iOS 8’s Suggested Applications: A Convenient Feature or a New Marketing Channel

All Posts, Smart Objects

As Apple users upgrade their devices to iOS 8 and others continue to receive their iPhone 6 and 6 pluses, one new feature has gotten a lot of attention online. The feature called Suggested Apps uses the Apple device’s GPS and other data to suggest applications to users. While this would be a great feature to appear inside the App Store application, many users were surprised where Suggested Applications appear…. on their lock screens.

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IMAGE VIA REDDIT: http://www.reddit.com/r/iphone/comments/2gqvm6/i_think_i_live_too_close_to_mcdonalds/

While the feature can be disabled (Settings > iTunes & App Store > Suggested Apps) there is the possibility that the feature may be a part of a larger marketing strategy. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see this feature show up on the new Apple Watch.  While it will be running a modified version of iOS, suggested apps may be a litmus test to how users react to what is essentially advertising. The McDonalds logo in the corner of their screen to most people is Location Based advertising, not a friendly suggestion to download a new app.

Besides a possible appearance of a similar feature in the Apple Watch, the same data that is used to notify the user of the suggested app is extremely valuable for marketers. Location based tracking could notify McDonalds of your fast food eating patterns, or even how long you stop to view the window advertising hanging up in the restaurants locations. Who knows what will happen next time you walk past that McDonald’s and don’t stop in… you may end up finding a free Big Mac Passbook coupon to entice you in next time.

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