But one feature that that iOS 7 is bringing to the table is auto-updates for users for their apps – at first glance this seems like a really good idea but I think it’s the exact opposite. I think it’s a terrible idea.
I should start this post by saying that I’m not using iOS7. I’ll get to it when it comes out as release software. Till that time I have work to do that doesn’t involve playing with beta phone software.
The premise of John’s article is that auto-updates are a bad thing for business and users. He sites 3 things that we lose with auto-updates.
- Education: for new features and app changes
- Engagement: another touch point with clients is the update screen. More important if the app makers don’t have a blog, Facebook profile, Twitter profile
- Trust: what if a user wakes up and finds the interface for an app totally changed
That’s a seriously short summary of the article so go read it all.
I think that John has missed the mark. Yes it’s a change and a bunch of companies will totally botch it. That’s what most media will focus on at the beginning. No it’s not a bad thing – we have some seriously huge room for innovation in client engagement and education. Doing those things right will mean more trust in companies.
Almost no one reads the update notes
I’m a ‘technical’ user but I never read the update notes. I had no idea that Dropbox had a new gesture till I read John’s article. Using the update notes to expose new features is a waste of time for most users.
When I updated Byword recently I didn’t read the release notes but they still managed to expose new features with a guided walk through. App makers won’t be able to take the easy way out and call release notes ‘education’. They will have to step up their game.
Not only did the guided walkthrough address the education argument it also addresses the engagement point. Does a bunch of lines of text on release notes engage me better than a guided walkthrough?
No way. I was way more engaged by Byword than I have ever been by Dropbox or Acorn (sticking with John’s examples).
Finally we come to trust. I do bet that a bunch of companies will have big interface changes after looking at iOS7. I do expect a bunch of them to not inform users properly (only using those useless release notes) and they will lose trust. I don’t think this is a bad thing.
Those apps that really botch the change will either learn or die. Those that learn will turn out some awesome innovative ways to bring users forward with interface updates.
iOS7 auto-updates are a huge opportunity for companies to build more trust with their users by being truly innovative with how they educate and engage users. Once they innovate they’re going to get huge amounts of trust from their users.