Apple iOS 14 makes buying from home easier as stores are either closed or have shorter hours due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The device, previewed last week, was supposed to be a maintenance update, but it surprised loyalists with features that they had been asking for the longest time, such as AppClips, AR features for comparison shopping, minimized call screen, a smarter Siri interface, an improved control center, and more.
The iOS 14 features help you with all aspects of life. Here’s how you can use them to shop better, faster, simpler, more reliably and conveniently from your home.
Core iOS 14 Features to Enhance your Online Shopping Experience
- Siri & Apple Reminders for shopping list
Updated and smarter in IOS 14, Siri´s shopping lists for iPhone users (i.e, its Reminders.share) helps you make and remember shopping lists. Siri´s assistance also helps you share shopping lists with other iPhone users.
Launch Reminders followed by Add People to, for example, keep family members informed and connected. Your contacts can also add and edit items on the list.
Shopify predicts that as more consumers use smart voice, more brands will optimize their search results for voice assistants like Siri.
New features: Not only does Siri have a smaller look but she knows over 20 times more facts than three years ago. She can also send audio messages.
- Apple AppClips (or app previews)
App Clips lets you do things like rent a scooter, purchase a coffee, make a restaurant reservation, or fill a parking meter just by scanning a code, with no need to download a full app. For example, if you want to rent a scooter from a certain location, but you have too little data to download that app, the one-click AppClip does the job for you.
The tool uses App Clip codes, NFC tags, or QR codes, and can also be shared in Messages or from Safari.
According to Kissmetrics, about 67 percent of buyers prefer to go to a mobile website to buy, rather than use a mobile app. That’s largely because it takes too long for them to download the app. Apple´s Appclips give you a shortcut to that app without needing to visit the website.
- Gobi comparison shopping feature (QR) for Apple stores
Gobi is Apple-branded QR codes that work through augmented reality to animate your dining and shopping experiences.
With this AR app, you can camera-trigger the product in all directions and zone in or out for a more sensory 3D-image of the experience. For example, using the app, you can check how a particular bouquet looks on your coffee table or dining table. The AR has audio support too – so If you’re looking for a new speaker or a home theater system, you can even listen to the audio with blasting music.
You can also use AR app Gobi to access items on websites that include Mac Pro, Star Wars, Starbucks and Apple Watch. For example, you could use the respective QR code to open the Star Wars Rogue One movie on iTunes or to access Starbucks app’s sign-in to order page, avail discounts, and so forth.
Apple´s AR tool has revolutionized retail by helping retailers customize products. We predict its new Gobi feature will increase consumer confidence during the buying process.
Additional iOS 14 Features to Enhance your Online Shopping Experience
Now you can access foreign language marketplaces like Taobao and Tmall, the two most popular Alibaba websites, inaccessible if you don’t know the language. With the new Apple-designed Translate app, you could translate their Chinese product descriptions and buy on those enormously popular websites.
Apple´s iOS 14 Translate provides text and voice translations to and from 11 languages. An On-Device Mode gives you on-device translations only (perfect for tranlsting those foreign product description). A Conversation Mode speaks translations aloud so you can talk with someone who speaks a different language – perfect for customer support.
Supported languages include Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Is it worth buying an iPhone in your country?
Safari offers a Privacy Report so you can see which companies that typically collect your browsing data have been blocked. You’ll know which companies to trust.
Apple’s Safari also helps you monitor for saved passwords that may have been involved in a data breach. Like this, you can create a strong unique password to shield your private data during transactions.
- Uninterrupted shopping experience
Someone interrupts you with messages or phone calls? With previous versions, phone calls would have consumed your entire screen. With iOS 14, you can literally swipe the caller to the side and continue doing what you´re doing. The person remains waiting, not you, so incoming calls don’t hijack your shopping experience.
A curated Guides feature lists interesting places to visit in a city for finding new restaurants and attractions. Guides are created by trusted brands like The Washington Post, AllTrails, Complex, Time Out Group, and more.
Messages have received a huge rework on iOS 14. You have pinned conversation, where you can pin certain messages to the top of your message list. When you’re in a group chat, you can use the new inline replies feature to reply to a specific message in a conversation.
You can also mute group conversations but send a notification when your name is mentioned.
- Shopping for the blind
VoiceOver, the industry’s leading screen reader for the blind community, now automatically recognizes what is displayed visually onscreen so more apps, while web experiences are accessible to more people.
Apple iOS 14 makes shopping from your armchair easier, safer, and more convenient than ever.
You get enhanced features for shopping lists, for 3D product review, for transaction privacy and for app-shortcut shopping, among other items.
These features are great for the 60 percent who fear physical shoppers because of Covid-19. Most of them also meet – as The Future of Customers Experience and Engagement notes – the future of retail.