web | mobile apps | software | consulting
Menu

Why you should regularly update your mobile app. New features in iOS 8

It’s a good idea to release regular updates for your mobile app. Adding new features and fixing annoying bugs are great ways to keep existing user’s interested, as well as attract new users by showing that your app is constantly being worked on and improved. Users who may have uninstalled your app may come back to see if what made them remove it has been resolved, so releasing updates on a regular basis can actually help to reclaim your app’s lost users.

No matter what platforms your app has been designed for, we can help you improve and update it. We don’t need to recreate the app from scratch, just provide us with access to the source code. Your app’s developer should have delivered the code to you when you signed off the completed product.

How often to update your app

We recommend releasing updates for your app on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter what interval the updates go out, as this will depend on the resources you have available. Whether it’s every few weeks, months or every year, at least your app is constantly evolving. Adding new features keeps users interested, while fixing problems with the app instils a confidence in the stability and reliability of your product.

New versions of operating systems such as iOS and Android can affect the functionality of your app. Development kits that are used to display ads, track usage or talk to Facebook may need updating when new versions are released. It’s always best to stay on top of future releases of software that your app may depend on, making sure you release a compatible version so your users aren’t affected.

Of course, new versions of these operating systems also mean you can offer great new features in your app. Read on to find out more about some of the new features available on iPhones and iPads in the latest release of Apple’s operating system.

New features in iOS 8

iOS 8 is the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It’s been available since September 2014 and it’s now been installed on over 80% of compatible devices. If you already have an app available in the iTunes store for iOS devices, you should definitely consider updating it to include some of the latest features. Here’s a summary of some powerful new features in iOS 8 that are available for use in both new and existing apps.

Touch ID

If your app requires authentication, such as a user logging in with their email address and a password, you can now leverage the powerful touch sensor on new iPhones and iPads to log a user in to your app. The fingerprint information is stored securely and your app can ask iOS to authenticate a user by reading their fingerprint. This saves time entering login details and having to remember passwords.

Apple Pay

The latest version of iOS supports this new method of payment, which can be used to pay for any physical goods. If your app can be used to order items for delivery, whether it’s concert tickets or furniture, you can use Apple Pay to immediately bill a user by simply asking them to scan their fingerprint. Payment information, billing and shipping addresses as well as contact information are all transferred to your app immediately. Apple Pay makes the checkout process for physical goods just as fast and secure as the in-app purchasing process for digital services.

HomeKit

This is a new framework available in iOS 8. It allows your app to connect to and control devices in a user’s home. Your app can discover compatible items in the user’s home, activate them and control them remotely through the app by making a selection of actions available. These actions can be triggered by the app, or grouped together and controlled through the Siri voice assistant.

Health

If your app provides health or fitness based services, Apple Health can provide your app with data such as blood pressure, heart rate, step count, distance travelled and more. All the health information comes from fitness tracking devices or manual entry. Data is stored centrally and users decide what to share with your app. Your app can collect the data for display or, with a user’s permission, upload it to a remote service for more enhanced features if required.

Today Widgets

Apps in iOS 8 can place widgets in the “Today” area of the Notification Center. Your app can display updates to a user that give them small pieces of information that may not be suitable for delivery as push notifications. Users can enable the widgets by customizing the Notification Center.

Handoff

Users can start using your app on one device, then seamlessly continue using your app on another device. For example, if a user has your app open on their iPhone, but wants to start using their iPad or Mac, they can transfer your app’s state to the other device and continue right where they left off. This feature is really useful and will become something that users expect to be available in all of the highest quality and must-have apps.

How to update your app for iOS 8?

We can advise on the best way to leverage the new features of iOS 8 to improve your existing app. We’d be happy to work with your existing app’s code instead of making a new app from scratch, which greatly reduces the cost of updating the app.

We can also make suggestions for incorporating the new iOS 8 features into a new app if you’re still in the planning stage of the project.

Please contact us for more information. 

Monitor your motoring with the GloveBox app.

Now available to download for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Visit the GloveBox website to find out more.

We're proud to be a Microsoft Partner.

That means we take pride in offering reliable solutions built on years of experience from the world's biggest software specialist.

Microsoft Partner

Stay connected to your local council.

We've made an app for local authorities in the UK. See latest news and events, send reports and more.

Visit the MyLocalGov website to download the app and find out more.