Prep for iOS 14: A Guide For App Publishers
Now that iOS 14 is available, there has never been a better time to get your app up and running with the latest operating system. With iOS adoption coming at a very high rate (nearly 80%), most users will update their devices once given the opportunity. The sooner you update and begin testing your app the more time you’ll have to perfect your customer’s apps. Compared with Android’s last reported adoption rate of Pie at 22.6%, more iOS users will be expecting apps to work flawlessly with new iOS updates.
The biggest problem when updating is to ensure your app works as your customers expect it to and to avoid ay major outages or failures. Besides new features, there are many things to look out for when updating your app, including compatibility, testing, and required updates. Let’s take a tour with us in this guide for app publishers!
WHAT ARE IOS 14 NEW FEATURES?
1. Home screen with an app library
Apple is changing the home screen with iOS 1, where it allows users to remove whatever app they don’t find fit to their aesthetics out of the screen. Those apps, despite being off from the main screen, kept remaining in the App Library, which is one swipe away from the final home screen.
The App Library will group all the apps in big folders showing the recently used apps. Additionally, it enables users to search for apps in the search box placed at the top of the screen. The folders are also automatically organized according to Health and Fitness, Social, etc.
2. Overhauled widget experience
Widgets have long been an integral part of the iOS ecosystem. Still, before iOS 14, they only played at the backdrop as a vertical list of full-width boxes.
With iOS 14 the tech giant is changing the widgets experience. They are now designed to have a bunch of new sizes and with more information. Above all, they can be dragged to the home screen.
3. Picture-in-picture mode
PIP mode is finally coming to the iPhone with the iOS 14 version. When making a FaceTime call or watching a video, you can easily swipe back to the home screen while the video or call screen will continue to appear on the screen.
The users can even move the box around the screen or simply swipe it aside to make the tab little.
4. App clips
Taking inspiration from Google yet again, Apple has launched App Clips with iOS 14. These are micro parts of the applications that enable users to use parts of apps without downloading, installing, or signing up to the app to perform the tasks.
iPhone app developers create App Clips ensuring that the experience is under 10 MB. They are also encouraged by Apple to use the Apple Pay and Sign In with Apple facility to prevent users from creating or logging in the application. With the ability to get triggered through maps, web, messages, QR codes, and NFC tags App clips can help businesses acquire new customers.
5. Substantial privacy tweaks
Apple has always maintained a leg up in the Android vs iOS security faceoff and with iOS 14, the list of privacy features has been expanded.
Users can give the app’s details of their approximate location instead of the exact location. Additionally, when an application asks for photos, you can select to share specific photos instead of the complete library.
Taking privacy up a notch, iOS 14 update will show a green dot in the status when an application is accessing your camera and an amber dot when an application is accessing your microphone.
6. Apple Arcade updations
It was only a while back when Apple Arcade was launched as a means to transform the gaming industry. With iOS 14, Apple is showing users games their Game Center friends are playing, accessing the recent games played, and making it easy to find and sort the Arcade games.
7. Expansive ARKit 4 tools
Apple is expanding AR tools for every iPhone app development company with ARKit 4. Launched with iOS 11, the tools now enable developers to place Location Anchors to make AR objects occupy a place in the real world. Additionally, a device with an A12 Bionic chip can perform facial tracking with a front camera even when it’s not a TrueDepth module.
They have also introduced a Depth API for iOS app developers to develop 3D mesh environments on iPad Pro having a LiDAR scanner.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN UPDATING YOUR APP TO IOS 14?
1. Check compatibility
The first thing to take into account when updating your app for iOS 14 is compatibility. iOS 14 is expected to work with all mobile devices and iPads that currently run iOS 13. There are a couple of devices however, that won’t make the cut. The iPad Mini 4 and iPad Air 2 will not be compatible with the new operating system. Since these devices hold a significant share of the global market, you’ll want to make sure that any new features in your app will work with iOS 13.
2. Test your app
As mentioned above, testing will be of the utmost importance when getting your app ready for iOS 14. Complete development and QA testing will be vital in order to detect regressions and defects that make your app a bad suit for iOS 14.
In addition, iOS 14’s UI and functional enhancements will require changes to the XCUITest suite. Testing teams should plan on maintenance auditing and making corrections as soon as they begin working with iOS 14 to ensure continuous stability.
3. Brace against info privacy
As mentioned, Apple has really stepped up privacy protection for its users as they add more features to hand in transparency and control over personal information to users. Your app will be required to ask users for permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies.
Later in the year, the App Store will help users understand apps’ privacy practices, and you’ll need to enter your privacy practice details into App Store Connect to display on your App Store product page.
4. Prepare for Apple’s opt-in, opt-out modal window
The user interface is delicate, therefore, anything that interrupts the user flow can disrupt the experience and wreak all sorts of havoc on your session times and retention rates. With iOS 14’s new privacy settings, all apps will have a popup or modal that asks users for permission to track them. If they select “no,” monetization SDKs (Software Development Kit) will receive all zeros in the device IDFA and will, therefore, have to resort back to contextual targeting tactics, which are far less effective. Publishers who cannot gather device IDFAs, therefore, run the risk of decreased monetization.
The good news is, within the publishing space someone came up with a brilliant idea to start conditioning users to answer this question with a “yes.” We are seeing publishers’ surface modals that remind the user they are using a free app that makes money from ads and then asks them nicely to select “OK” to the app gathering user information about them. When they do, nothing technically happens – but the user is informed and softened to the idea of tracking so that when they get the same question from Apple, the hope is they will acquiesce.
5. Update your Information Property List File (info.plist)
This is an important guide for app publishers who rely on performance advertisers for a large portion of their revenue. The info.plist file of your app must include the IDs of the ad networks that will be sending ads to your users; otherwise, the ad will not be served in IOS 14.
And it’s not just about one ad network ID – you must understand who else those networks work with and get those IDs, which shall be added up. While you can always deduplicate to make it simpler, you shall still compile the total list that can be accessed at any time. The tricky part is that as it stands right now, anytime you want to add one, you must publish a new version of your app. This may require constant involvement of an app developer or tech service provider.
In case you are looking for a partner to carpet your iOS 14’s updating, feel free to contact us – a tech consultant who has been in the industry for 11 years and has been verified for a creative mindset, strong commitment, and outstanding skills. We promise to not only deliver the best social app ideas to accelerate your business but are also capable of translating those initiatives into a seamless and competitive final product.
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