elproducto #20 👉 a weekly peek into the future of Tech and Product
Google I/O announcements, Uber live traffic, New Apple laptops, Alexa notifications, Design at Linkedin, Startup lessons by Monzo & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto.
📰 Seen on the news
Apple to unveil next-generation laptops at WWDC in June; reportedly includes a new MacBook Pro with faster Kaby Lake processor and chip-upgraded 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Air.
Facebook rolling out “Order Food” option on its main menu for web and mobile; the hamburger icon allows users to place orders for collection or delivery with restaurants using Delivery.com or Slice; displays supported restaurants with average ratings and price scale; the entire order process takes place on Facebook.
Facebook updates its newsfeed algorithm in an attempt to better demote clickbait articles; the firm will tackle posts on a story-by-story basis, not just whole websites; the firm will also categorize stories that withhold or exaggerate information.
Microsoft presents AR glasses prototype that use near-eye displays to produce holograms to the wearer.
Microsoft releases test version of Windows 10 Story Remix video editing app; comes as part of its Build keynote; announcement implied features will be standard in Windows 10 Photos app; full version to debut with Fall Creators Update.
Mia (iOS) automatically transcribes voice notes and adds to-dos during meetings; users can search keywords, schedule follow up meetings, share their notes, and more.
Spotify acquires Parisian music search and discovery tech company Niland; uses machine learning to analyze the content of songs and find similar work.
Medium launches narrated posts for paid members; some posts will be read by their authors, others by professional narrators and voice actors; the company plans more audio features for the future.
Instagram begins testing a feed for location-based public Stories; Location Stories collects geo-tagged posts, and adds them to a slideshow for that particular place. Also introduced face filters, including animal ears, crowns and more; also adds the option to create backwards-playing videos, hashtags that link out to webpages, and an eraser tool.
Snapchat downloads for April fell by 16 percent year-on-year, according to Sensor Tower; compares with Instagram, which saw a 19 percent increase over the same period.
VoiceLabs hopes to add 6–15 second long ads at the beginning and end of Alexa conversations; Amazon currently only allows ads in Skills classified as streaming music, radio, or flash briefings; the company envisions the ads having a much larger reach.
Alexa adds skill to check American Express account balance and recent charges; also allows users to make payments with voice commands and browse through limited offer deals through Amex Offers.
Amazon is set to roll out push notifications for Alexa; alerts show up on the Echo via a chime and a pulsing light; users can then ask for their notifications; set to support updates for news, weather, and more.
Amazon opens pre-orders for the first 4K TVs running Amazon software with Alexa; start at $450 for 43-inch model - 65-inch is $900; 50- and 55-inch models are also available; available June 14.
Slack launches screen sharing feature for paid users; users launch a video call then hit the screen share button; can choose a display in multiple display setups; hides notifications while sharing.
Uber begins adding real time public transit data to its Android app; the firm is working with transport app Transit to show details of trains and buses at a specified location.
Uber launches Uber Freight; app pairs long-haul truckers with shippers and shipments; drivers can view available shipments (with routes) and price; booking and payment occurs in app; functions much like the standard Uber driver’s app.
Israeli startup StoreDot announces electric car EV battery that can reach full charge in five minutes; also claims to keep cars running for 300 miles.
Latvian drone maker Aerones releases video of heavy-weight drone being used for sky-diving; tows a skydiver up 330m before letting him parachute to the ground; previously released video of drone towing a snowboarder; claims the drone can carry up to 100 kilograms.
Swiss company Teleretail is developing an autonomous delivery robot for longer-distance deliveries, compared to the bots from Starship Technologies and Marble; Teleretail’s bots; will deliver to customers up to 50 miles away from the seller; primarily targets rural areas and small towns.
Biz Stone is returning to Twitter to guide company culture; will begin working full time within the next few weeks; Stone co-founded Twitter, Medium and Jelly.
Nintendo is set to launch Zelda on smartphones; the firm will launch Animal Crossing in the second half of 2017, with a Zelda game set to follow.
