iOS 17 - What Apps Need to Know

June 9th, 2023

iOS 17 - What Apps Need to Know
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

Apple Health App Updates

In the current App Store market, users can find a plethora of options to fulfill their health and wellness needs. From mindfulness apps and sleep trackers to medication tools and heart rate monitoring, there’s a solution for virtually anyone. However, with innovative services and market opportunities come new players that want to increase their market share as well. Apple’s iOS 17 Health App updates include new features related to mental and vision health that could potentially rival existing apps.

Introducing state-of-mind monitoring, Apple opens the door for users to log their emotional state over time, providing insight into their mental well-being. The state of mind data can then be downloaded as a PDF and shared with their doctor for professional consultation.

Apple also introduced features related to vision health for nearsighted users. Its new Screen Distance alerts provide pop-up prompts for users suffering from Myopia to increase the distance between them and their devices.

Implications for Apps

While the inclusions may be considered limited compared to the scope of features offered in third-party apps, it confirms that Apple is dipping its toes into features found in apps already on the App Store. Because of this, consistent innovation and value proposition showcasing will be essential for apps that want to stand out and avoid the approaching shadow of Apple’s expansion.

The good news? Currently, the Apple Health app has a 3-star rating. When it comes to user acquisition, having a 4-star or above rating greatly increases your chances of attracting users in the App Store. This means apps that have a long-running reputation with their audience can capitalize on their positive reviews and ratings to outperform the Health app in the App Store.

heart rate and stress monitor app store screenshot

Apple Journal App

Another realm of apps Apple is exploring is journaling. After iOS 17’s introduction, users can log their thoughts, experiences, and moments through Apple’s proprietary journal app. The app promises to bring users a private experience for logging events and everyday activities. With the app comes the ability to attach photos, audio, workout activity, and more, creating a virtual canvas for documenting life’s experiences.

“Using on-device machine learning, your iPhone creates personalized suggestions of moments for you to remember and write about based on your photos, music, workouts, and more.”

Source: Apple

Implications for Apps

Journaling apps may see this as a threat to their current user base, especially those with similar if not identical features. However, journaling as a whole can take several meanings depending on who you ask. Will a user log their feelings for the day? Will they use it to track workout progress and their thoughts? Maybe some see it as a great songwriting tool. At this stage, the core functionality of the app seems to take on a use-as-you-wish approach, without a target market in mind.

Existing journaling apps can capitalize on the broadness of Apple’s marketing by specifically targeting user niches that align with their features. If your journaling app is focused on a specific type of user or certain type of information-logging, it can be a good idea to double down on that focus to further differentiate yourself once Apple’s variant rolls around.

planner and journal app app store screenshot

Notes App Revamp

Apple Notes will now let you view and markup PDFs, presentations, assignments and more directly in-app. With this functionality, users will be able to open up files on their iPhone to make last-minute changes to important documents and minor adjustments. Fix up a research paper, make a note on a presentation, or make a correction to assignments, the upgraded Notes app brings new tools to help users get more done.

Implications for Apps

Like our two previous examples, app developers can retain market share through differentiation. While it will be curious to see how the Notes app integrates with third-party apps, existing apps can leverage their experience in the market, showcasing how well the same features of their app work through their metadata and creative assets.

GoodNotes 5 app store screenshot

A new iOS update is almost always accompanied by app features and functionalities that provide new experiences for users. For developers, on the other hand, it can create an entirely new competitor to monitor and adapt to. This presents an additional challenge seeing as the app comes from Apple itself.

Nonetheless, a polished in-app experience, established user trust, and effective ASO can help developers achieve App Store success, regardless of new competition.

Figure out how to differentiate yourself from the rest of your App Store competition with the ASO experts at Gummicube!

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