el producto #73 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness

Google’s public transit app, Chrome update, Zipcar launching EVs in London, Yandex’s smart speaker, Xiaomi’s new devices, Taxify growth & more.

Welcome to another week full of fresh ideas and innovation at el producto!

🎰 The week in figures

$250M. Lyft to acquire bike-share operator Motivate in deal worth ~$250M; Uber acquired bike-share service Jump in April.

34k links from Google search results have been removed by request of European politicians and government officials since the 2014 “right to be forgotten” ruling; 655k total requests have sought the removal of ~2.5M links

📰 What’s going on

Apple will use OLED displays for all 2018 iPhone models; shares in LCD supplier Japan Display dropped ~10% on the news.

Apple to unveil a new Digital Health initiative and an updated version of ARKit at WWDC next week, plans to announce new mobile features intended to combat addiction; Mac updates target deeper integration with iOS.

Apple is set to launch HomePod in Canada, Germany, and France on June 18; the device will support German and French upon launch, with Canadian French added later this year.

Google’s Area 120 incubator launches Pigeon (iOS — invite required): an app for planning public transit travel in New York City; takes into account user-reported crowds and delays to provide the best options for quick travel; users can also post comments to report inconveniences, dangers, etc.

Google launches Expeditions AR tours in general availability; AR was previously limited to classroom users; the platform now has 800 standard tours and 100 AR tours.

Google rolls out Chrome 67 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux; includes support for WebAuthn, an open standard for password-free logins; also features WebXR Device API which lets AR and VR developers create universal experiences across mobile and desktop-based headsets.

Google launches Neighbourly, a Q&A service for communities in India; the Android app lets users ask and answer questions about the local area (a read-only web version is also available); Google says over time the service will match users with questions they’re likely able to answer.

Facebook is removing the Trending feature, which aids in the discovery of popular topics; launched in 2014, Trending has accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers; will be deactivated next week.

Yandex launches Yandex.Station, a $160 smart speaker; powered by Yandex’s AI assistant Alice; the company is also introducing Yandex.Plus, an Amazon Prime-like service; both available in Russia only.

Mapping platform Mapbox launches the Vision SDK, which provides AI-powered AR navigation; can be used in conjunction with the company’s tools and APIs to provide AR alerts for pedestrian detection, exceeding the speed limit, more.

Chinese authorities approve Alibaba-owned food delivery company Ele.me to operate within the country’s recently established drone delivery routes; the 17 routes cover a Shanghai industrial zone; Ele.me says food can be delivered within 20 minutes of order confirmation; there is no additional fee for drone delivery.

iZettle partners with UK-based Busk In London to test cashless tips for street musicians; a number of artists have been given a contactless reader that pairs with a smartphone.

Firefox 63 will include protections from web site-hosted cryptocurrency miners; will also include improved tracking protections; due in October.

Xiaomi announces Mi 8, Mi 8 Explorer Edition, and Mi 8 SE; Mi 8 (~$420) features a 6.2-inch OLED notch display, Snapdragon 845 processor, and dual-array back cameras; Explorer Edition (~$580) includes 3D facial recognition, in-display fingerprint reader, and transparent back; 5.9-inch Mi 8 SE (~$280) runs Snapdragon 710 processor; Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE launch in China next month, Explorer Edition will be available at a later date; unknown if or when the devices will be launch elsewhere.

This is not an iPhone X

Xiaomi announces ~$25 Mi Band 3; the fitness tracker features an OLED display and promises 20 days of battery life; also waterproof to 50 meters; initially launching in China (date unknown), with plans to rollout to more markets.

Ovie launches a Kickstarter for a connected food container system; features color-changing tags to let users know how long food has been stored; works with Alexa for creating reminders, finding recipe suggestions.

Zipcar to deploy 325 electric vehicles in London by year’s end; will be the UK’s largest zero-emissions car-sharing program; the first 100 Volkswagen e-Golfs will go live in July.

Dara Khosrowshahi says Uber is in talks to add Waymo’s self-driving cars to its service; he noted Uber’s ride-hailing network is the world’s largest and suggested Waymo would benefit from being on it. Dara expects IPO on second half of 2019.

📚 Stuff to think about

👩‍🚀 #offproduct

Richard Branson announces he’s been undergoing astronaut training and plans to go to space within months; Branson expects to be one of the first space tourists and says his commercial space travel company, Virgin Galactic, is in neck-and-neck competition with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to make the first tourist space trip.

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el producto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Owner’s perspective.

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.

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