Apple stepping up its game on AR and self-driving cars, Facebook’s original shows, Amazon Translations, Adobe’s voice Analytics, iOS 11 Beta & more
Google has received a record $2.7B fine from the EU for favoring its own shopping service within search results; the EU Commission gives Google 90 days to begin offering equal positioning to rival services and 60 days to present compliance plans.
Barely a month after WannaCry, the internet has been hit by another massive ransomware attack, Petya, which started targeting Ukrainian government institutions and expanded to multinationals like Mondelez. The attack reinforces suspicions that Ukraine -and especially its institutions- have become the de facto training ground for Russian hacking groups.
After the success of Nintendo’s Mini NES, the company is set to launch a SNES Mini (Super Famicom Mini in Japan) in September. I’m doubting whether to buy or not: how long will it take for a N64 mini?
📰 Seen on the news
Facebook reaches 2B monthly users; claimed 1.94B monthly users at the end of March, a 17 percent increase year over year; comparatively, Twitter reported in April it had 328M monthly users.
Facebook is in talks with Hollywood agents and studios about creating its own original shows; the firm plans to spend up to $3M per episode for long-form content; will also produce short unscripted shows; set to launch by the end of summer. And announced a video creation app for verified users only; will give access to Facebook Live, a community tab, and a creative kit which includes intros, outros, and other customizable features; rollout later this year.
Google launches redesigned Google News for desktop; intended to be less cluttered and confusing; card-based layout includes three primary sections: Headlines, Local, and For You (populated by user-selected topics); tapping a story card causes it to expand, revealing additional coverage; the new site also gives video more prominence.
Google’s in-house incubator Area 120 launches early access program; users can sign up to try new products created by Googlers; YouTube’s new Uptimeapp came from Area 120.
Twitter can predict riots and other dangerous situations before police can, according to a Cardiff University study; used a dataset of 1.6M tweets from London’s 2011 riots to inform machine learning algorithms; then scanned tweets, taking into account location, time, and the frequency of certain words; was able to detect probable gang activity 28 minutes before police did.
The global app economy will reach $6.3T by 2021, according to a forecast from App Annie; up from $1.3T in 2016; also expects the user base to grow over the same period from the current 3.4B to 6.3B; estimates take into account app sales, in-app purchases, mobile advertising, and e-commerce.
Amazon to make its internal language translation service available to third-party developers as an Amazon Web Services product; the AI machine translation service reportedly will enable developers to make websites and apps available in multiple languages.
The Verge reviews Amazon Echo Show; cites good video conferencing features and better sound than previous Echo speakers; notes a lack of screen-enabled skills; also doesn’t support third-party video streaming services.
Amazon begins rolling out an intercom feature for Echo devices; lets users access an Echo speaker from an Echo in another room; also works with the Alexa mobile app, which can be used outside of the house.
Google Home performs six times better than Amazon’s Alexa on 3K question test; the study was conducted by 360i, and didn’t note the breakdown of questions concerning general vs. personalized knowledge; Alexa currently has a 70% share of the voice-controlled speaker market.
Apple releases iOS 11 public beta; includes a files app, updated control center, screen recording, new iMessage effects, and more; includes a dock and system-wide drag-and-drop for iPad. Review by The Verge here.
Apple’s new ARKit, included in iOS 11, indicates the company is outpacing the competition in bringing augmented reality to the masses; similar in functionality to Google’s Tango, but only requires a recent iOS device, meaning it will have a large user base at launch.
Apple is leasing vehicles from Hertz to test self-driving tech, according to documents released by the CA DMV; Hertz’s Donlen fleet management service is providing Apple with Lexus RX450h SUVs; Apple applied for a license to test in April; Waymo recently struck a partnership in which Avis will manage Waymo’s self-driving fleet in Phoenix.
Adobe updates its Analytics Cloud service with voice analytics; now tracks how users interact with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant in third-party apps; integrates with Sensei, Adobe’s machine learning and AI-powered service for recognizing trends in large datasets.
Samsung files a patent for a smartphone case that wirelessly charges a smartwatch; it’s unclear whether the folio case draws power from the phone or its own battery.
Airbnb is set to launch a service offering stays at mansions and penthouses; Airbnb Lux rentals will be subject to quality inspections; set to begin testing in select markets by the end of the year.
Lyft update adds pickup suggestions; shows a rider how much time could be saved by walking a short distance to meet the driver; activates when walking would eliminate time-consuming driving, including traffic and navigating intricate apartment complex roads; takes into account crosswalks, traffic lights, etc when calculating walk time.
Grocery chain Tesco partners with Quiqup to launch on-demand deliveries in central London; Tesco Now charges £8 ($10) for one-hour delivery, or £6 ($7.60) within two hours.
Nintendo announces the Super NES Classic Edition; like the NES Classic Edition that launched last year, the Super NES Classic comes with games pre-installed and connects to a display via HDMI; features 21 titles, including “Super Mario Kart,” “Super Metroid,” “F-ZERO” and “Donkey Kong”; also includes the previously unreleased “Star Fox 2”; launches Sept 21 for $80.
SpaceX completed its 13th successful landing, its eighth at sea; made two successful sea barge landings approximately 48 hours apart; Friday’s landing was the second in history for a reused rocket; has now made nine consecutive successful landings.
📚 Good reads
WTF is PMF. Christoph Janz looks at diferent perspectives on Product-Market-Fit and explores how to measure it.
A refresher on A/B testing by HBR. Amy Gallo explores A/B testing from its origins to the common pitfalls that companies still make nowadays.
When distraction is a good thing. Nir Eyal looks at how distractions can be beneficial in areas such as health or developing certain skills.
How Netflix sees itself against Amazon. Reed Hastings thinks Netflix will be fine by not being an “everything store”.
Beyond gaming: 13 industries that AR/VR is poised to transform. CBInsights looks at the industries most likely to be impacted by Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies.
The only metric that matters. Josh Elman revisits his 2012 popular article, which was recently presented at Mind The Product conference. Josh argues that companies should focus on engagement metrics that answer the question: are people using your product?