iOS 14.5 delivers Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch, more diverse Siri voice options, and new privacy controls

Customers can now use their Apple Watch to securely unlock iPhone when Face ID is enabled while wearing a face mask.
iOS 14.5 brings exciting new features to iPhone, including the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, more diverse Siri voices, new privacy controls, skin tone options to better represent couples in emoji, and much more. iOS 14.5 builds on the reimagined iPhone experience introduced in iOS 14, and is available today as a free software update.

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

Starting today, customers can use their Apple Watch to securely unlock iPhone when attempting to use Face ID while wearing a face mask. With Apple Watch on the wrist, unlocked, and in close proximity to iPhone, users can simply glance at their iPhone and they will receive haptic feedback from Apple Watch, indicating their iPhone has been unlocked. The new feature works with iPhone X and later and Apple Watch Series 3 and later.1

Siri Enhancements

With iOS 14.5, Siri no longer has a default voice, allowing users to choose the voice that speaks to them when they first set up their device, and in English, users can now select more diverse voice options. These new Siri voices use Neural Text to Speech technology for an incredibly natural sound. These updates further Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, with products and services that are designed to better reflect our customers and the world.
Siri also gains new capabilities with support for Group FaceTime, making it easier to initiate calls with multiple contacts or ask Siri to FaceTime the name of any group in Messages. In addition to incoming messages, Siri can now announce incoming calls through AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, and supports calling emergency contacts if the iPhone owner needs assistance and is unable to make a call. During setup, Siri offers two more diverse voice options and no longer has a default, giving users a way to select the one that speaks to them.

More Privacy Controls

App Tracking Transparency requires apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies for advertising, or sharing their data with data brokers. Apps can prompt users for permission, and in Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so they can make changes to their choice at any time.
With App Tracking Transparency, apps are now required to get a user’s permission to track or access their device’s advertising identifier.

New Emoji

iOS 14.5 introduces an exciting update for the couple kissing emoji and couple with heart emoji with the ability to select different skin tones. Additional emoji include characters for face exhaling, face with spiral eyes, face in clouds, hearts on fire, mending heart, and woman with a beard, among others.

Report an Incident in Apple Maps

Maps users in the US and China can now safely and easily report an accident, hazard, or speed check along their route by telling Siri on iPhone or CarPlay. During navigation, users can let Siri know “There’s a crash up ahead” or “There’s something on the road,” or even report that incidents displayed on the map have been cleared. This feature is designed to keep drivers hands-free and focused on the road. Incidents can also be reported or cleared by passengers using “Report an Issue” in Maps. In addition, Maps users can now share their ETA when walking or cycling to let friends and family know what time they might arrive. CarPlay users can initiate the Share ETA feature using new Siri or keyboard controls.

Additional iOS 14.5 Features

  • Apple Podcasts gets redesigned show pages to make it easier to start listening, as well as an option to save and download episodes so they are automatically added to Library for quick access. Top Charts, categories, and curated collections on the Search tab help listeners discover new shows.
  • AirTag support allows users to keep track of and find important items, such as keys, a wallet, backpack, or more, privately and securely in the Find My app.
  • Apple News features a redesigned News+ tab, making it easier for subscribers to quickly find, download, and manage magazine and newspaper issues, and an all-new Search experience helps all Apple News users find relevant topics, channels, and stories.2
  • Apple Fitness+ users can now stream audio and video to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and devices.3
  • Reminders adds the ability to sort by title, priority, due date, or creation date, and offers the option to print reminder lists.
  • 5G improvements for iPhone 12 models include Dual SIM support for 5G connectivity and Smart Data Mode enhancements to further optimize the experience on the network, including better battery life and data usage.
  • Voice Control for Accessibility gives users comprehensive navigation with just their voice, and is now expanding English support to Australia and Canada and adding support for Spanish in Mexico, Spain, and the United States.

The Most Downloaded Mobile Apps in March 2021

Facebook and Google are indeed on top. So much so that the top 10 across the App Store, Google Play, and combined, are nearly identical. In another return to normalcy, TikTok’s unstoppable is back on display. With demand for chat service Telegram down in March, TikTok is back to being the king of downloads.

