Tristram Bates

Head of Engineering

5 Opportunities for iGaming Operators from Apple’s iOS16 Update


Article first seen on EGR Global 29th June 2022 - Click here to visit the site

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is Apple’s annual five-day event where the tech giant unveils the latest big features it will add and upcoming updates to its operating systems. The conference is important for the iGaming industry as the new features can massively impact how we enhance our products and can significantly improve the customer experience for operators.

Although this year’s conference didn’t deliver any ground-breaking innovations specifically for the gambling industry, there were several features announced in the iOS16 update that can be used by operators looking to deliver a world-class digital experience.

  1. 1. Increase player engagement with lock screen widgets

    Widgets on the home screen have been a popular tool for many operators and we have used it for our lottery clients to easily display winning numbers and other information without having to open the app itself. This functionality has now been taken a step further and can be displayed on the Lock Screen, ensuring we can further elevate player engagement as users are more easily encouraged to engage with the app.

  2. 2. User experience is number 1 with Live Actions

    A special widget called Live Actions has also been introduced, enabling any app to update the Lock Screen via the Live Activities API with the support of a development team. Rather than overwhelming the user with push notifications through the sportsbook, for example, this new feature will show event data in real-time such as scores and odds in a widget, making for a smoother and more enjoyable UX. The information is time-sensitive and will only remain for the duration of an event. This tool could also be ideal for online casinos where players can be notified when their favourite dealer is live and at what table, and also for lotteries to share information during live draws.

  3. 3. Wallet updates to streamline iGaming app registration

    Apple has taken a strong stance on privacy over the last few years, something we continued to see at the 2022 WWDC conference. For the iOS16 update, Apple announced updates to its Wallet, now allowing third-party apps to use age and identity verification, including the possibility to have a saved government-issued identity card in the Apple Wallet. Starting in the US, this is expected to be rolled out in other jurisdictions soon and will verify that a user is over a required minimum age without revealing the date of birth. This could help speed up the registration process in the gambling space when an app requires background checks verifying that users are of the right age to gamble. Research has shown that many users drop off during registration if it is too complicated and time-consuming and this could be a big boon as it will help streamline and simplify the process.

  4. 4. Share casino games and more with Shared-with-You API

    The Shared-with-You functionality was introduced last year but it was exclusive for first party apps. This year Apple has announced the Shared-with-You API for third-party apps. This could be a huge leap forward in content sharing and could also be adopted by iGaming operators allowing users of their apps to share their favourite casino games, dealers in live casino or scanned tickets with other users.

  5. 5. Apple says hello to user experince, by waving goodbye old models

    Apple is famous for supporting old devices with new iOS versions, however this year it has decided to say goodbye to iPhone 6S, 7, SE, iPod Touch and various iPads. The positive outcome of this update is that developers are no longer required to ensure their apps are compatible with the smaller screens and older operating systems of these devices, something which previously made it more difficult when it comes to offering the premium experience that new slot content is built for and can offer. The downside to this development is that operators might lose the small audience that still uses these older devices, but overall, it will benefit the performance of iGaming apps.

The announcements Apple makes during the WWDC conference always offer new opportunities for not only app developers, but also iGaming operators, to think about how to further evolve their products. For the betting and gaming industry, it is more important than ever to ensure customers are offered an outstanding mobile experience.

Having a premium app is crucial for operators, as is keeping up with, and investing in the ever-changing digital environment, to ensure the latest available features are incorporated in order to remain ahead of the game.

Tristram Bates is mkodo’s head of mobile engineering. He has been making apps since the App Store was introduced. From starting out at mkodo building apps for gaming, sportsbook and lottery businesses, he now leads the company’s talented team of mobile developers delivering digital products across its client base.