Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Apple iOS6: What’s in it for Marketers

Apple execs took the stage at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) with a huge announcement about upcoming products and services. They dazzled the audience with a powerful laptop that is thinner than your finger. They’ve added PowerNap which allows your computer to update while it’s asleep and they’ve updated Safari and iCloud so you get a more seamless experience across all of your Apple devices.
The biggest news? The coming of iOS6 with more than 200 new features.
For those who don’t speak geek, iOS5 is an operating system that runs your iPhone and iPad. When Apple switches over to iOS6, probably this fall, current users will be able to upgrade for free by simply accepting the download. The new system will work on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (fourth generation). But be aware that not all features work on all products, so don’t get too excited if you’re working with older equipment.
You’ll find a comprehensive look at the changes on the Apple preview site. What I’m going to focus on are the changes that are beneficial to marketers starting with Passbook.
Passbook is an app that turns important bits of paper and plastic into digital information. As advertised, it has two very distinct, and very different uses. One use involves tickets – be they plane tickets, concert or movie tickets. The app stores your ticket information then nudges you along with timed reminders, maps, airport gate alerts, etc.

The other use involves coupons and loyalty cards. This is where the marketer (and shopper) in me gets excited. Passbook lets you toss out all those plastic cards in favor of a running digital record on your phone. It tracks gift card balances, notes coupon expiration dates and it will even alert you when you’re near a redemption location.

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