elproducto #35 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness
Skype code editor, Google maps parking help, Uber’s new CEO, Apple’s prod event, Alexa-Cortana integration, New Fitbit and Garmin watches & more.
Welcome to another week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto.
Apple has announced their next product event for 12th September at their new headquarters. The brand is expected to reveal 3 new iPhone Models, Apple Watch 3, 4k Apple TV and release dates for its multiple platforms’ OS.
Unless you live in a bubble, you may have heard about Uber’s new CEO. After 12 years as Expedia CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi will take the helm of the San Francisco firm. In his first apparition in front of his new team, he announced intention to file for IPO within 18 to 36 months.
For some data goodness, check what +100 product manager job listings say about companies’ expectations for the role.
📰 Seen on the news
Skype launches a code editor to simplify technical job interviews; enables video calls where an interviewer can watch a prospective hire edit code in real time; supports seven programming languages; automatically highlights syntax errors; feature is currently in preview.
Google announces Assistant will be available on third-party speakers and other devices by year’s end; companies launching supporting speakers include Panasonic, Mobvoi, and Anker; LG and other manufacturers will release appliances with Assistant integrated.
Google launches the ARCore SDK in preview; enables Android developers to create augmented reality experiences for current and coming Android devices, without the need for additional sensors; currently supports some Pixel and Galaxy devices; requires Android 7.0 or above; Google hopes to have the SDK on 100M devices by the end of preview.
Google Maps for Android adds a tool to help drivers find parking in 25 US cities; users select “find parking” on the directions card to show a list of garages and lots; the firm is also rolling out parking difficulty labels for iOS and Android across 25 non-US cities
YouTube rolls out its updated desktop design to all users and redesigns its mobile apps with material design aesthetics and new gesture controls; features popular in the mobile apps, such as a pop-out mini-player that remains visible while browsing other videos; the company also changed its logo, removing the TV and adding a play arrow.
Tinder launches $5-per-month premium Gold subscription in the US (iOS only); previously limited to tests in the UK, Germany, other countries; enables users to undo mistaken swipes and to see who has liked them; also adds unlimited likes and five Superlikes.
Uber will let passengers turn off a feature which tracks them after a ride has been completed; the app currently tracks riders for up to five minutes after a journey has been completed; the change is expected to be rolled out to iOS users this week.
Dara Khosrowshahi becomes the CEO of Uber; follows a report that Khosrowshahi has $184M worth of unvested Expedia stock. Dara was officially introduced to Uber staff and said the company is 18 to 36 months away from an IPO.
Apple sends out invites for a Sept 12 product event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park; expected to unveil threeiPhone models; the 7s, the 7s Plus, and the high-end “iPhone 8” (a 10th anniversary model); Apple is also likely to announce release dates for OS updates.
Apple is yet to finalize deals with movie studios to offer 4K content for the next Apple TV, according to sources for The Wall Street Journal; the firm wants to offer 4K movies for $20, while studios are insisting on a $25 to $30 price point; Apple is expected to launch a new Apple TV on Sept 12.
Apple partners with Accenture to develop business apps for iOS: Accenture assists enterprises in developing apps and adopting new tech; clients include banks and retailers; Apple engineers and designers will work with Accenture teams for the new program; will focus on apps for consumers and consumer-facing employees.
Amazon and Microsoft are set to integrate their voice assistant platforms; users will be able to ask Alexa to open Cortana, and vice versa; use cases include letting Cortana users order products from Amazon, or Alexa users access Office functions.
Amazon closes Whole Foods acquisition, enacts discounts on grocery staples; includes organic produce and items not on Amazon’s original list of items to be discounted; ultimately, Whole Foods’ point-of-sale system will issue additional discounts and benefits to Amazon Prime subscribers.
WhatsApp begins verifying business accounts; the firm has verified a small number of businesses, displaying a green checkmark against their profiles; WhatsApp is also set to launch a standalone app for companies.
eBay adds a Q&A section for buyers looking for product feedback from other purchasers; the firm will also make use of machine learning to find users best suited to answer queries.
Ford partners with Domino’s to begin testing aspects of autonomous deliveries; randomly selected customers in Ann Arbor, MI will be able to accept pizza deliveries from a modified Ford Fusion Hybrid with instructions on how to retrieve their order from a compartment within the car; the vehicles will initially have human drivers, accompanied by researchers who will ask customers about the experience.
Fitbit announces $300 Ionic smartwatch; includes built-in GPS, 2.5GB storage, and is waterproof up to 15 meters; includes Fitbit Coach, an app that makes workout recommendations based on previous use; set to launch in October.
Garmin launches $300 Vívoactive 3 smartwatch featuring Garmin Pay, an NFC-based payments system; Garmin Pay promises support for debit and credit cards from major banks; the device features GPS support, and preloaded apps for swimming, yoga, and more; available now.
KabaQ (iOS) lets restaurant customers see an AR preview of menu items; users can see portion sizes and view several items at once
Hotel operations platform Alice raises $26M Series B led by Expedia; connects all departments for communications, simplified customer check-ins and requests, more.
Bitcoin reaches a record valuation of more than $4.7k; the cryptocurrency has risen roughly 63% since Aug 1, and is up about 385% since the beginning of 2017.
📚 Good reads
How to avoid MVP traps. Maitrik Kataria writes about common pitfalls, and argues that a Minimum Viable Product approach should be seen as an ingrained process throughout a product lifecycle rather than a check mark at early stages.
The new business metrics your customers will love. Nathan Kinch describes for Invision an approach based on 3 pillars to encourage debate around metrics that drive business, keeping customer happiness at the center of the strategy.
Analysis of 100+ Product Manager job descriptions. If you want to break into product management, have a look at this data 😍
A framework to present design decisions. Some of the steps may seem obvious, but they are often missed or badly taken.
The state of UX according to Google Autocomplete. Fabricio Teixeira had the brilliant idea of exploring what’s the perception of UX according to google searchers. The outcome is pretty unclear, but hilarious. Expect a Product edition soon by yours truly.
How to choose a user research method. Tom Hall has put together a handy guide explaining the most frequent research techniques and when to use them according to your needs of attitudinal vs behavioural insights, and qualitative vs quantitative.
🎯Quote of the week
“Busyness is a drug. It’s heroic and pragmatic…a form of occupational theater. Instead, embrace the challenge of focus and flow. This is the hard, and disciplined work.” — John Cutler, Limit, Visualize and Improve