What developers need to know about iOS 11
Yesterday, millions tuned in to watch the Tim Cook’s keynote presentation – or rumor confirmation – of Apple’s latest updates. As expected, the latest iPhone release(s) stole the show. But app developers had reason to pay attention to iOS 11 and forthcoming adoption rates.
While every major version of iOS unlocks new capabilities for developers, iOS 11 has generated even more anticipation than usual. David Pan, Director of Engineering here at Mixpanel, explains why: “iOS 11 includes the new Augmented Realities Kit [ARKit], which presents a massive opportunity for app developers. AR games like Pokemon Go are hugely popular; this kit makes them that much easier to build.”
But developers have to decide whether investing in these new technologies now will pay off, so predicting and monitoring adoption is especially important. David has some predictions of his own.
“Mixpanel customers have great visibility into what version their users are on, so after the September 19th launch, we will be able to start seeing live data on adoption and the percentage of users on iOS 11 by app type. Until then, I can only make an informed guess. I predict iOS 11 will reach inflection point in two weeks – slightly shorter than it took iOS 10 to overtake iOS 9. I suspect the primary factor influencing adoption is how aggressively Apple prompts users to upgrade. But the update also has valuable multitasking features, especially for the iPad, so I think that will encourage users to update a little faster than they did with iOS 10.”
Along with the adoption of iOS 11, Mixpanel customers closely monitor the adoption of new iPhones. Because of the release of iPhone X, every app in the store will have to modernize for a new form factor. “No one wants their app to suddenly look dated.”
Adding to developers’ load, Apple has done a significant redesign of their App Store. “Because of changes to visibility, I would not be surprised it had an impact on what apps and categories of apps are downloaded based on this redesign.” Since app preview videos will now autoplay in App Store, David recommends that product teams invest in well-made introduction videos to their apps. “The redesign should increase the appetite of product teams to produce quality videos that introduce their apps. They’ll get much more exposure now.”
According to David, developers should always anticipate and try to prepare for these overhauls from Apple. “Apple is a customer and design-oriented company; much of what it does centers around delivering what they perceive as the best customer experience for their end users – not developers.”
Luckily, Mixpanel allows its customers to see exactly how fast their users adopt these new phones, which takes some of the guesswork out of the process. “As soon as Apple releases iOS11 from beta on September 19th, we’ll start seeing that adoption number increase pretty rapidly on our trends graph here.”
The data on the percentage of iOS 11 users by app type already shows increases in adoption among beta users on media and finance apps.
Check back in after September 19th to see more of Mixpanel’s exclusive live data on iOS adoption.