Zoom, Snapchat, and Spotify were the only other apps to make it into the top 10. The first two aren’t strangers to the list, but Spotify is making a debut. It’s been close for quite a while now, but before March hasn’t cracked it yet. More on that, below.

Together, the most downloaded apps in the world across the App Store and Google Play were downloaded roughly 352 million times, about 6% higher than February’s batch.

45% of apps used were games in Q1 2021

Some 218 billion apps were downloaded in 2020, representing a 7% growth over the previous year. That’s according to new data from AdColony.

Overall, users spent 4.2 hours per day using their mobile devices which was 20% higher than in 2019.

These changes were driven by COVID-related lockdowns.

Among the top mobile game downloads, 78% were casual games.

Some 45% of apps used during Q1 2021 were games and 36% of gamers said they played more games compared to before the pandemic.

Mobile games were cited as a top way to relieve stress and tension during unprecedented times.

The top ten casual games accounted for some 80 million installs during the first two weeks of 2021 alone.

But it’s not just gaming that saw app usage spike. A fifth of users also discovered new products using their smartphones.

Digging deeper into shifting consumer behaviour, AdColony found that people spent 8% more time in games than watching TV and 18% paid for apps while 14% of gamers made in-app purchases.

Meanwhile, reaching consumers through mobile games is still an effective way to engage with target audiences.

Consumers are expected to spend $120 billion on mobile games this year.

The reasons for game play vary from wanting to pass some time (48%) to relaxing (44%) and keeping the mind active (33%).

Google slashes Play Store services fees by 50% on first $1 million revenue

In an effort to help app developers create a more sustainable business, Google said it will be slashing its commission on the Play Store for in-app digital products.

The move follows a similar announcement by rival Apple.

As of July 1st, 2021, Google will be reducing its service fee from 30% to 15% for the first $1 million in revenues.

A 30% cut applies to each dollar earned above the first $1 million.

The changes are a boon to smaller developers who don’t earn as much in revenue as larger app makers.

It will apply to some 99% of developers selling services through their app on the Play Store.

In a blog post, the company said:

“These are funds that can help developers scale up at a critical phase of their growth by hiring more engineers, adding to their marketing staff, increasing server capacity, and more.”

Google also added that scaling an app didn’t stop at the $1 million mark.

“We’ve heard from our partners making $2M, $5M and even $10M a year that their services are still on a path to self-sustaining orbit. This is why we are making this reduced fee on the first $1M of total revenue earned each year available to every Play developer, regardless of size.”

The changes follow a backlash in India where many tech and app start-ups said they were struggling with the 30% fees.

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App Promo Named Among Canada’s Top Advertising & Marketing Agencies for 2021 for the 4th year in a row

At App Promo, we know how important mobile marketing can be for your business. Mobile has become a staple of our daily lives and consistent use of smartphones brings forward an idea for the development of this kind. This technology is going to innovate your business and give you access to more exposure to the market trends and help your business grow accordingly.

App Promo has been providing mobile marketing services since 2010 and we’ve helped hundreds of developers, brands, and content creators take their app to the next level. We understand that each app is unique and create custom solutions to make sure that we are meeting our clients’ objectives. Our team has years of experience in marketing and increasing revenue for clients with their digital products.

We are innovators in app strategy, marketing, and monetization. Our goal is to help developers and app owners successfully achieve their goals.

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Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. They help firms across the globe connect with the right service providers to partner with.

We’ve received awards before but getting recognized once more is such a great feeling and it pushes us more to deliver top-tier service to our clients.

We couldn’t have won this award without our wonderful clients. We truly appreciate the confidence and trust that you accorded us, commented Gary Yentin, CEO of AppPromo: “We are excited to be recognized by Clutch as a leader in B2B marketing for the 4th year in a row.”

Contact us to get started on discussing how we can help you succeed with your application and feel free to continue the conversation with us.

 

 

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