New iPad, iOS 11.3, Google’s mobile-first indexing, Alibaba’s carpooling, Ikea’s AR features, Bike-sharing business growth, Uber sells Southeast Asia biz & more.
Welcome to another week full of fresh ideas and innovation at el producto!
🎰 The week in figures
150M: The estimated number of MyFitnessPal accounts that have been hacked in a breach that took place in late February
$13M: This week, Google acquired GIF search engine and platform Tenor.
100M: 5G connections in US by 2023 and 190M by 2025; estimated by Mobile network trade organization GSMA.
📰 What’s going on
Amazon is set to launch Prime Now in Paris; the company is partnering with French supermarket chain Monoprix, with grocery deliveries set to begin sometime this year.
Apple launches new 9.7-inch iPad at $300 for schools, $330 for consumers; supports Pencil, which schools can buy for $90; runs $100 for consumers; the iPad features the A10 Fusion chip, Touch ID, HD FaceTime camera, 8MP rear camera; LTE optional; promises 10 hours of battery life.
Apple to launch Watch Series 4 with larger display this fall, according to KGI Securities; the screen will be ~15% larger than current models, which are available in 38mm and 42mm variations; also indicates improved battery capacity and unspecified upgrades to health sensors.
Apple announces ClassKit, a framework for developing educational iOS apps; Apple used ClassKit to build the new Schoolwork app; also announced an updated version of Classroom, which now focuses on real-time interactions between students and teachers; Classroom enables teachers to control what students see on their iPads (Mac beta launches in June).
Apple updates its learn-to-code app Swift Playgrounds including AR development lessons; Playgrounds targets younger learners; includes lessons and challenges that use graphic elements to keep kids engaged.
Apple announces updates for Pages, Keynotes, and Numbers that will add Pencil support; all will support handwritten notes and drawings; Pages will feature Smart Annotation, which links notes and drawings to specific sections of text.
Apple launches iOS 11.3; displays battery health and notifies the user if the battery needs servicing (iPhone 6 and up); the user can disable the processor throttling that occurs when battery health is low (iPhone 6, 6 Plus, SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus); also includes new AR functions and Health Records: a portal enabling users to view medical records on various health systems.
Apple Music update adds a dedicated section for music videos; found under the Browse tab; includes exclusives, genre and other categories, more; only Apple Music subscribers can play videos
Facebook announces updated privacy tools and settings; includes a redesigned mobile dashboard allowing all settings to be accessed from a single page; Facebook has also introduced Access Your Information, a central location to view and delete old posts and other data.
Facebook delays the announcement of an Echo Show-like device due to ongoing privacy concerns; the firm planned to introduce the product at its F8 conference in May, with a launch set for the fall; some people raised privacy questions during focus-group testing; launch still expected in 2018.
Mozilla launches the Facebook Container extension for Firefox; enables users to open tabs dedicated to given accounts, without intermingling data.
Google is rolling out mobile-first indexing; uses mobile versions of sites for search crawling, indexing, and ranking to better serve mobile users; Google is now migrating sites that follow best practices for mobile-first indexing; for those sites, Google will return mobile pages for search results and for Google’s Cached pages.
The Google Creative Lab unveils its experimental AR drawing app, Just a Line; allows users to draw over images captured in their cameras’ viewfinders and share the results as short videos.
Google Home update enables streaming to any compatible Bluetooth speaker; the Google Home app settings allow a user to set a default speaker and to add multiple speakers to a group; works with all Google Home devices.
LinkedIn introduces native video ads; the autoplay videos will show as standalone posts in a user’s feed and support website links; comes as LinkedIn also adds support for native video on Company Pages.
Ikea and Overstock integrate augmented reality features into their shopping apps; using Google’s ARCore AR tools for Android, shoppers can now preview what certain pieces of furniture would look like in their homes.
Alibaba-owned mapping firm AutoNavi (aka Gaode Map) launches a carpooling service in China; initially available in Chengdu and Wuhan, the company plans to roll the service out nationwide; AutoNavi says it will not charge drivers any commissions.
Uber is selling its Southeast Asian business to regional ride-hailing competitor Grab; Uber reportedly will retain a stake of up to 27.5% in the consolidated business; combined business is estimated to be worth about $6B.
Uber doesn’t plan to renew its permit to test autonomous vehicles on CA roads; current permit expires March 31; following a fatal accident in Tempe, the company suspended tests in all cities where they were active; the incident is currently under federal investigation; Uber said it chose not to renew the CA permit because public-road testing isn’t possible in the immediate future.
Nvidia temporarily suspends all autonomous vehicle testing on public roads; Nvidia said self-driving vehicles will ultimately be safer than human-driven vehicles, and it’s important that research continues; however, it is appropriate to pause and learn from the Uber incident.
GoPro launches $200 Hero; similar design as Hero 5 and 6; captures video at 1440p at a maximum of 60 fps; shoots 10MP stills; includes voice control, digital stabilization, and waterproofing up to 30-feet; available now.
Lampix launches a Kickstarter for an interactive projection device; offers “tabletop AR,” allowing it to recognize and respond to objects in its field-of-view; has raised $32k on a $200k goal, ends April 15.
Life formulas for more thoughtful conversations. Avinash Kaushik shares his favourite formulas to bring new perspectives on complex topics. E.g.:
- Happiness = Reality — Expectation
- Knowledge + Practice + Failing = Learning