iOS 11 brings upgraded Apple Pay, Live Photos, Siri and much more…

iOS 11 brings upgraded Apple Pay, Live Photos, Siri and much more…

iOS 11 is here, and Apple promises it’s going to make your iPhone and iPad more powerful and personal. With updated features for everything from Siri to Apple Pay, we had a look at why the new OS is said to be the most intelligent it’s ever been…

New features

Files

The new Files app lets you easily browse, search and organise all your files in one place, with a dedicated place for recent files, as well as those on other iOS devices, in iCloud Drive and across other services like Box and Dropbox.

Dock (for iPad)

The new Dock is now available from any screen, so with just a swipe you can open and switch apps instantly. Plus, you can customise it with more of your favourites. Recently and currently open apps on your iPhone or Mac will appear in the right side of the Dock.

Apple Pay

With iOS 11, the convenience of Apple Pay is brought to Messages, so sending and receiving money between friends is as simple as having a conversation. You can use Apple Pay with your credit or debit card to send money instantly and securely, and request and receive money just as easily within Messages.

Live Photos

Improved Live Photos mean you can be more expressive and creative in your shots. iOS 11 allows you to turn a Live Photo into a video loop, or play them in reverse with Bounce. And with Long Exposure, you can create beautiful effects usually only possible with a DSLR camera.

QuickType keyboard (for iPad)

You’ll no longer need to switch back and forth between keyboards, as letters, numbers, symbols and punctuation marks will now all be on the same keyboard – just flick down on a key to select what you need.

Siri

iOS 11 makes your personal assistant more personal – and even more intelligent. Siri gains a natural, expressive voice, and advanced machine learning means that it will get to know your tastes and preferences. So now if you ask Siri to play you some music, it knows what you’re going to like – no risk of it accidentally playing Jedward when you’re trying to impress someone.

Control Centre

With the redesigned Control Centre, you can customise the settings for the things you do the most. You can add a Voice Memos control, Home controls, and use 3D Touch in Control Centre to unlock even more commands.

Coming soon… new emoji

Finally all our campaigning has paid off, and iOS 11 will soon usher in the era of the zebra emoji! Well, that’s what we’re calling it at any rate. There’s also a woman in a headscarf, a dinosaur, a zombie, a bearded man and a breastfeeding woman added to the line up.

 

Adding devices to Apple School Manager or DEP

With iOS 11, you can now add iOS and tvOS devices to Apple School Manager or DEP using Apple Configurator 2.5, even if the devices weren’t purchased directly from Apple, and Apple-authorised reseller or an authorised cellular carrier. When you set up a device that has been manually enrolled, it will behave like any other enrolled device, with mandatory supervision and mobile device management (MDM) enrollment. Users will have a 30-day provisional period to remove the device from enrollment, supervision and MDM.

iOS 11 is available now.

Want to find out how iOS can impact the way you work? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or Like’ us on Facebook

 

What’s the verdict on iPad Pro?

What’s the verdict on iPad Pro?

iPad Pro has finally hit our shores (and in stock at our warehouse) so we’ve ventured into the dark heart of the internet – well, our favourite tech sites – to take the temperature and see how people are reacting to their new über-tablet.

ipad_proWhat’s with all the accessories?

Let’s start with a look at some standout features. Mashable are particularly ebullient about the Apple Pencil, the magically weighted stylus that you can purchase as an add-on for your iPad Pro. The iPad Pro scans for the tip of the pencil 240 times a second, meaning that it has an incredibly fast response time.

“My minor misgivings about losing it [aside], the Pencil is a marvel of engineering and once again highlights the iPad Pro’s excellent screen resolution and design,” gushes Lance Ulanoff.

“The responsiveness is exquisite and the Pencil tip material offers just the right balance between friction and smoothness on the iPad Pro’s touch screen. Pressure sensitivity is about as close as you’re going to get to actually drawing on real paper. It even supports shading, letting me hold the Pencil at an extreme angle to access a the virtual long-edge of a graphite pencil or wide magic marker. What’s more, there is almost no perceptible visual space between the Pencil tip and the digital line that appears on screen. All that combined with the iPad Pro’s impressively large canvas (I have room for a full drawing and reference material) make this a fantastic drawing experience.”

Ulanoff even filmed himself drawing on the iPad Pro versus the Surface Pro 4 – you can see the results here but as a spoiler, it’s game, set and match to iPad Pro.