🤖 Special Google updates and news from I/O Developer Conference
Google launches Assistant as a standalone app for iOS; currently limited to English, but support for Japanese, French, German and several other languages is coming by year’s end. Expected soon on Android TV.
Google makes its Android Instant Apps SDK available to all developers; previously limited to select partners; enables users to launch an app via link with no installation; the app stays in the device’s cache for a few hours, so users can relaunch within a limited period
Google announces Android Go: a lightweight OS for low-end devices; features optimized, alternate versions of apps and an optimized Play Store; Go is designed limited or sporadic connectivity.
Google Lens: a computer vision-powered service initially coming to Assistant and Photos; a user can, for example, point the camera at the credential information on a router to log in; point the camera at a restaurant to see reviews; say “flower,” point the camera at a flower, and the app will identify the type of flower.
Google to update Home with free voice calling in the US and Canada, Bluetooth media streaming from other devices, proactive alerts and information, and Visual Responses (sent to TVs and other screens); Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer are coming to Home.
Android reaches more than 2B active installations, which compares with Microsoft’s estimate of 1.5B PCs running Windows; Google Drive has 800M MAUs, and Google Photos has 500M MAUs.
Google Photos is set to add suggested sharing based on who’s in the shot; the algorithm will select the best images for the user to review and share; also introduces a shared photo library that adds photos automatically, and printed photo books.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) platform now loads pages from search twice as fast; Google says it’s improved the server-side rendering, and makes use of better compression methods.
Actions on Google, currently limited to Home devices, is coming to Android and iOS via Assistant; will give users voice control over third-party apps; Google also added transaction support, so a user can, for example, order a pizza with voice commands without creating an app-specific account or entering payment information.
Android O is now in open beta (previously available in developer preview); comes with Notification Dots: small graphics that appear on the icons of apps with waiting notifications; also includes Picture in Picture, Autofill, Smart Text Selection, more
Google announces the Payment API, enabling web and app developers to create checkouts that charge customers’ Google account payment method; in coming months, Google Assistant will be able to send funds from a Google account via voice command; also announced new Card Linked Offers API, enabling merchants to offer rewards to Android Pay users.
Partnership with HTC and Lenovo will bring standalone Daydream headsets; available later this year.
Big Daydream update by end of the year will add a 2D pop-up panel for accessing menus, notifications and more in 3D environments; adds live streaming to Chromecast and better photo and video sharing options; will also include a dedicated Chrome browser.
YouTube VR will feature shared rooms where limited groups of people, represented by avatars, can voice chat; shared video viewing experience will not have a comments section; rolling out by year’s end.
YouTube is set to drop the 1k subscriber limit for mobile live streaming; verified users with any number of subscribers will be able to broadcast.
Todoist launches deep integration with Google Calendar. The two-way integration will let users see in Google calendar tasks that have a due date / time. Calendar events can be moved, auto-updating Todoist tasks.
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elproducto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Manager’s perspective.
📚 Good reads
Starting up a Product that customers love — 5 lessons by Monzo. My comment on a Show&Tell organised by Monzo in London.
Inside Google’s slow-mo virtual reality moonshot. Following this week’s Google announcements, Backchannel looks at how google plans to accelerate the arrival of mainstream VR.
Why you should take a relaxing lunch break. Taking a mid-day break from work is a time-honored strategy: Researchers looked at the impact of a stroll in the park vs a mindful relaxation exercise.
Inside Design at Linkedin. Invision talks to Linkedin’s Lead UX Designer on design culture, approach and processes at the professionals’ social network.
Horizontal scrolling interfaces on Mobile. Fabian Frey writes for Muzli on when and when not (and why) to use horizontal scrolling systems. Complement the read with these Best practices for horizontal lists on Mobile.
🎯 Quote of the week
Once I worked at a startup whose CEO told us we had to “focus broadly”. That company doesn’t exist anymore. — Ole Mahrt, Head of Product at Monzo. Extract from: Starting up a Product that customers love: 5 lessons by Monzo