Apple’s iOS 12 is already installed on over 50 percent of actively-used iOS devices (iPhones and iPads): This is why it matters:
You get new apps first, and old ones get better faster
There are real advantages to developing for mobile devices. The market is massive and massively diverse. There are viable opportunities to create niche interest solutions.
Development takes time, of course: and one thing that sucks so much time and resources from small development teams is the need to test software against multiple hardware and software configurations.
When building apps developers must think about how many old OS versions they will support. If they choose to support a five-year old OS, will they then define their application’s feature set by what that OS supports, or build completely different apps for each OS? Each one of these decisions has a real impact on the cost and time it takes to build the solution.
That’s not the case on iOS because developers can create apps accessible to 93 percent of around a billion users simply by supporting iOS 11 and iOS 12. (They can even focus on iOS 12, and still have a huge market). This cuts development time for them and means the latest apps tend to be released on Apple’s platforms first.
Enterprises can be more agile
That’s a huge benefit to enterprise developers. Not only can those internal B2B apps be tweaked and improved for iOS 12 more rapidly than their equivalents on other platforms, but it’s possible to swiftly introduce new apps and services in the B2C markets.
Combined with Apple’s other platform advantages and its rich mix of supporting technology integration firms (from Accenture to Jamf and beyond), enterprise CIOs can be pretty confident in iOS.
Not only that, but those regular security updates make it much easier to bring devices into compliance with enterprise security policy, particularly in tightly regulated industries in which data security lapses are a criminal offence.
You don’t want the company you do business with leaking your credit card details because some dodgy consumer electronics company that makes hardware some of their sales teams use failed to publish a timely security update, do you?
It makes you more secure
We’ve all heard the arguments that the big tech firms spend billions on security, but still get hacked. Google Plus, Facebook, and everyone else gets hit. “Perfect security is impossible,” they mutter, while ignoring that Apple (which is also targeted) seldom suffers from anything like as egregious a data breach – and usually goes public when it does.
This is not just because Apple’s approach to security isn’t compromised by commercial demands to take people’s data and sell it for advertising, nor is it because the company is deeply committed to protecting customer privacy, so there’s little data to be stolen.
It is also because Apple publishes regular, easy-to-install security software updates for all its platforms, tends to address any security flaws quickly, and because most of its users are running the latest versions of its operating systems.
On devices of the same age on other platforms, millions may remain exposed to security vulnerabilities Apple patched in iOS 10 or earlier. ‘Perfect security’ may be impossible, but the least any firm that takes your money should do is try to deliver it.
The whole widget
Apple designs the hardware, engineers many of the critical components and develops the operating system.
This means the company can tweak hardware and software for best results. In the past, we’ve learned Apple’s OS updates have performed less well on older devices, but the company tried harder this year with iOS 12, which will make even the oldest (iPhone 5S) devices it supports perform more efficiently. You’ll experience less lag when using your device, from dialling a call to summoning the Camera app.
This makes for happier customers, increased app engagement – and a chance for developers to extend their dialog with their users.
You join a conversation
Customers on iOS tend to have satisfaction levels in excess of 90 percent. They also tend to use their devices frequently and to make regular use of the apps they install on those devices.
Apple’s focus on upgrading the operating system annually means that even older hardware benefits, and user engagement is maintained on a platform basis. This translates into user engagement in the apps installed on those devices.
What difference does that make? If a customer likes an app they will make frequent use of it. This means enterprises offering iOS apps to customers can easily justify continued investment in those apps.
That’s good for customers, good for the enterprise servicing those customers, and good for the platform as it translates into regular app updates, which themselves translate into the steady introduction of new iOS-supported features within existing apps. New technologies from ARKit to Siri Shortcuts benefit from this.
The effect is that when you use iOS you are engaged in a constant dialogue with your device, with Apple and with your apps. It’s called platform engagement.
Services are the future
Apple knows this. Why else do you think it is developing its own set of services for iOS users?
It’s well aware that this industry-leading platform engagement can be turned into highly profitable service delivery.
Of course, as it introduces new services it also provides its customers with new reasons to use their devices and further motivation to upgrade them.
That’s good for Apple users, sure, but it’s also a big benefit to iOS developers, as Apple’s addictive services boost platform engagement still further, driving interest and dialogue between end users and the entire app ecosystem. In future, services will become more important than hardware sales, but that’s another story. It’s a lot easier to deliver and receive innovative digital services on a unified platform.
It’s not just about you
Apples VP Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, recently pointed to Apple’s decision to make iOS 12 available to the five-year-old iPhone 5S and said: “Because they last longer, you can keep using them. And keeping using them is the best thing for the planet.”
She’s right – not only is ewaste a huge problem, but getting hold of some of the components used inside these devices imposes an egregious and unacceptably huge cost in human misery. The longer you can use a device, the better, so it makes sense for Apple to support devices it was selling some years back. It’s also better for the planet.
Here’s what you need to know to upgrade to iOS 12.
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