Apple's new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 both have new social-focused features--a good thing not only for users of the iPhone (and iPad), but also for businesses that are integrating social capabilities into their marketing, customer service, and ecommerce initiatives.
Now, some of you may be saying, "You drank the Kool-Aid: Apple in many ways is only catching up with what other vendors have already done." This is true when it comes to some features, a fact that was articulated brilliantly in the television ad Samsung put out shortly before the long-heralded release date of the "secret" iPhone 5. (In its "The Next Big Thing Is Already Here ad, Samsung parodied the breathless buildup that is typical for iAnything even when some new features have already been available on, say, Samsung Galaxy devices.)
While Apple may just be catching up in some areas, there's no denying that the demand for the iPhone 5 was and is huge, and that the existing user base is a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, many of the iPhone 5's new features will be available to older iPhone and iPad users via the iOS 6 update.
So why does this matter to businesses? Because social is becoming so much more compelling in so many areas, and because mobile and social are inextricably tied. The big idea is that the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, in addition to other devices and operating systems, are becoming more and more robust when it comes to enabling users to share and collaborate via social networking platforms.
If you are a business that is making use of social for whatever reason, all of this means more customers becoming better able to engage--whenever and wherever. If you are not examining the new socially-focused features becoming available on the major mobile platforms, you are not making the most effective use of social media. Period.
In the following slideshow, The BrainYard highlights the features of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 that will have the biggest impact on businesses looking to fully exploit social on mobile platforms. (As for the new Maps feature, well, consider that a work in progress.) We recommend that this kind of feature-by-feature evaluation be done with all of the most popular mobile device and operating system platforms, to ensure that you have left no social stone (or mobile feature) unturned.
The screens shown in the slideshow are from an iPad 3 and iPhone 4S upgraded with iOS 6, or from Apple's website.