Developers set to grapple with Apple’s iOS 6 update

Start-up developers look set for both opportunities and challenges due to Apple’s latest update to iOS 6, with a redesign of the App Store coming under fire.


It’s been suggested app developers will now have to think more about “App Store optimisation” following a redesign of the App Store.


Users now search through apps one at a time, rather than through a list. The move is intended to integrate features from app discovery company Chomp, acquired by Apple earlier this year.


However, it means there is more pressure on developers to ensure their apps are found as quickly as possible, as the apps will no longer appear in lists.


According to Patrick Fitzgerald, head of product development at Sportsmate, it will take longer for new apps to “break in” because the discovery element has been made “that much harder”.


But another Apple development – the introduction of Passbook – has been embraced by mobile loyalty platform provider Pointpal, which is based in Australia and Singapore.


The Pointpal app lets consumers access a range of retail, entertainment, food and services offers, which they can add to their personal Pointpal mobile loyalty wallet.


Passbook is a new app included in iOS 6 that allows merchants to develop Passes – which could include tickets, loyalty cards and coupons – which are then stored in the user’s Passbook.


In essence, Passbook turns a user’s iPhone into a wallet.


Pointpal, which counts Oporto, Subway and Bakers Delight among its clients, is aiming to be one of the first local apps on Passbook.


Once Passbook integration is complete, Pointpal customers will be able to choose existing and new loyalty cards within the Passbook app.


“We intentionally built an enterprise-grade platform so we could deliver real-time loyalty data from within a secure, flexible and scalable environment, and have the capacity to harness new technologies and developments to improve a user’s experience,” co-founder Tony Nguyen says.


“Apple Passbook is a great example that justifies that decision.”


With Passbook integration, Pointpal’s existing platform mechanics will continue as normal. However, consumers can store their card in the Passbook app.


“Every Pointpal iPhone user will be able to choose how to interact – using the familiar Pointpal app or via Passbook,” co-founder Andrew Lowe says.


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