Apple has taken over news headlines over the past few days with the announcement of the iPhone 13 and other new products such as the latest version of the Apple Watch and the new iPad Mini. On 15 September, the term "iPhone 13" had 505k tweets in Singapore while the hashtag #AppleEvent had 1.02 million tweets. The iPhone maker also made new moves in the streaming and fitness space, and shortly after, released new marketing tools for developers to create custom marketing assets. As consumers set their sights on Apple's latest gadgets, here are three moves Apple has made that will interest the marketing community.
1. App Store marketing tools for developers
Apple's new marketing tools on its App Store aim to help developers create custom marketing assets such as banners and images to promote their apps on social media. With the new tools, developers can select their app, choose a template, customise the design, and add preset messages in multiple languages.
Developers can choose from various sizes such as square post, story post, landscape banner ad, portrait banner ad and link card preview image. Their assets will be available instantly in all the right sizes, allowing for easier sharing. The marketing tools can also be used to create short links or embeddable codes that lead to developers' App Store product pages and display their app icon, a QR code, or an App Store badge.
2. Fitness+ streaming subscription expands to 15 new countries
Apple's Fitness+, its fitness service designed entirely around the Apple Watch, is expanding into 15 new countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Columbia, France, Germany, Russia and Portugal. The workouts will also be made available in six new languages. Apple is including three-month trials with new Apple Watches.
3. Apple previews shows on Apple TV+
The event opened with a video highlighting some of the shows which will be premiering on the company's streaming service Apple TV+, including the second season of The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. From original series, films and docuseries, CEO Tim Cook (pictured) said Apple TV+ currently has over 500 nominations and 130 wins for its shows. This year, it also amassed 35 primetime Emmy nominations.
During Apple's third quarter 2021 investor call, CFO Luca Maestri said its newer service offerings, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Card, Apple Fitness+ as well as the Apple One bundle, continue to scale across users, content, and features and are contributing to overall services growth. According to him, the number of both transacting and paid accounts on its digital content stores reached "a new all-time high" during the June quarter in each geographic segment, and paid accounts increased double digits.
Paid subscriptions also continued to show strong growth, with more than 700 million paid subscriptions across the services on its platform. According to Maestri, this was an increase of more than 150 million from 2020 and nearly four times the number of paid subscriptions it had only four years ago.
Separately, the new iPhone 13 will run the iOS 15 which Apple first announced in June this year, together with other operating systems such as iPad OS15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8, as part of its privacy push. The iOS 15 contains additional features that help developers enhance app functionality while preserving user privacy. For example, users can share their current location with an app just once, without giving the developer further access after the session. Developers can customise the share current location button and integrate it directly into their apps.
Meanwhile, Apple will also now request user permission to enable Personalised Ads on its App Store on the iOS 15 and serve relevant ads on the store through analysis of users' habits on what they read, purchase and search. This is in addition to the current user permission that developers are required to seek before tracking them via the identity for advertisers, which came into effect during the launch of iOS 14 and resulted in plenty of debate in the adland.
With the App Privacy Report in iOS 15, users can see how often each app has used the permission they’ve previously granted to access their location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the past seven days. Users can also find out with whom their data may be shared by seeing all the third-party domains an app is contacting.
In the Mail app, the Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.
At the same time, Intelligent Tracking Prevention will hide user's IP addresses from trackers, meaning they won't be able to utilise the user's IP address as a unique identifier to connect their activity across websites and build a profile about them.
With on-device speech recognition, the audio of users’ requests is processed right on their iPhone or iPad by default. According to Apple, this addresses unwanted audio recording, which is one of the biggest privacy concerns for voice assistants. For many requests, Siri processing is also moving on device, enabling requests to be processed without an internet connection, such as launching apps, setting timers and alarms, changing settings, or controlling music.
The iOS 15 will also introduce the iCloud+ which combines the iCloud with new premium features including iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, and expanded HomeKit Secure Video support. Private Relay is a new internet privacy service that’s built right into iCloud, allowing users to connect to and browse the web in a more secure and private way. When browsing with Safari, Private Relay ensures all traffic leaving a user’s device is encrypted, so no one between the user and the website they are visiting can access and read it, not even Apple or the user’s network provider. All the user’s requests are then sent through two separate internet relays.
Meanwhile, Hide My Email allows users to share unique, random email addresses that forward to their personal inbox anytime they wish to keep their personal email address private. Built directly into Safari, iCloud settings, and Mail, Hide My Email also enables users to create and delete as many addresses as needed at any time, helping give users control of who is able to contact them.
Earlier this month, the iPhone maker also delayed the launch of Child Sexual Abuse Material detection tools as it seeks "to make improvements" following criticism from “customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others", media outlets previously reported. The roll out was announced in August this year during which Apple said one of its goals is to create technology that empowers people and enriches their lives, while helping them stay safe.
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