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NewsFlashJune 15, 2022

Safety And Personalization At The Core Of Apple’s Latest Products Showcase

June 15, 2022
Ashley Lightfoot Photo
Ashley Lightfoot
Content Marketing Manager

Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference took place last week in California, showcasing a host of new features that consumers can expect from tech’s biggest brand.

As well as announcing the latest iteration of Macbook Air and Pro, a series of accompanying updates to Apple’s various operating systems were also showcased — introducing a range of new features that seek to extend the ways that consumers incorporate Apple products into their lives.

We’ve broken down the biggest announcements of WWDC 2022 and how they look to reshape Apple’s brand and its relationship with consumers.

Unlocking The Potential Of The Lock Screen

With the release of iOS 16, Apple customers will be able to customize and personalize their locks screens — allowing this previously unused space to play a larger role both for the user and for mobile-first brands, who may potentially leverage this new piece of in-phone real estate.

Consumers will be “able to change the appearance of the clock, pin small widgets to the front screen and minimise notifications to the bottom of the screen” — but, most importantly, they will be able to set up more than one lock screen “with different looks and functionality for different use cases".

For example, a user might set up a work lock screen that pins emails or notifications from apps like Slack, while muting social media. Alternatively, they could choose a weekend lock screen that works the opposite way — hiding communications from work while displaying notifications relating to the users' social life.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software engineering outlined that the concept is driven by a desire to offer an experience that feels “fresh and incredibly you.”

For mobile-first brands that engage with users primarily through their devices, the most important addition here is the “live activities” feature — which will “display notifications associated with an event such as booking an uber” or provide updates on an ongoing event (such as a football game).

This could present brands with new opportunities to expand their own functionality while taking advantage of the branding opportunity afforded to them by appearing in a “prime position on the lockscreen”.

Apple, Everywhere, All At Once

Continuing with the theme of offering increased flexibility, a range of new features aim to improve how Apple’s myriad devices and systems integrate with each other. The Apple fitness app will now work across watches _and _phones, while the “continuity camera” feature now allows an iPhone to function as the webcam for any Mac computer.

In addition to this, Apple’s latest iteration of CarPlay will improve integration between iPhones and cars — effectively making the numerous screens that now feature in modern vehicles “an extension of the iPhone”.

In their own words, this “Deeper integration with the vehicle will allow users to do things like control the radio or change the climate directly through CarPlay, and using the vehicle data, CarPlay will seamlessly render the speed, fuel level, temperature and more on the instrument cluster.”

Of course, these new features also empower Apple users to personalize their driving experience — offering the ability to customize “gauge cluster designs” as well as support extra widgets that display information on weather or music “right on the car’s dashboard.”

Promoting Safety and Security

The biggest announcement for Apple’s brand was a new feature aimed at improving privacy and security settings. Indeed, tech giants like Google, Meta, and Twitter are currently facing unprecedented scrutiny into their services — particularly when it comes to issues of privacy, security, and safety.

Apple’s move to add and improve these features feels like a conscious effort to set itself apart from the decidedly irresponsible actions of other brands in the industry.

Its latest feature, “Safety Check”, allows users to quickly disable sharing across services and apps, review which contacts might have access to their location or calendar information, and makes it easier to “lock down” their device. This is a feature “Apple said would be particularly useful for people trying to flee an abusive relationship”. According to Apple, this feature was designed in partnership with victims’ organizations.

This latest announcement certainly seeks to build Apple’s reputation as a brand that prioritizes user safety and privacy. This follows Apple’s game-changing App Tracking Transparency feature from 2021, which effectively stopped the ability of apps to track users without explicit consent.

As Apple continues to extend the reach of its services, it is also continually tweaking and readjusting its relationship with both consumers and those brands that rely on it for their own products.

The bulk of these features are focused on Apple’s wider ambitions beyond the hardware space where it currently dominates, bulking up its integration features to make switching costs for existing users even greater than they currently are.

Indeed, with many of the features showcased already present for Android users, the brand seems content at the moment, catering for its own dedicated users instead of trying to win new customers from rivals. A poll on Android Central suggests exactly that, with 63% of respondents unimpressed by the latest features.

While the brand continues to be one step ahead of others in the tech space when it comes to security and privacy concerns, its show of corporate responsibility is equally matched by the brand’s ambition to extend its reach across devices into more and more corners of its consumers’ lives.

With increased levels of integration and flexibility, it appears that Apple is prepping for battles outside of its safe-zone in the world of phones, laptops and watches, into uncharted territories, in the near future.

Brand Marketing

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Ashley Lightfoot Photo

Ashley Lightfoot

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