Posted by Baydr Yadallee

WWDC is the event for Apple developers. It’s where Apple announce their new operating systems — this year, across four hardware platforms: iOS, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. With the keynote clocking in at just over two hours, there was a lot announced, with a wealth of new features and functionalities for developers to get their hands on in the betas.

A huge success in recent years for Apple has been apps and the economy that has created. They made a big play about having now paid developers $50 billion since the App Store opened.

“The App Store started 8 years ago, with a little over 500 apps. Recently we passed a major milestone — we now have over 2 million apps.” — Tim Cook

A theme from the keynote was a extension of this, by opening up existing services such as Apple Maps, iMessage and Siri to developers. This will create a flurry of new apps and services when iOS 10 is available later this year. It’s an exciting time for developers, but what were some of the key announcements from WWDC today from a marketing perspective?

Here are my top 5 take-outs for marketers:

  1. Apple Pay on the web — If you’ve got an Apple Watch or iPhone 6 or above you’ve probably marvelled at the simplicity of paying for the tube or in Pret with your phone and Touch ID. Well, you’ll now be able to use Apple Pay on e-commerce websites when using Safari. When it’s time to check out, no need to fill in card details as you can verify your purchase using your phone or Apple Watch.
  2. Apps for iMessage — the big announcement today. iMessage is being completely overhauled, with some people saying it’ll be more like Snapchat but I think it’s closer to China’s WeChat as developers will be able to develop apps for the service. The possibilities really are endless here but the examples demoed were the ability to send payments or even make a food takeaway order from within iMessage. This is kind of like what Facebook are trying to do with Messenger, but Apple has the benefit of a huge existing app developer community.
  3. An API for Siri — After 5 years, Apple is finally giving developers access to 3rd party apps for Siri. This means you can now access key functions and content from your app using Siri’s voice commands. This could be asking for the next train home, or finding the nearest restaurant that accepts Tastecard. Personal assistants are shaping up to be a keenly contested battle, but the existing app ecosystem could prove and ace card for Apple.
  4. Apple Pay for Apple Watch — As well as the announced complete UX overhaul in watchOS 3, 3rd party native watch apps can now use Apple Pay. This means for those of you with an Apple Watch app, you can now make them transactional. The example given in the keynote was making a payment to Lyft, straight from your watch.
  5. Lock screen widgets for iOS — Apple have re-thought the lock screen experience and will now allow you to do much more without having to unlock your phone and launch your app. This means you can perform key functionality directly from a notification, giving users a chance to easily re-engage with your app which is always an ongoing challenge. This is much more than just reply to messages — it could even be the ability to watch video content from the lock screen.

There you have it… there was so much more announced today, and no doubt more will be discovered as people pick through the detail in the coming days and weeks which I look forward to hearing about. I’ll certainly be having a play with the iOS 10 beta!

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