elproducto #23 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness
Apple WWDC17 announcements, New Amazon phone, Tesla Model Y updates, Designing CTAs, Empowering to say No, How VCs make money & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto.
During WWDC17 Apple officialized their late entry into the Home Speaker / Assistant segment with the HomePod. Announced upgrades in iPads, iMac & Pro and MacBooks and launching new OS for all their platforms: OS11 on mobile, WatchOS4 and Mac High Sierra soon. Find all announcements below.
Amazon hasn’t given up their phone ambitions and is testing a cheap device for emerging markets. It won’t be an easy epic considering the myriad of brands manufacturing cheap (sometimes high end) devices in markets like China or India.
📰 Seen on the news
Google Photos rolls out Archiving feature with AI capabilities; when users push photos to archive they will be prompted to allow machine learning to predict and automate which types of photos they would archive; should be available on all platforms.
Airbnb launches Open Homes, a platform for providing short-term housing to those in need; the firm has partnered with International Rescue Committee and other organizations to pair individuals with homes; hosts choose how many people they can accommodate, and for how long.
Amazon is testing new Android smartphones for emerging markets; reportedly branded Ice, the handsets run Google apps and services; one model is planned to retail for less than $100.
Snap acquires location analytics platform Placed; the firm provides reports based on offline consumer behaviour.
Analogue Plus launches Kickstarter campaign for smart helmet attachment, Ahead; allows users to make calls, listen to music, communicate with virtual assistants, and track activity and navigation; has raised $37K on $50K goal, ends July 3.
Shopify makes virtual shop assistant Kit available for free as part of the company’s merchant services; Shopify acquired Kit in April last year and offered as a premium service; Kit can automatically send emails to new customers, manage inventory, dynamically adjust Facebook ads, more; currently has 20 skills.
Robotic furniture developed by Yves Behar and MIT is now available for pre-order in major US and Canadian cities (currently limited to property developers); the $10k Ori includes a closet, desk, bed, more; certain elements, like the bed, a shelf, and the desktop, automatically retract into the housing; controllable via app, Alexa, and a built-in button panel.
Alphabet participated in NASA and FAA tests to demonstrate its Air Traffic Management platform; successfully managed dynamic flight paths of three drones operated by a single pilot; the drones picked up and dropped off parcels while navigating around other drones (Intel Aero and DJI Inspire) that were conducting simulated search and rescue missions.
Honda plans to offer Level 3 autonomous vehicles by 2020, and Level 4 by 2025; Level 3 would require a driver to be ready to take over at all times, while Level 4 means the car can handle most situations on its own.
Boeing is set to begin testing pilotless planes next year; SVP Mike Sinnett acknowledges regulatory challenges, but says the firm is aiming to develop fully autonomous jet airplanes.
Video consumption will represent 82 percent of internet traffic by 2021; represented 73 percent last year; includes on-demand video, live streaming, and over-the-top TV products; live video is expected to see the most growth.
🍏 Special Apple WWDC17
Check out this Product Hunt post for a more visual and summarised version.
Apple announces the HomePod: a Siri-powered smart speaker with six microphones, seven tweeters and one four-inch woofer; real-time acoustic modelling; spatially aware; directs audio based on placement to provide better ambience; multiple speakers automatically work together; integrates with Apple Music; also offers assistant features and works with HomeKit; Space Gray or White; launches in December for $350.
New macOS: High Sierra; Apple File System (APFS) is default; native encryption, instant file duplication; integrates H.265 (HVEC) video standard; includes Metal 2, which improves graphics performance and powers machine learning; supports external graphics processing; OS also includes Metal for VR; will support Steam VR, Unity, and Unreal; Final Cut Pro X will support VR content creation. Features improved Safari performance with intelligent tracking prevention and can block auto-play audio and video; Mail now uses Spotlight for search and supports split view for compose; Photos features improved facial recognition; face-name data syncs across devices; coming this fall.
New iMac Pro; 5K display; 8-core, 10-core or 18-core Xeon processor; AMD Radeon Vega graphics with up to 16GB VRAM; up to 128GB ECC RAM; built-in 10GB ethernet; dual SSD slots; starts at $5k; available in December.
New iPad Pros; 10.5-inch and 13-inch models; full-sized virtual and smart keyboards for both sizes; dynamic refresh up to 120Hz (previous models up to 60Hz); improved response for Apple Pencil; same camera system as iPhone 7; base model has 64GB RAM; start at $650 and $800; shipping next week; orders now open.
iOS 11 announced; Apple Pay supports p2p payments, integrated with Messages; Messages features redesigned app drawer and syncs all conversations across devices via iCloud; Siri adds male voice and more intonations; adds translation services; now uses on-device learning to understand user behaviour, interests, plans, etc; features improved photo and video encoding/compression; new computer vision-powered features for Live Photos and Memories; features redesigned Control Center; Lock Screen and Notifications now unified.
iOS 11 for iPad features redesigned Dock, accessible anywhere; predicts apps to launch; iOS recognizes and indexes handwritten Notes; new Files app provides direct file access/management and works with third-party storage services like Dropbox.
iOS 11 feature enables a device already on a Wi-Fi network to send the password to another (iOS 11) device that’s trying to connect.
Announced WatchOS 4; new Siri-powered watch face automatically displays relevant information; example: commute and events information in the morning; learns from user behaviour; Activity app now features monthly challenges and personalized notifications; Workout has new UI; can connect with gym equipment via NFC for data sharing; new Music app can sync playlists with workouts; coming this fall.
Redesigned App Store; Today tab features newly-launched apps; includes information about developers and their inspiration; dedicated sections for Games and Apps; dedicated section for in-app purchases; redesigned individual product pages.
New Apple Music, included with iOS 11, displays what friends are listening to; integrates with third-party apps for playlist generation, adding songs to a library, more.
New set of APIs to help developers integrate machine learning features; includes APIs for computer vision, natural language; also announced AR Kit, which simplifies development of advanced augmented reality apps.
Apple is set to launch Business Chat, a service to let customers connect with companies via Messages; includes support for Apple Pay.
2TB iCloud storage cost halves to $10 per month; replaces the previous 1TB option, which also cost $10.
📚 Good reads
Designing CTAs (Calls-To-Action) for ecommerce. Matt Isherwood with some handy tips on how to make customers run through the ecommerce funnel smoothly. Hint: CTA ≢ Button.
Prevent overcommitting by empowering your team to say NO . An additional one used by my team: Does it help us achieving our current Objective? (usually 1 at a time).
Kill projects before they kill you. Old good read on what to do with projects that are going nowhere. Can you spot some? You may hear some of them being called “strategic”…
How VCs succeed in making money. Slightly off-topic, but I found this article very insightful to better understand the startup investment ecosystem, which is not a trivial thing if you work at a startup.
👨🏫 Good talks
I was fortunate to see Nir Eyal’s keynote at TheNextWeb Conference last May in Amsterdam (probably the best keynote of the event). He has now published the video of the event, which you can find here. Nir Eyal talks about why we shouldn’t blame technology for hijacking our brains, but what can we do about our tech dependence.
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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.