el producto #64 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness
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.
📚 Stuff to think about
The global bike-sharing boom. CBInsights explores the ecosystem of dockless bike-sharing.
When new solutions create customer pains. Strategyzer on how new solutions can add friction, and ultimately move away some users.
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