While there has been some griping about the lack of a top row on the Apple Smart Keyboard, robbing you of the volume, brightness and function keys, but ARS Technica’s Andrew Cunningham notes that: “The keyboard and folded stand sections combine to form one continuous, flat surface that’s surprisingly stable on your lap, a complaint we still have about the Surface tablets despite improvements in recent generations”, and that missing top row is compensated for by “the best software keyboard ever” according to Macworld’s Susie Ochs:

“Like a good digital citizen, I use complex passwords full of letters, numbers, and symbols, even though that kind of password is harder to enter on my iPhone, requiring me to jump between the keyboards for letters, numbers, and symbols in a way I just don’t have to on my Mac. The iPad Pro’s software keyboard has a row of numbers and common symbols along the top of the letter layout, just like the Mac. Shortcuts even pop up per application—in Mail, the options to insert a photo or attach a file are handy to have right onscreen without any tap-and-hold tricks required to find them.”

The on-screen experience

Wired enthusiastically claim that iPad Pro is “the best tablet, and the best case for tablets, anyone’s ever made,” and are keen to emphasise the desktop-like experience you’ll be able to enjoy when using your apps on iOS 9:

“The extra space shows up in subtle but important ways. In iMovie, you can see your library, timeline, and a full-res 1080p view of your final product, all on a single screen. When you play FIFA, you can use the on-screen controls without obscuring any of the actual gameplay. You can comfortably see the entire week in the calendar, from 8am to 9pm. Slack has a new Jumbo Mode that shows you your messages, menus, and files all at once. Many of the first apps to be optimized are analytics tools—you can see so much stuff now! On the iPad Pro you spend less time moving—scrolling lists and thumbing through menus—and more time doing whatever you’re doing. Apps aren’t forced to feel like dumbed-down tablet versions.”

The iPad Pro is the size of two iPad Air 2 side by side, and it’s this that reviewers are finding makes sense of iOS 9’s multitasking mode, with picture-in-picture and side-by-side both making more sense once you have enough space to slide someone’s face into the corner of your Mail window, and now that Slide Over’s third-of-a-screen view is of a usable size. Mashable explain:

“Changing which app is running in the right-hand pane is easy; you just swipe down from the top edge of the screen (over the right-hand pane) and it converts it back into the list of available apps. To change which app is running on the left side, you can use a four-finger gesture which reveals the traditional app tab interface. Select one and it fills the left side of the screen, while maintaining the app running on the right.

“I did have to get used to the two different ways the two panes could interact. If I just dragged over my task pane and selected an app, the left pane would remain in what’s known as “slideover mode,” which means the left app will take over again if I tap to use it. To put the apps in multi-task mode, I have to grab the pane adjustment bar and drag it a bit left and then right to have both panes snap to multi-tasking attention. Apple explained that this is by design, since sometimes you just want to peek at some other bit of content or app information and then return to your main task.”

Power and speed

This is the first time we’ve ever known exactly how much RAM an iPad has had (4GB), and coupled with this A9X chip that is getting iPad Pro rave reviews for its dexterity, graphics performance and gaming and creative potential. Macworld note that:

“Gaming devs love to push the fastest available processors to the edge, and games that harness the Pro’s graphical power should be along before long. And creative users historically tend to favour more powerful machines – the Mac Pro’s main audience is among video editors and other creative-industry workers. But we can’t help feel that business users, who in other parts of the launch presentation appeared to be one of the main target markets, may feel that the Pro is overqualified – and consequently overpriced – for the primarily simple tasks they need it for.”

However, we’re yet to find a creative test that taxes the iPad Pro, so if you’re like our design team and want something that will help you stay genuinely productive away from your desk, it’s a safe bet. The Verge also want you to know that “the Pro’s build quality justifies the price” and that “The tablet’s processing power is even more notable than the display. Apple has rigged the iPad Pro with its latest chip, the A9X, which it claims has twice the CPU and twice the graphics performance of the previous processor. And it has four strategically placed, self-adjusting speakers that wowed me with their sound when I watched videos on it.”

If you want to check a few key benchmarks, ARS Technica have a helpful list here.

The verdict

While the general consensus seems to be that there’s room for refinement when it comes to multitasking and that the Smart Keyboard is likely to be threatened by third party rivals with function keys, general awe for the sound and picture quality, responsiveness and Apple Pencil are all making the iPad Pro a worthy investment, scoring eights and nines across the board.

We’re going to give the final word to the ever-delightful Macalope, though, who points out:

“No one, even Tim Cook, is saying an iPad can do everything a laptop or desktop can do right now. What people are saying is that, depending on your needs, the iPad might be able to do everything you need to do and, when you can pay less for it than a Mac or PC, why not ask yourself if it can?”

If you’re tempted, you can check out the full range here.

iPad Pro is in stock now. Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook. To find out more, head to our iPad Pro event in Soho on 10th February. You can see the agenda and get your name on the list here.

Introducing our interactive retail app

Introducing our interactive retail app

Looking to improve customer experience, arm staff against over-informed consumers and increase sales? Our app development team have got you covered. Meet our retail app…

We’re currently using this app in our Soho service and customer experience centre (drop in if you want to see it in action) but it can be adapted and reskinned to fit your environment and branding.

