5 things your app development team should do to prepare for iOS 15

Focus, Live Text, Notifications as well as changes to the App Store and App Review Guidelines are just some of the upcoming changes your team should be across.

Luke Pearce Posted 8th September 2021
Articles, Knowledge

With the launch of iOS 15 just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to do a quick health check on the apps you work on to ensure user transition is as smooth as it can be as users update their devices. We’ve pulled together a quick list of 5 things your app development team should do to prepare for the launch of iOS 15:

Focus

Focus in iOS 15 allows users to set focus points that group the activities they do frequently, for example driving or exercise. Once grouped, users can name their focus point and determine which applications should be able to distract the user away from their focus through notifications and focuses are shared across all of the users devices. Focuses have support for smart replies, automation and smart activations and allow you to further refine how your home and lockscreens should behave when focusing. 

To prepare for the release of focus in iOS 15, your team should be aware that this functionality is coming. It’s worth having conversations with other areas of your business or with your clients to guide them towards the expectation that there will be additional barriers in regards to users receiving notifications and that they should expect to see a delay in terms of open rates when reviewing analytics. As focus uses on device intelligence it’s also worth reviewing things like your app category and metadata to ensure this is as accurate as possible so that the on device intelligence behaves as you would expect it to.

Live Text

Live Text introduces the ability to recognise text in a photo and to then take an action based on the text detected – for example if you’ve previously taken a photo of some notes you took during a training lesson, you’ll now be able to search spotlight for those exact notes as well as be able to copy them out of the photo and into a textfield.

In preparation for Live Text, now is a great time to consider the security of the images you are saving to a users device.

Question:

Are you are saving any images to the photo library with content that shouldn’t be searchable?

Finally, it is worth considering how you might use the vision framework to bring support for this feature to your own applications, as users will no doubt become more familiar and expectant of this functionality.

Notifications

As with previous updates to iOS, notifications have again received some love and attention. Notifications now have an emphasis on showing larger icons and contact photos while non time sensitive notifications will be summarised and delivered at a more appropriate time. Expect the display order of notifications to vary determined by on device intelligence. These changes are reflected in a new permission prompt for notifications which will encourage users to grant immediate notifications or to schedule summaries.

In preparation for the changes to notifications developers should implement support for notification interruption levels to assert the importance of notifications. Developers should also pay attention to the relevance score to indicate which notifications should be displayed prominently.

App Store

If the applications you develop have events within them you can now showcase these directly from the App Store creating a great new pathway for app discoverability. You can now also create different variations of your applications product page and view App Analytics to determine which is performing the best.

If your application makes use of In App purchases or Subscriptions it could be worth considering updating to the new StoreKit 2 framework which makes all of the previous tedious In App Purchase logic seamless. 

Account Deletion

One of the more significant updates announced came in the form of updated App Store Review Guidelines where a new guideline 5.1.1(v) was appended stating:

`Apps supporting account creation must also offer account deletion` 

Supporting account deletion is often not a simple task, and although you may already support this functionality, implementing this and making it visible as part of a user’s journey is definitely something your development team should expect to support or answer to as part of the upcoming changes to the App Store Review process.

 

It’s clear this update is very heavily focused on creating more of a personalised and aware iOS experience. With a big attention on focus and intelligence combined with Apple’s ongoing commitments to privacy, iOS 15 is leading up to be a huge release for iPhone users and definitely one that your app development team should keep front of mind over the coming days.

 

This article was prepared by:
Daniel Slone (senior iOS engineer at Bilue),
Richie Shilton (senior iOS engineer at Bilue),
Luke Pearce (senior engineering team lead at Bilue)

September 8th

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