Are You Ready for the New Wild West of Phone Apps?

Matt Ulmer
Matt Ulmer VP of Operations & Client Relations
Apple iOS 10 Maps App Integration
Courtesy of Apple.

Apple yesterday announced fully fledged integration of third-party apps into their first-party iOS apps. What does that mean?

It means, as just one series of examples, that you can make a dinner reservation in the Open Tables app or call for a car to pick you up in the Uber app…without ever leaving the Apple Maps app.

Far-reaching implications

Okay, so what? So what it means is that you now have less opportunity to get users into your actual app, interacting with your painstakingly crafted user experience to make them fall in love with what you’ve developed.

What this also potentially means is even greater competition. Phones have larger hardrives now, so there’s no harm in downloading Lyft and Uber and any other competitor. Then, when you need a ride, you consult them all in the Maps app and go with the one that gets you the best reviewed driver in the shortest amount of time.

In that scenario, it wouldn’t matter if you had a better app than your competitors — it would only matter if you provided a better or more convenient service.

Calling all marketers

The other implication is that app reviews won’t matter as much anymore, because much of the heavy lifting of an app can occur through Apple’s programs. Meaning calling an Uber and a Lyft will work identically in the Maps app, so it doesn’t matter if the standalone Lyft app has a UI you don’t like or runs too slowly or any other issues.

The big name app companies will add this integration immediately, so they’ll get the big boost from the App Store when Apple curates apps that are, “More powerful with integrations” on the App Store home screen.

But where does that leave everyone else?

Digital marketing.

As with most things in today’s world, you need good old fashioned marketing to get in front of potential consumers.

  • Make sure your site and Apple Store app listing are optimized for when someone searches for the category of apps yours fits into.
  • Release search engine optimized press releases about your app as well as the industry of your app type filtered through your own unique perspective (example: drunk driving accidents are down 20 percent since the rise in car ride apps like ours).
  • Employ content marketing to get articles, infographics, videos, and other assets in front of would-be interested users.
  • And there are plenty other ideas for the fast thinking marketing-savvy app developer.

For a while, phone users got very selective about the number of apps they would keep on their phone. We’re potentially entering a return to the mad times when people would download anything any everything. Make sure your digital marketing is ready for this mad dash.

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