Apple iOS 7: Should you Upgrade?

Yes.

Okay, I could just leave the answer as-is and have this be the shortest post on DanSoschin.com, but I will provide some reasons for why you should upgrade.

Generally speaking, operating system upgrades, like iOS 7 contain a host of enhancements, beyond the shiny veneer of new icons, graphics and animations. These include:

  • Bug fixes that cause applications to crash
  • Performance improvements to make applicants run faster
  • Accommodations for new advancements in technology such as security, encryption, compression and data interchanges

Typically, many of these issues are not deployed to the prior versions of the operating system. They are collected together and deployed through major upgrades, like iOS 6 to 7. So, unless you upgrade, you miss out on these improvements.

So you cannot judge an upgrade just by how it looks. Sure, a major OS upgrade can be a little uncomfortable at first – new shortcuts, different designs and layouts, etc. But you have to remember, these were created by experts at software usability. Sometimes they will get a few things wrong, and sometimes you’ll have to take a few days to get comfortable with the changes, but all-in-all, not upgrading is a really bad idea – especially when it comes to security patches.

The problem is, you never hear anyone discuss bug fixes and security enhancements – just icons and layouts. The media ignores the most important parts.

So what should you do?

Before you upgrade, you should familiarize yourself with what the upgrade will deliver. You can do that by watching a number of videos put out by both Apple and other organizations. Here are a few:

The three web sites above will give you a great head start to understanding the new features and usability changes. You’ll be an expert in no time!

Designing Emails for the Mobile World

If you are an email marketer, you need to be thinking about how people are now consuming email. This activity has been taken for granted for many years, but it has changed dramatically in the past few years with the proliferation of smart phones that can render HTML properly.

So, forget text messages. Make your emails mobile friendly. This is easy, here are the key ingredients:

  1. Start with a good, brief subject. This really hasn’t changed and remains to be hugely important. Your subject should compel the reader to open the email instead of pressing delete. Keep it short… think 60 characters…
  2. Pre-headers… many email marketers still don’t do this. Don’t create a fancy email with images, tables, and formatting without first inserting a plain text sentence before everything. This loads first and will display as the preview text on many devices (and in many web browsers, AND in MS Outlook. Keep this to the length of your average tweet… and it should include your purpose or call to action. don’t repeat your subject.
  3. Links… your links should go to mobile-friendly pages. If they don’t, stop email marketing and start focusing on designing mobile friendly web pages. It’s the future people, get on board.
  4. Images… think back to 1999… small, light weight emails were important then, and they are still important now. They open quickly on mobile devices and people don’t want to wait for your images to load.
  5. Be brief. Most people don’t want to read 1,000 word emails on their phones. Say what you need to say in 100 words or less. If you have more to say, include catchy headers and hooks and then link to the text.
  6. Phone numbers people can click are a real boon to business. Do it.
  7. Let people reply. Stop sending messages from unattended email boxes. Why wouldn’t you want someone to reply to you? Isn’t that why you’re emailing them?

Want some more advice? Here’s a great article from ClickZ on email marketing for the mobile world by Melinda Krueger.

Voice Interactivity Changing the PPC Game

Those with Apple iPhone 4s devices may be less inclined to run text searches on Google.com as they grow more comfortable with interfacing with the Siri voice interaction platform. Furthermore, Google voice search and the probably development and maturation of voice interactivity embedded into more and more devices will ultimate force a shift in the way consumers interact with advertising on the internet. One can hardly assume ads will go away. They never have. In fact, with each new technology, ads seem to become even more prolific than on the previous technologies. Consider it sort of the Moore’s Law of paid search advertising.

So what is in store for paid ads if I never visit an actual search engine? Perhaps when I ask for “restaurants near Reston, VA” the system will deliver two sets of results? Or, will the results be intertwined? And if so, how will I know as a consumer which results are sponsored and which are organic? And where to social signals play in all of this? Maybe it’s important to me that three of my friends recommend on restaurant over another, or that one restaurant is offering a half-off coupon?

Advertising is an important aspect of the consumer experience and ultimately underwrites the fact that the internet is essentially free.

Will Apple build its own ad network for Siri usurping Google altogether? That’s a definite probability if not a certainty. Look at iTunes. It’s a complete silo from the internet, controlled fully by Apple.

The voice interactivity is a vast uncharted pioneer town ripe for entrepreneurs and bright ideas to move in and conquer.

Just what will be next for consumers and advertisers alike? Ask Siri, maybe she knows.

iPhone App versus Mobile Web: Financial Times

I’ve written previously that I feel the mobile app world will soon be replaced by mobile-friendly functionality on the web for many reasons. Mobile devices will soon be smart enough to interact with newer websites to provide users with an “app-like” experience, but also data plans and bandwidth will become faster and ubiquitous.

Perhaps an early indicator of this is the Financial Times. The usage of their web site for mobile devices has usurped that of their iPhone app. This makes particular sense because the app would constantly have to download new data (news) to stay relevant… so why not just go straight to the FT website instead?

You can read the story to learn more about this on Reuters:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/22/us-ft-idUSTRE78L49Q20110922