iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

Once a year, Apple announces numerous new software updates and features in an annual major update to their operating systems. This year is no different, as Apple is updating its operating systems, debuting watchOS 3, iOS 10, and macOS Sierra in the coming days. While users of Apple products will be excited for the new features it offers them on a personal level, it also provides three newsworthy updates for users of the WordPress platform regardless of your personal smartphone or computer preferences.

Apple Pay for Websites

Apple Pay is available for websites with macOS Sierra. (apple.com)

Apple Pay for websites in macOS Sierra

This year at Apple’s June WWDC Keynote, Apple announced that Apple Pay, a feature previously relegated to iOS, will debut for websites. Presumably only compatible with Apple’s Safari browser on macOS, users can purchase something in a storefront on their computer and use the Touch ID on an iOS device for authentication. Stripe, a major online payment gateway that also offers WooCommerce integration, has already released Apple Pay support. Stripe has not published any details about integrating Apple Pay into its WooCommerce as they have only announced JavaScript support for Apple Pay, but it is very likely that Stripe will integrate Apple Pay into its WooCommerce integration very soon.

iOS 10 Rich Links

iOS 10 displays links with a title and featured image. (apple.com)

iOS 10 rich link embedding

Apple also announced numerous changes to the iOS Messages app, including rich link embedding. In iOS 9 and prior, when someone texts a link, nothing shows in the message except the text of the link’s URL. With iOS 10, however, a preview of the link will display, complete with a preview image. This will certainly impact all websites, as the way they display will also change with iOS 10. For WordPress users, this increases the importance of the featured image, as this is the image the Messages app uses in the rich link preview. Links sent with a featured image look much more appealing than ones sent without one, so be sure to set a featured image for each post you create. Thankfully, the size and shape of the featured image are unimportant as Apple sizes the rich link preview to match the shape of the image.

Updates to the News app in iOS 10

Last year, Apple announced a new News app as a part of iOS 9, offering a new way for websites to publish and distribute content. Apple announced a couple of key new features for News. In addition to a visual redesign, the app will now offer subscriptions, allowing users to pay for content. This could provide a new key revenue stream for site owners. Details currently remain sparse, but as iOS 10 is unleashed into the wild, more information should emerge on how this feature will work very soon.

iOS 10 and watchOS 3 will debut on September 13. On September 20, macOS Sierra will be released to the public.

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