The new iPhone has finally arrived. Along with its myriad new features, it also offers advice for application teams.
1. One size does not fit all
Ten years ago, the first iPhone arrived with much fanfare and few options. Buyers could choose from the silver 4GB, 8GB or 16GB model. The very next model—the 3GS—introduced a white back option. It wasn’t until 2016 that Apple introduced the iPhone 6 Plus with a larger screen size option, despite a long holdout.
Now, just three years later, Apple is adding a third size option alongside multiple color options for each mode. But size isn’t the only difference this time, since the form factor will also be significantly different.
So why is Apple going through the pain of adding a third form factor and managing more than 50 SKUs of iPhone? Because every consumer is different. And despite the pain of releasing dozens of new models, Apple recognizes the importance of one-size-does-not-fit-all.
Software companies are fortunate. Unlike Apple, they don’t need to create dozens of models to meet every user need. But application teams do need to take the lesson that consumers are all unique, and they need tailored experiences.
Of course, this isn’t easy. Creating an application that can change depending on the user’s rights, role, or service tier is a complex task. As a result, most companies are forced to offer a single interface for everyone.
At Logi, we think this leaves money on the table, reduces customer satisfaction, and hinders the creativity of developers. A fundamental tenant of Logi’s approach to building our data and analytics platform is to easily allow companies to create these tailored offerings within one single experience by giving you control over every component you place in your application. So your customers who want an iPhone X experience can pay for and have those capabilities, and those that want an iPhone 8 can have a more basic experience, and those that want a certain color can choose that as well. We don’t believe you should compromise your user experience because of the limitations of your development tools.
2. The future present is apps
In a previous life, I was an industry analyst covering the emerging mobile application market. So it heartens me to see applications become the dominant way people interact with information.
This, despite the fact that when the iPhone first launched, the App Store didn’t even exist. It wasn’t for a full year after launch that apps became commercially available—and since then, tens of billions of applications have been downloaded. The app revolution has changed the perception of what applications are capable of and how we should interact with them.
The proliferation of apps has transformed user expectations for those apps. This expectation transcends mobile and consumer apps and extends to business applications and web portals (such as those provided by banks, utilities, and the like). Users of business applications are heavily influenced by their consumer experiences. They understand the power of complete applications that don’t force them to leave the app to complete a certain task. The applications that provide these complete experiences are the ones customers will pay a premium for, rely on daily, and choose over less-capable competitive applications.
3. Future success requires planning
Augmented reality has been touted for some time. I still remember the first person I saw walking around with Google Glass in early 2014 and thinking the future had arrived.
It hadn’t. But what we saw at Apple’s keynote was a future where Augmented Reality will likely impact how we do business over the long term. Imagine, if you will, the ability to hold up your iPhone—or Apple’s rumored glasses—and see a heatmap of a store which helps you understand visually where customers spend their time, places they linger, which areas are yielding the highest rate of return, or where customers avoid.
We’re not there yet—not even close. But the scenario I proposed would require significant investment in hardware, sensors, and processes. These kinds of big changes take time and resources to happen. At Logi, we constantly think about future use cases, and as we do we’re always planning how to deploy applications that take advantage of these new realities.
4. Bonus Advice from Tesla This Week: Customers inevitably want more
During the devastation of Hurricane Irma in Florida, Tesla made an interesting decision. It turns out that while Tesla touts a 60KWH battery charge, the batteries in their cars are actually 75KWH that are restricted by software. As the hurricane unfolded, Tesla pushed an update to cars in the affected region to provide them with the full capacity of the battery so they could escape the devastation. Without the forethought that consumers want to upgrade (or, in this case, needed to upgrade for safety reasons), Tesla would not have been able to offer the temporary fix for their customers.