Apple announced iOS 8 yesterday with a whole bunch of new features, 4000 new developer APIs, so it wasn’t unexpected that the company left out a few features from the keynote.
One such feature is iOS 8’s ability to display app shortcuts on the Lock Screen based on your current location. So you’ll be shown an icon to the Apple Store app at the bottom left of your lock screen when you’re near or in an Apple Store, the Starbucks app when you’re in their store and so on.
Just like the Camera shortcut on lock screen, you have to pull the app icon on the left, which opens the relevant app.
While at a Starbucks, for example, the Starbucks app icon is displayed in the lower left corner of the iPhone’s lock screen, which allows a Starbucks Passbook card to be easily accessed.
This feature isn’t limited to Apple’s own stores or to major retailers, either, as one Twitter user has also seen an app for a train station on the lock screen while at that particular location.
Since Apple didn’t talk about the feature at the keynote, there’s little clarity about it at this point. Apple does say that iOS 8 uses your current location to recommend relevant apps on the lock screen, so it’s likely that the company’s using the same tech as the “Near Me” tab on the App Store. A natural extension of this feature could be using iBeacons in addition to the GPS to detect location.
Showing short cuts to apps on the lock screen based on location can prove to be very useful in places like the Apple Store and Starbucks, where the app is used to make transactions, as finding them otherwise could consume time.
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