Why an app? Well, for a start, it helps convert sales by giving a more personal touch to customers’ shopping experience, but it also helps you engage customers with dynamic content and deliver product information to help reduce time at till and dropped baskets.

Social media and CRM integration

Customers can log into the app using their existing social media accounts, making it easier for them to bookmark and share your content on social platforms. But because the app also integrates with your CRM systems, you can collect customer information and begin to understand their demographic.

Using this information, you can then select which content and notifications that customer gets from there on in, meaning each customer gets a properly personalised experience.

Enticing customers with special offer notifications

When paired with iBeacon transmitters, the app allows you to push offers directly to the devices of customers in your store.

When a customer enters your store or walks near a beacon, links can be pushed out containing product information, a limited time offer or a simple ‘welcome back’ message. This is a great way to entice people into the store by sending them the content that’s most relevant directly to them.

Engaging customers with dynamic digital content

The other great thing about iBeacon is that it allows you to trigger dynamic digital content, such as promotional videos or specific special offer messaging.

For example, say your customer browses your product catalogue via the app at home. The next time they pass the store and come within range of one of your beacons, details of the items they were looking at can be triggered to display on signage in the shop window, offering a discount or information about availability.

And your store doesn’t even need to be open – if a customer walks past a mannequin or display after hours, iBeacon can still trigger content or push itemised products to the customer’s device, which they can then add to their online basket or buy.

Providing detailed product information

Our app features built-in QR and barcode scanners, which means you can set up codes for key products and have customers scan for more information, to see a demonstration video or to go through to your eCommerce site.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the team at retail@Jigsaw24.com or on 03332 409 306. For all the latest news and updates, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Enhancing customer experience in store with iPad, iBeacon and dynamic digital content

Enhancing customer experience in store with iPad, iBeacon and dynamic digital content

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at a range of ways iPad can be used in retail including how to promote products in store with iPad and basic AV, how to use Guided Access to turn your iPad into an in-store kiosk and using iPad for micro-clientelling and loyalty programmes. For our final iPad in retail article, we’ve been looking at how stores can use iBeacon technology to push out notifications and content to customer iPad and iOS devices and display personalised content on digital signage. Here’s our guide…

What is iBeacon?

iBeacon technology is a form of Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology that provides location-based information and services to iOS devices.

How does it work?

iBeacon technology triggers content through proximity interaction with a small Bluetooth transmitter known as a ‘beacon’ to apps installed on your iPad and other iOS devices. In order to push out this content your device must be in range of the beacon. The apps installed on your iOS devices listen out for signals transmitted by beacons and respond accordingly when the device comes into range.

How does iBeacon work in a retail environment?

There are many ways iBeacon can be used within retail, from tracking customer journey to pushing out special offers. We’ve broken this down into four simple stages:

1. When you’re near the store

When a customer is 10-30 meters away from the store, content is delivered to entice the customer to a certain location. This could be a ‘save 10% in store today’ offer.

2. When you are in the store

When a customer has entered the store and is roughly 5-10 metres away from a beacon, links are pushed out with product information. This could be a breakdown of the clothes displayed on a mannequin, directing the customer to where they are on sale.

3. When you are near the checkout

When the customer is less than two metres away from the beacon, specific actions are triggered. This could be a trigger for a sales assistant to approach the customer and confirm a transaction. During this stage iBeacon can also be used to monitor and track information about the customer journey, including where in the shop the customer has visited and for how long.

4. When you leave the store

When customers leave the store, content is pushed out to them as a means of increasing the chance of a repeat visit, and rewarding their loyalty if they do so.

What is dynamic digital content?

Dynamic digital content quite simply is the content displayed on digital signage in stores. Stock, live pricing and personalised advertisements are all possible displays on digital signage in stores. It becomes dynamic by virtue of the iOS device triggering digital content that is relevant to the consumer demographic or previous purchase history.

How does it work with iBeacon?

Dynamic digital content can be used with iBeacon technology to create personalised signage displayed to passing customers. It might be that as a customer you’ve been browsing certain products from your favourite retailers app at home. When you pass by the retailers store a few days later and pass within range of their iBeacon, details of the items you were looking at are displayed on a sign in the shop window, offering you a discount or informing you of stock availability, causing you to take notice of it and venture in store to make a purchase.

This happened because the store placed an iBeacon alongside a digital sign. The iBeacon detected when you and your iOS device was in range, noted how you’d been interacting with their app and selected a relevant offer or piece of information, which was then displayed on their digital sign. Clever, huh?

Looking to learn more about iBeacon? Download our iBeacon in retail pdf here.

Want to find out more about iPad use in retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email retail@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook