By Vladimir Collak
When iOS 9 Beta was released, it was clear that Apple was going to make iOS search lot more powerful. With this release of the operating system, Apple added all kinds of new content to the iOS search. Previously, users were able to find content including their applications, contacts and messages.
Search for Gas Stations in iOS 9
With iOS 9, users can now discover a whole lot more. This is because Apple lets apps to be indexed and their data to be available in iOS search. With this new release, Apple added the ability to discover nearby brick-and-mortar stores. Users can swipe all the way to the left on their screen and discover suggestions including restaurants, bars, shops and gas stations. The gas station data — like data for other merchant types — comes from Yelp. When users tap on “Gas” for instance, Apple Maps opens and shows a map with a list of stations that includes the merchant name, its location and distance, reviews, as well the station image.
This is very similar to apps like the Ignite Media’s mobile app that’s rebranded for our various partners in the app stores. (Sorry, this is a shameless plug — I am CEO of Ignite Media). However, there are some features that Apple is still missing such as prices and amenities. While drivers often need to find a closest gas station, they sometimes look for the one that’s least expensive within a certain radius. Likewise, they may want to find one that’s open 24-hours or has a car wash. This is where specialized apps like ours can help enhance driver experience beyond what Apple already provides and allow (particularly) fleet drivers with a way to find the right stations and save money on gas.
I am so excited that Apple is now letting app content to be indexed and enables software developers like us to further enhance user experience. I cannot wait for our future app releases to include some of these new capabilities added to iOS 9.
Vladimir Collak currently serves as president and CEO of Ignite Media. Ignite builds mobile and web solutions primarily for the Oil & Gas industry that includes clients such as Mansfield Oil, Enbridge, Total Safety, Universal Plant Services and others. Prior to Ignite he served at FuelQuest as manager of research and development and at Xerox Connect as principal consultant providing technology solutions to clients including Continental Airlines, and Equifax. Vladimir holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology. He also holds an MBA degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. He can be found on his blog at www.collak.net and at firstname.lastname@example.org