Apple’s new software (iOS 11) is currently in beta, and many consumers fear that the “Blue Bar”—a notification that appears across the top of the screen whenever apps track a user’s location—will be an eyesore that diminishes the user experience. But what it really represents is an opportunity for the mobile marketing industry to evolve. The iOS Blue Bar will prevent unnecessary battery drainage, protect privacy, and encourage positive development in the advertising ecosystem.
The state of location-based marketing is strong. The ability of in-app software development kits (SDKs) to accurately measure foot traffic and dwell time are improving, point-of-interest (POI) databases are converging, and beacons are becoming more dynamic than ever. Managing all of this data takes a toll on our devices’ batteries, however. The benefit of the Blue Bar is that it notifies you when apps are using more background data than they should, and this spotlighting can help you to better manage your battery life.
The iOS Blue Bar also shows us how our background data is being used. Location-based apps need to track our movements in order to deliver their core experience. Exercise apps, for example, depend on location data to show us how much of Thanksgiving dinner we’ve jogged off. We’re happy to provide this data because we understand the benefits that come with our compromise. But it may not be clear why other apps need this kind of information, and by exposing how they use our background data, the Blue Bar can help us make better decisions about how much privacy we are willing to trade for a given service.
All of these features encourage the responsible collection and usage of data. By putting both customers and companies on notice, Apple’s Blue Bar makes developers less likely to continue producing invasive, power-hungry apps as the mobile marketing landscape evolves. Xclaim Mobile’s marketing platform is among the pioneers of these positive changes. Our non-invasive software is completely opt-in, which gives you 100% control over how your data makes its way to market. As more companies emphasize quality over quantity of data, the kind of dragnet collection that drains power and compromises privacy may soon become a thing of the past.