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What Apple’s latest announcements mean for marketers

Augmented reality, an improved Siri intelligent assistant and a revamped app store are all features in Apple’s product announcements yesterday, presenting opportunities for marketers.

Billed as ‘the future of the smartphone’, the iPhoneX and the cheaper iPhone8 and 8S models boast improved display, camera and wireless charging, however for marketers the real excitement lies with the features within the iOS 11 operating system.

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicks off Apple’s September 2017 event

There were few surprises in iOS11, which will be available for the iPhone 5S onwards from September 19, as the operating system was extensively previewed by Apple in June.

iOS11 features largely cosmetic changes to features such as file management, the dock and multitasking. Of main interest to the marketing and media industries, however, will be the augmented reality, payment and the Siri artificial intelligence tools.

Along with improved artificial intelligence features, Siri’s integration into the new Apple TV app will open new possibilities similar to those being explored with Google Voice and Amazon’s Alexa, including voice activated searching and access.

The Apple TV app, which supports 4k devices, boasts a number of Australian over-the-top TV services – including 9Now, SBS On Demand, Yahoo7 as well as Madman Entertainment’s Docplay and AnimeLab.

Facebook has applied its AI features to payments within messaging services with the launch of Facebook M services last month. Apple has responded to Facebook’s initiative with Apple Pay for messages, allowing customers to pay direct from their messaging apps, a feature which will be rolled out later this year.

One of Apple’s strengths in the payments field is its security and authentication features in iOS, the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The company has added to its security offerings with the Face ID facial recognition system.

Apple’s ARKit augmented reality tool

Augmented reality is arguably the greatest strength of iOS11, with it taking advantage of the latest iPhone’s camera, processors and motion sensors.

The company introduced a developer kit for building AR apps at their worldwide developer conference in June, which Apple promises can be applied to areas including interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences and industrial design.

Interestingly, there was no mention of the much discussed adblocking features of iOS11. It remains to be seen how Apple will deploy those aspects of the new system.

For mobile marketers the revamped app store, which again was flagged earlier this year, will present a number of new challenges. M&C Saatchi’s Bobbie Gersbach examined those changes for Mumbrella in July.

iOS11 can be downloaded from next week, while the new iPhones will be on the market at the beginning of October. ARKit is already available to developers.

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