WWDC 2017

WWDC: iPad’s big advantage: engagement

How soon will iPad usage truly compete with TV time?

Apple, iPad, iOS, WWDC

Engagement. That’s a big advantage Apple has with its iPad, and that’s why enterprises should take another look at the platform, particularly in light of claims it will gain a more productive file system in iOS 11.

Flipboard tells it like it is

Flipboard has been monitoring how Apple devices are used on its platform. It has found that people using an iPad spend about 50 percent more time in their apps than they do when using iPhones. They estimate that iPad users spend about 22 minutes in app every single day, in contrast to 15-minutes on an iPhone.

Why does this matter to you?

Because as conventional routes to audiences (newspapers, radio, television) continue to fragment, advertisers, big brands, and almost any consumer-focused enterprise needs to think about taking a multichannel approach to on-boarding and retaining customers.

This also has an impact on B2B audiences too, after all – if your employees are going to be happiest working with an iPad, it makes sense to ensure your staff training resources are compatible with the platform.

That’s also why big retailers, airlines, and others are happy working with IBM to create iPad-based tools for staff – access to internal back-end management and infrastructure systems through engaging, highly useful mobile devices delivers efficiency and productivity enhancements multiple firms no longer choose to ignore.

Less is more

Flipboard figured out a few more interesting details. It turns out that the top three U.S. states in which people use iPads are California (must be all those Apple staff!), Florida, and Texas. We also learn that the peak usage time for both iPads and iPhones is between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., which makes sense as we basically pick up our devices a few hundred times each day, and news, social, and email are the big maintenance tasks we all engage in, even before games. (Interestingly, “people use the iPad mainly at night and early day, and the phone during the day”).

“While people on the iPad open Flipboard less frequently than on the iPhone, people on the iPad read more articles per visit: 11 per visit on iPad vs 7 per visit on iPhone,” Flipboard told us. They also note that iPad owners are less likely than iPhone users to go to the Cover Stories news feed, and more likely to get straight into their “passions”.

What does this tell us?

It tells us that to deliver the most engaging experiences on mobile devices, iPads are the outlets to focus the most attention on…. Other than their stagnant market share…

It’s unlikely iPad marketshare will remain stagnant long. At the time of writing this, there is strong expectation Apple will upgrade its pro tablets, at WWDC.

These new iPads – originally thought to ship in March -- will be significantly faster according to these leaked benchmarks. Apple is also thought to be wanting to ramp up the capabilities of its products as it seeks to take on Microsoft and its Surface.

The implications for productivity for most users could be positive, but for enterprise users the platform should become even more compelling. Around 76 percent of enterprises already claim to have seen an increase in iPad and iPhone adoption, while big names like SAP, IBM, Deloitte and others offer a range of integration, development, and implementation services that should help enterprise users deploy these devices.

Challenges can be resolved

While it remains the case that in some cases integration between Apple platforms and some pro apps remains a bit of a challenge, when it comes to using the latest Microsoft Office 365 app betas on my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, it seems crystal clear such problems are gently being removed: Microsoft is focused on its ‘anywhere, everywhere’ strategy, and Apple has learned the value of providing a highly secure platform on which users should be able to run their choice of experience.

However, with a significant platform upgrade, key iOS enhancements and new tools such as smarter Siri, Workflow integration and (potentially) even some form of file system, Apple clearly seeks to make its tablet product an even more engaging – and productively rewarding – experience.

I’ll be back after Apple’s WWDC announcements this morning with a quick look at the enterprise-focused announcements it makes at the show. Meanwhile, you can keep up with news from the show in this live feed.

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