Apple leaks, Uber messaging, Echo dot competitors, NYC-Washington Hyperloop, Disney streaming, Design better experiments, Facebook TV & more.
📰 Seen on the news
Uber introduces in-app messaging for riders and drivers; a chat option appears when a user books a ride, showing the driver’s name, vehicle type and plate number; for drivers, incoming messages are read aloud and they can send a thumbs-up response with a single tap.
Uber is the most valuable US startup ($68B), followed by Airbnb ($31M) and WeWork ($21B), according to PitchBook data.
Facebook begins rolling out Watch in the US, a video service featuring original shows, sports, and more; the service is set to feature one MLB game per week, as well as short content from contributors; Watch replaces the Videos tab across Facebook’s mobile apps and on the web
Apple launches “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” on Apple Music; the show was initially expected to launch in April; represents Apple’s latest original show after “Planet of the Apps”.
Apple launches an Instagram account, showcasing photos shot on iPhones; the slideshow posts feature videos from various photographers talking about their work.
The iPhone 8 will launch on the same day as the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Samsung is set to introduce an under-display fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy Note 9, according to KGI Securities; the firm says Apple will not include the technology with the next iPhone, thereby reducing pressure for Samsung to add it to the Galaxy S9.
Anker announces Eufy Genie: a $35 smart speaker with Alexa; also functions as the core of the company’s Eufy Smart Home System. Offers better sound quality than Echo Dot at cheaper price.
Italian Tesla Model S owners set long-distance world record by driving ~1000km on one charge; had to use hypermile techniques: using low rolling resistance tires, etc; total drive time was 29 hours.
YouTube update for iOS and Android adds the ability to share and discuss videos within the app; users can invite others into a chat (max 30) and message with text, emoji, and other videos.
Microsoft launches a public beta for the new Outlook.com; a toggle to try the new version will be rolling out to groups of users over the next few weeks; the redesigned site is faster and more customizable, with a new conversations view; automatically organizes photos.
Stanford researchers develop a natural language processing system that accounts for regional dialects, slang, and variations in the speech of multilingual users; Equilid was designed to be more socially equitable than other NLP systems.
Analytics firm Tableau acquires data visualization startup ClearGraph (formerly Argo); the firm provides natural language data search tools.
Bitcoin reaches a new record valuation of roughly $3.5k; the cryptocurrency has risen about 250 percent since the start of 2017.
Elon Musk’ s The Boring Company confirms it’s developing a hyperloop system for certain routes; the firm says it will build depressurized tunnels for long distance journeys such as New York to Washington DC.
Disney becomes a majority stakeholder in streaming company BamTech following $1.54B investment; Disney will launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming product and end its licensing agreement with Netflix. Netflix shares drop more than 6% immediately after.
Autonomous car tests are getting seriously weird. Reporters spotted a self-driving car in Arlington, Virginia that turned out to be a regular car, driven by a human who was disguised as a car seat.
📚 Good reads
Tesla shows how traditional business metrics are outdated. Tesla is one of a kind business. With a still small customer base, but with a potential that investors are still trying to assimilate (multi-year waiting list for cars included). HBR proposes to flip some traditional metrics in order to better measure the potential of such a disruptive businesses.
Mastering the user experience of any product is impossible. Invision explains why finding the equilibrium between standardisation and innovation will never lead us to perfection, but hopefully to greatness.
How to improve your Experiment design. Want to run better experiments? Start by framing better hypothesis. Teresa Torres explains why investing time in advance will save us time (and resources) in dealing with failed or inconclusive experiments.
🎯Quote of the week
“If you are going to ignore your results, you might as well skip the experiment” — Teresa Torres