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Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is here! How was the first day? Well, it wasn’t too exciting, it wasn’t too boring, it was… about what everyone expected from a company struggling to live up to its own innovative history. But there were still many announcements that had us sitting upright in our seats during the live feed. Here are the 4 ways Apple’s WWDC announcements will affect mobile apps in the near future.
Apple WWDC

1. Big changes to App Store policies.

We’re already cheating a bit here since the App Store policy changes were announced a few days before WWDC 16. But it’s close enough, and honestly this was pretty big news with arguably the most impact to mobile apps:

  1. App Store review times will be much shorter, and these changes have already rolled out. Apple’s goal is to approve 90% of apps in 48 hours, which is down quite a bit from the typical 5 working days that was the previous standard. That’s big news to app developers who can roll out features and fixes on a much quicker schedule.
  2. Subscription-based pricing will be available as an option on any sort of app. This opens up a brand new business model to many app developers who didn’t have access to charging via a subscription before.
  3. Now there are 200 pricing tiers. Not only will developers have more flexibility in what to charge, they will also have access to territory pricing: the ability to charge an amount depending on geography.
  4. Developers will earn 85% of the revenue in the second year of a subscription. This is up from a flat 70%, and potentially a big boost in overall revenue for tens of thousands of app businesses.

If you have an app on the App Store, definitely check out all the policy changes because there is a lot more. And check out the fun comic book about app review policy Apple put out!

2. Siri gets to mingle with developers.

Apple has finally decided to open up Maps and iMessage to developers, but most exciting is that they’ve opened up Siri. Google, Amazon, even Microsoft has been doing very well with their own voice assistants and it’s about time the grandmother of them all can be integrated into 3rd party apps. We expect a slew of iOS apps to take advantage of Siri in the coming updates once developers get to play around with SiriKit.
SiriKit Apple Developer
Siri is also coming to desktop and the new Apple TV remote app, so expect to hear her soothing voice a whole lot more.

3. Apple Home for your Internet of Things.

We’ve been waiting for Apple to announce hardware to act as the “hub of the home,” and it looks like they’re getting close. Apple Home is the natural extension of their HomeKit (released 2 years ago!) to allow users to manage various internet-enabled things around the house. While we can’t see Apple’s play into the Internet of Things really take off until they release hardware, Apple Home is a glimpse into what the future will bring.
Products available when Apple Home debuts include thermostats, security cameras, smoke detectors and power outlets. Nothing earth-shattering, but there will be more coming. And since the app will work with the Apple Watch, at least we’ll get to turn on the A/C via our wrists.

4. Speaking of Apple Watch: WatchOS 3.

We welcome any and all updates to the Apple Watch! We’re still very much on the fence about the viability of this mobile device, but we want it to succeed. So, loading apps 7x faster? Yes! Easier navigation? Yes! New Control Center? Yes! The “Scribble” feature to draw out individual letters? …Sure?
Jokes aside, this update also comes with a new S.O.S. feature to quickly call 911 and share medical ID information, and that’s great to see. There is still a lot of potential to be mined with the Apple Watch, and it’s good to see that Apple isn’t giving up on their fledgling device.
What excites you about Apple’s WWDC 16 announcements? Sound off below!
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