elproducto #49 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness
iMac Pro, Google’s new photo apps, Apple buys Shazam, Alibaba’s offline plans, Treats of great PMs, Lyft getting international, Product frameworks & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto!
📰 Seen on the news
Google Maps to launch a new feature that will give public transport users real-time updates as they travel; could, e.g., alert bus and train riders that it’s time to get off.
Google launches three photography apps: Storyboard (Android), which converts videos into single-page comic book layouts; Selfissimo (iOS, Android), a selfie app that automatically takes black-and-white photos as the user poses; and Scrubbies (iOS), which creates video loops with user-defined time manipulation.
iMac Pro goes on sale starting at $5k; features a 5K display and is available with eight, 10, 14, or 18 Intel Xeon W-class cores and up to 128GB RAM.
Apple updates Maps with indoor mapping for more than 30 airports around the globe; primarily major North American and European airports; also includes Hong Kong International; provides a bird’s-eye view of the insides of terminals
Apple introduces app pre-orders; users can pay for an app up to 90 days in advance and it will automatically download upon release; available for iOS, macOS, and tvOS.
Apple’s GymKit becomes available at a single gym in NYC ahead of a broader rollout next year; the service lets Apple Watch users pair with exercise equipment to track their workouts.
Apple confirms Shazam acquisition; financial terms undisclosed but TechCrunch sources put the price at roughly $400M; Shazam reportedly also held sale talks with Snapchat and Spotify.
Apple names meditation app Calm its 2017 App of the Year; Apple’s breakout app trends of the year are augmented reality, real-time gaming, apps for mental health and mindfulness, and apps for storytelling and reading.
Apple updates Final Cut Pro X with the ability to edit 360-degree video; users can edit in monoscopic and stereoscopic formats, and output directly to VR headsets.
The iPhone is the most popular camera used to take the photos on Flickr; different iPhone models fill nine of the site’s 10 slots for top devices used; fifty-four percent of Flickr photographers use the iPhone in 2017.
Amazon to resume selling Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast; stopped selling the items in 2015, saying that Amazon Prime Video customers could be misled to believe the boxes supported streaming Prime Video; Apple TV now does support Prime Video.
Facebook is testing an account switching feature; would enable multiple users to quickly switch between accounts on the same computer and browser; could also be used for individuals using multiple accounts.
Instagram adds the ability to follow hashtags; users tap on a hashtag which then shows associated posts and a follow button; Instagram then surfaces the top posts.
Snapchat makes its augmented reality platform available to all, enabling third parties to create AR features for the Snapchat camera; examples include photo frames and animated characters; Facebook also released its AR Studio to the general public this week.
Twitter introduces a threads feature to let users easily compose a series of linked tweets; users create the first tweet, then press the “+” button to add more; all tweets are sent at once.
Messaging app Line introduces ‘unsend’; the feature lets users recall a sent message within 24h regardless of whether the message has been read or not; recipients see a marker in the chat-log, indicating a message was removed.
Disney confirms it will acquire select 21st Century Fox assets for $52.4B stock; the agreement includes Fox’s film, television, and global cable TV businesses; Disney will also assume $13.7B debt as part of the deal.
Microsoft launches its Quantum Development Kit in preview; the free kit includes the Q# programming language, a quantum computing simulator, documentation, sample apps, more; enables the testing and debugging of quantum apps on classical computers.
Firefox Quantum has been downloaded 170M times since launch last month; Mozilla claims Quantum uses 30% less memory than Chrome.
TLDR (iOS) lets users create concise news summaries for sharing with friends; users can pass along an article accompanied by a 120 character overview; recipients can preview the story from their notifications; includes support for offline reading.
Lyft launches in Toronto, its first international market. 50k Toronto riders have downloaded the app.
📚 Good reads
What is Blockchain technology? Unless you just woke up from a months-long siesta, you may have heard a lot about Bitcoin lately. CBInsights explains how the technology behind Bitcoin, Ethereum and cryptocurrencies in general work.
How Amazon is catching Spotify and Apple on Music. What started as a small side-service, is already the world’s 3rd most used digital subscription music service, and 2nd on weekly active listening.
What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager. Core competencies, emotional intelligence and company fit are the key areas to look at, according to HBR.
Alibaba’s ambitious offline plans may be ahead of Amazon’s. How Alibaba wants to enable retailers to transform from physical to digital and redefine the offline shopping experience.
Changing button colours won’t save your business. Sharp opinion on how deep experimenting on micro-interactions can distract us from real customer problems.
Stop building Apps, start building User Behaviours. Nir Eyal’s views on how simple and behaviour-focused solutions are successful.
Product Frameworks. A collection of tips, resources and best practices from leading companies and experts to help you build products. The content is pretty poor (mostly links pointing to reference sites, like Quora), but it’s a good starting point for anybody interested into knowing more about the covered frameworks.
Na na na na na na na na Batman! New research finds that kids aged 4–6 perform better during boring tasks when dressed as Batman.
💥 Quote of the week
“When we’re hyper-focused on micro-interactions, we lose our perspective; and when we zoom out, we may be left with an unrevealing jigsaw of ill-fitting pieces.” — Aytekin Tank, Changing button colours won’t save your business.