Marketers get a grip on iPad apps with improved design
September 20, 2013
Big brands such as Pandora and Amazon are ramping up their efforts to target iPad users with applications designed to look and work better on the device. These efforts are being buoyed by the release of iOS 7, which makes it easier to create apps for both iPhones and iPads.
Tablets often generate a substantial amount of talk in the mobile industry because of their bigger screen sizes that can be used with better creative, however many marketers are still developing generic iOS applications that neglect to take the tablet’s larger screen into consideration. However, this is starting to change as brands learn how to effectively leverage the additional real estate.
“One of the advantages for brands using iOS 7 is its neutrality that helps brands to stand out,” said Bill Aurnhammer, CEO of Aurnhammer LLC, New York.
“IOS 7 takes the interface to the backseat, enabling branded apps to present a purer aesthetics,” he said.
IOS 7 opens up new windows
With the introduction of iOS 7 earlier this week, marketers have a significantly different set of guidelines to develop apps off of.
Up until now, marketers have been sluggish to develop apps that fully leverage the bigger real estate on the iPad.
Part of the reason why brands have previously not prioritized tablet apps is because tablet Web sites tend to look similar to Web sites, so marketers might not have seen the devices as a threat to their businesses.
Although universal iOS apps do not cater to specific types of mobile users, they do give marketers a starting place with a mobile presence.
“Our team's philosophy is to create universal apps that work on both types of devices,” Mr. Aurnhammer said.
“However, some applications don't translate well between iPhones and iPads,” he said.
IOS 7 is changing this though because the focus of the operating system is on playing up gestures and touch, both of which the iPad is more akin to than the iPhone.
IOS 7 lets consumers swipe between screens instead of clicking a button, which is well-suited for tablet owners that use their devices for accessing entertainment content.
Better search is also playing a role in many of the iOS 7 app updates that marketers are rolling out.
For example, Amazon recently updated its app with new search filters as part of its move to iOS 7 to make it easier for consumers to quickly find what they are looking for.
A screenshot of Amazon's new iPad app
Additionally, marketers are beginning to get a better understanding of the contextual differences between tablet and smartphone users.
The move towards creating more immersive iPad apps also reflects the bigger priority that consumers are placing on cross-screen experiences.
One example of a marketer that is aiming to differentiate its tablet and smartphone apps is Pandora.
The company recently rolled out what the company claims to be the biggest redesign for its iPad app since it debuted in April 2010, with many of the features focused on taking advantage of the bigger screen size with specific types of content and bigger images.
A screenshot of the iPad app
“The feature set is comparable to the iPhone app, but the implementation is different,” said Mike Grishaver, vice president of product at Pandora, Oakland, CA.
“Because we had a larger screen to work with, it provided more room for adding images and creating larger screen for certain features,” he said. “New third navigation pain also allowed for us to provide additional artists info, and at a very basic level, there are different user controls and swipes to navigate through the various panels.”
Pandora’s updated iPad app now includes a section called “Add variety” that lets consumers mix up their music selection with new artists and lets users view station details.
The new tablet app also includes more information about artists and albums that is playing. There is also a section with a personalized music profile and music feed that displays the music preferences for individual listeners.
Earlier this year, Pandora rolled out a Facebook app that synched a Facebook account with the Pandora Web site and smartphone app to let consumers post content on the social network (see story).
With the new iPad update, the same features are now available on Pandora’s iPad app.
“We love iOS, and it was really important for us to optimize the look and feel for iOS 7 and have the app available when iOS 7 launched, but we look forward to bringing this experience to other platforms very soon,” Mr. Grishaver said.
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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Comments on "Marketers get a grip on iPad apps with improved design"
Sebsatian W says:
September 22, 2013 at 7:43am