POV: Apple Let Us Loop You In
Mindshare Point Of View
Apple hosted its “Let Us Loop You In” event on March 21. While announcements were generally considered lacklustre compared to previous years, there are implications for both consumers and brands.
Most changes focused on welfare through innovation and the event started with a discussion on the company’s stance that innovation starts with sustainability. Apple then unveiled LIAM, a robot that deconstructs old iPhones to redistribute and reintroduce the parts into global supply. Apple also announced the launch of CareKit SDK, a build on ResearchKit SDK launched last year, which allowed developers to build apps that gather medical research. The open source framework of CareKit SDK will allow the development of apps to give people more of an active role in their healthcare – offering such services as having customized care sent directly to their smartphones from their physicians, dynamically updated based on their health data.
Other wellbeing-focused product developments include Night Shift, which uses geo-location and clock data to infer if a user is settling down for the evening. Studies have shown that blue lights from phones stop you getting a good night of sleep, so Apple has developed Night Shift to automatically shift screen colours to lean towards warm tones. A similar application, True Tone, available in the new iPad Pro, adjusts the tablet’s display to match your surroundings’ colour to make screen viewing more natural.
Finally, Apple has been riding the “bigger-is-better” wave in past years (the original iPhone had a 3.5 inch display, the 6s Plus is 5.5 inches) but is now launching the iPhone SE, which has a 4-inch screen. With the inevitable launch of the bigger-than-before iPhone 7 later this year, Apple is now adopting a dual approach to size and providing another entry point into the iPhone ecosystem for those who want a small and cheaper phone, presumably to be upsold to bigger and more expensive models later.
Apple’s new developments in its software and iOS continue to root the brand in superb user experience. Night Shift and True Tone, small visual changes to user experience, will make viewing brand ads and experiences feel more natural.
Larger screens have created an ideal canvas for brand storytelling and the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have helped increase popularity for immersive content, like 360 degree and VR video. The smaller screen of the iPhone SE will challenge advertisers to find ways to drive experiences with smaller screens.