Apple’s “By Innovation Only” keynote event has concluded, and the major announcements were the new Apple devices and services. App developers, iPhone aficionados and tech experts alike watched with anticipation to see what news was coming from Apple.
iPhone 11, 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max
The biggest announcement was the new series of iPhone devices. As anticipated, the first device announced was the iPhone 11, followed shortly by the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The biggest focus for these devices seems to be the camera. The iPhone 11 includes a dual camera system, featuring a new wide camera and ultra-wide camera with 120-degree field of view. The 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max add a third telephoto camera for more detailed close-ups.
The phones also offer improved video features, shooting 4k quality video at up to 60 frames per second. The iPhone 11 enables front-facing 4k slow motion video for, as it was described during the event, taking “slowfies.” The iPhone 11 Pro can film using multiple cameras at once, allowing the user to switch between different shots from a single take.
In addition to the improved photo and video features, the phones use the new A13 bionic chip. The keynote speaker described it as “the fastest CPU ever in a smartphone,” with an equally fast GPU. This was demonstrated by showing a new mobile game, “Pascal’s Wager,” featuring high quality graphics and smooth gameplay.
The apps most likely to be impacted by the iPhone 11 are photo and video apps, due to the new camera lenses and photography features. Mobile game designers will also want to see how their games perform on the faster devices. The phones feature 6.1, 5.8 and 6.5-inch retina displays. Developers will want to ensure their apps look good on the retina display screens, given their higher pixel density.
The iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max will start at $699, $999 and $1099, respectively. At the same time, older models like the iPhone 8 will begin lowering their prices.
iPad 7th Generation
Along with the new iPhone devices, Apple announced the 7th generation of iPad. The new iPad is built for iPadOS, featuring a 10.2-inch Retina display and made entirely from recycled aluminum.
There are several interesting features in the new iPad. It features a Smart Connector that enables the device to quickly connect to a Smart Keyboard, as well as connectivity for SD cards and thumb drives.
Additionally, Apple announced these several features for the 7th generation iPad:
- Redesigned home screen
- Multitasking function to quickly scroll and switch between active apps
- Soft keyboard that can be condensed into a floating keyboard at the side of the screen
- Enhanced Photos app with video editing tools
- Users can create PDFs by scrolling down a page they’re saving
- Apple Arcade and TV+ connectivity
Developers should consider these features and how they may impact their apps and App Store Optimization. When new features are introduced, it’s important to test them with the app and see how they can impact ASO; this could influence keyword targeting, screenshots and descriptions.
The 7th generation iPad will start at $329 at launch.
Apple Watch Series 5
The new devices didn’t stop at the iPhone and iPad, with the announcement of a new Apple Watch series. Series 5 features a new always-on retina display, so users can see what’s on the screen without needing to raise their wrists to activate it. It can do this while maintaining an 18-hour battery life by using a low-temperature polysilicon and oxide display, among other power-saving features.
The new Apple Watch series also includes a built-in compass showing heading, elevation, incline, latitude and longitude, which developers can utilize in their watchOS apps. The presentation included mention of a few apps, such as navigation and stargazing apps, that are already using the compass to their advantage.
The new Apple Watch starts at $399, or $499 for cellular models, and will be available starting September 20th. At the same time, the Series 3 watches will have their prices lowered to $199.
The first keynote announcement was the upcoming release of Apple Arcade, the subscription gaming service. Apple Arcade will be available across iPhone, iPad, Mac computers and Apple TV devices, building on the growing demand for cross-platform mobile games.
During the keynote, Apple’s speakers announced that there would be a new tab in the App Store for Apple Arcade games, separate from the normal Games tab.
This means two things:
1. Games available on Apple Arcade will still require App Store Optimization to be discovered and downloaded on the App Store. As such, they will have to compete with other Apple Arcade games for keyword rankings.
2. Non-Arcade games will need to continue optimizing within the App Store but will not be competing with Apple Arcade games for keyword rankings.
The speakers demonstrated three games that will be available in Apple Arcade. They showcased the variety of games and their graphics, including a rhythm-based racing game and an updated version of the classic arcade game “Frogger.”
Apple Arcade will be available on September 19th in over 150 countries. The subscription will cost $4.99 per month, but users can get a 1-month free trial.
Along with Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ will be made available on November 1st. It will also cost $4.99 a month, but anyone buying a new Apple device will get a year’s subscription for free. While there’s little new information about TV+, they did show a trailer for a new original series: “See,” starring Jason Momoa.
Apple’s “By Innovation Only” keynote focused on its devices and new services, both of which are important to to app developers. With new iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch devices coming out in the near future, developers should begin preparing their apps to utilize the new features and display properly on the new devices. These changes will require the developers to look at their App Store Optimization to ensure they’re making the most of the updates, their screenshots are optimized for new devices and they’re keeping up with keyword trends.
While the keynote did not discuss much about iOS 13, it was still revealed that it will roll out on September 19th, the same day that Apple Arcade+ goes live. We’ll have more on iOS 13 as the launch approaches.
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