By Erik Weiss
This year's Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote highlighted a lot of great changes for iOS users, including group chat in FaceTime, custom Animoji, and tools to track your screen time. But you might be asking, "What does iOS 12 do for my app?". I want to highlight three new features iOS 12 allows you to bring to your application:
- Password Autofill
- Notification Enhancements (Grouped Notifications, Rich Notifications, Notification Management, Trial Notifications, Critical Alerts)
- Siri Shortcuts
Account logins are hard to remember, and login screens are large areas of abandonment in applications.
At WWDC 2017, Apple announced Password Autofill for Apps. If your user logged into your website in Safari, saved their password, and then went to your application, and if your application was configured correctly, iOS 11 would prompt the user to allow them to auto-fill their password into your app's login screen.
This year, they took it one step further. You can now configure your sign-up screens to allow Apple to auto-generate a strong password for your user, and save it to their iCloud Keychain. Your login screen can also prompt the user to save or update their password to iCloud. This will make subsequent logins frictionless for your users.
If your application contains two-factor authentication, you can now configure that screen to detect text messages from your user, and auto-fill that screen as well.
Apple is bringing several notification enhancements to iOS 12 that you can bring to your application.
iOS 12 will be grouping all notifications from a single application together by default. You can use thread identifiers to separate out distinct types of notifications from your application.
iOS 10 brought us rich notifications. However, up until now, what you could do with those notifications was limited. iOS 12 brings new functionality such as the ability to dynamically update the action buttons under your notification, process user touches from within the notification, and lets you better define how your notification dismisses or launches your application. If your application delivers alerts to the Apple Watch, these enhancements are available there as well.
iOS 12 brings tools front-and-center that allow users to manage notifications on their phone. If iOS 12 finds that your users are not positively interacting with your notifications, it might suggest to them that they disable them. Before a user completely disables notifications from your apps, iOS 12 will give your users one final option to configure notifications from within your app instead of disable them completely. If your app sends multiple types of notifications (for example: marketing notifications, information notifications and order status notifications), you should give your users the option of turning certain categories of notifications off. Applications will have to be smart about how they send notifications to users, otherwise risk having them disabled all together.
iOS 12 allows you to send provisional "trial" notifications to your users without asking them permission. Provisional notifications will be delivered "quietly," meaning audio sounds and banners will be disabled, but they will still show up in notification center. After a certain period of time, iOS 12 will ask your users if they want to receive the notifications prominently, continue to get them quietly, or disable them all together.
Medical, security and public safety applications can apply through Apple to deliver "critical alerts." These alerts are reserved for truly critical information, such as a medical emergency. Critical alerts bypass a user's "do not disturb" and "silent mode" settings. In addition to Apple's approval, your application will also prompt your user to confirm they want critical alerts. A user can disable them at any time.
Siri Shortcuts lets your application expose certain frequently used actions within your application to Siri. The actions you denote should be things that are likely to be repeated in the future. Siri will then expose shortcuts in search, on the user's home screen, the user's watch, or in their Siri interface, depending on when and how frequently your user typically performs the action. By exposing frequently used actions by your application to Siri, you will help improve the engagement of your application.
Published on 06.12.18