Last week Dawson Loudon, a senior mobile engineer at DoubleDutch, joined thousands of others in attending Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). WWDC is the place to be to catch new product enhancements to both iOS and macOS and it is a must-attend event for mobile developers.
Lawrence Coburn, founder and CEO of DoubleDutch, sat down with Dawson to discuss how new updates to iOS and the Apple App Store will affect the event tech industry.
Here are the 5 key takeaways from WWDC as they pertain to event technology:
1. Apple App Store Updates
In the past, we put all of our applications in one DoubleDutch developer account and helped our clients publish applications. Following Apple's April 1st developer account policy change there is now a requirement for each customer to have an individual developer account to manage on their own. This process can be difficult for event organizers who aren't developers or aren't quite as tech-savvy and we felt a lot of pain here with our customer base as a result of these changes.
At WWDC Apple announced some new automation features that will soon make it possible for event app developers (like DoubleDutch) to simplify that process for our customers. For example, it may soon be possible for event organizers to not need to login personally to make updates to a published app but rather allow DoubleDutch to manage that update. Stay tuned for further updates on how these changes affect implementation and developer account management. We're hopeful that this news will bring along positive change for App Store updates and our event app implementation process in the future!
2. Password Management
In the upcoming iOS 12 iPhone update Apple will introduce revisions and improvements to their password management system. The password management tool called iCloud Keychain has always been there, but Apple has made advancements to this technology that include more advanced detection of username and password fields within applications as well as cross-device compatibility. Also, integrations with third-party providers like LastPass and OnePass will be available, making it easier for users to manage their login credentials and never forget a password.
One major change is grouping of notifications will now be possible. This is especially important with event apps where you're likely to get a lot of notifications for session updates, in-app messages and meetings throughout the event. The ability to group notifications can now be done within an application and also within a subset of an application. This reduces notification fatigue, screen clutter and it helps the user to prioritize which notifications they address first.
4. Camera and QR Codes
This was a quick update at the conference, but one Dawson saw as important for live event engagement. You now have direct access to QR scanning within the native camera app.
This is particularly applicable for features like lead scanning where previously we'd built our own QR reader within the app. Now QR scanning will be part of Apple's native operating system which opens up possibilities for faster, more stable scanning and data transfer.
5. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented reality made a presence at WWDC and they were a hot topic around here at DoubleDutch as we imagine the possibilities to come. Specifically, the announcement of multi-player mode for augmented experiences made our engineers' ears perk up. Multi-player allows for you to tie a digital object to a physical space in a way that lets up to four people view and interact with the same file – or "virtual object" – from different angles.
Dawson says, "I thought to myself – what can this actually be used for?" The thought that you could create an entire virtual conference hall, create virtual signage throughout the venue, or augment a exhibitor's booth with virtual offers came to mind. The possibilities are endless!
There you have it, the 5 key takeaways for mobile event technology from Apple's WWDC 2018.