based on visuals. If your app screenshots don’t come across as compelling or engaging, your app could have a hard time gaining attention.

To remedy this, Apple is now allowing the addition of videos in place of the traditional screenshot. This will give publishers a chance to bust out the director’s chair and create a few short videos that provide a potential user with an honest overview of what to expect from your app. We like this new system as it doesn’t just reward the flashiest screenshots (which we still promote), but also allows solid executions to get their comeuppance.

Prominent Reviews

With all sorts of new apps hitting the store daily, reviews by our peers have now become more important than ever and Apple aims to help with that. With the update, users will not have to hit a new tab to read the reviews of an app, as they will be moved to the first screen located below the scroll. This will help those of us who take stock in the reviews themselves to easily access them without having to tab back and forth between screens.

Additionally, app developers now have the opportunity to respond to the reviews. This is a feature that is currently up and running, but is still worth mentioning. In the reviews section, people often report bugs, have suggestions, or just have general feedback be it positive or negative. By allowing this space, Apple has provided a commonplace for communication between developers and users.

The developer reply will have to go through an approval process. However, the person who left the review will receive a notification once the developer response is approved and will have the ability to update their rating if they see fit. Having this ability highlights the importance of staying up to date with responses to users. If there is any chance to improve your app’s rating, you should take advantage of it.

A Change To App Ratings

With the rollout of iOS 11, app developers will no longer be allowed to ask a user to rate their app while using the app. Since app ratings are an incredibly important part of visibility within the app store, Apple has developed their own API (application program interface) that allows users to rate your app.

The new API gives users the opportunity to quickly rate the app via a pop-up box without having to leave the app (which ultimately disrupts the entire experience). Apple has limited these pop-ups to only appear 3 times a year, and if a user has already rated your app, the pop-ups will go away indefinitely.

The Unforeseen

New operating systems can and most likely will affect the way your app operates. There will be bugs that just can’t be predicted, but most definitely can be fixed! Our team of developers are more than ready to take a look, diagnose the problem, and come up with a solution if this happens to your app.

If this is something that you would like to get ahead of, and explore your options. Please feel free to drop us a line at gravityjack.com/contact. A representative from our team will be sure to be in touch as soon as possible as we would love to discuss things further over a piping hot pumpkin spice latte.

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