elproducto #39 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness
Google’s new products, Slack-Oracle integration, Dropbox redesign, Microsoft Edge for iOS, Measuring churn, User conversations & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto!
📰 Seen on the news
Microsoft launches Edge browser for iOS in preview, promises rollout soon for Android; available only through Apple’s TestFlight.
Netflix to raise pricing; most popular standard plan in US will increase from $10 to $11; current subscribers will see the price hike on October 19, while new users will see them next Thursday. Shares up +5% after announcement.
Amazon launches invitation only Alexa and Echo service for India; customers can request an invitation to receive a device shipped from October 30; India’s rollout makes it the fourth country with access to the devices; Echo should become available in Japan later this year. Also launched Alexa calls and messaging service in UK.
Facebook rolls out Messenger Lite for Android in US, Canada, UK, and Ireland; the data-saving version of the app was previously available in 100 mainly developing countries.
Facebook to hire 1K new employees for global ad review team; will also make ads visible to all users, not only their target audience.
Slack partners with Oracle to integrate the latter’s enterprise software into its messaging app; Slack users will gain access to sales, HR, and business software, in addition to an Oracle chatbot, within the app’s interface.
Dropbox rolls out major design revamp to offer more creativity-oriented look; web and app UI remains mostly unchanged, though greater color variety can change based on user needs; new design likely to be used for advertisement campaigns.
Shopify adds Instagram integration for merchants to its e-commerce platform; allows objects for sale to be tagged and purchased within the app.
LinkedIn launches analytics program for recruiters, Talent Insights; will offer statistics such as graduates in certain fields from certain schools, which industries are hiring which specialists, and more; also patterns at recruiters’ own companies vs competitors’.
Waymo to launch autonomous ride-sharing service this Fall; reportedly aims to launch an initial program in Phoenix later this month.
Google’s Pixel 2 event — new products:
New wireless headphones with automatic translation capabilities, Pixel Buds; claims to instantly translate to/from 40 languages.
Presented larger Home Max ($399) with heightened audio quality; stereo sounds via two 4.5-inch subwoofers next to twitters underneath a fabric speaker grill; also features far-field microphones, and Smart Sound to tweak sound based on room and audio type.
New Echo Dot-like Home Mini ($49); eschews music-grade speakers to focus on Assistant voice commands; four LED lights under fabric exterior.
Home app updates to allow speakers to be assigned to specific rooms; will allow users to shut off music and the lights in the same room with a single command; supports single room and total environment controls.
High-end laptop-tablet hybrid, Pixelbook; retails between $1K and $1.65K; compatible with optional stylus Pen; has instant tethering with Pixel phones, which can also open the laptops.
Google is developing a Snapchat Discover-like feature: Stamp. The service would let publishers create multimedia slides that will be posted at the top of Google search results, as well as on publisher’s own websites. Google is paying publishers (Conde Nast, The Washington Post, Vox Media..) to create content.
Google clips: a smart AI-powered mini camera that will take pictures and videos automatically on recognising people (and pets) around it.
Google rolls out Update for Home to help users find misplaced smartphones; Android devices linked with the IoT system will start ringing when users say ‘ring my phone’ or ‘where’s my phone’.
📚 Good reads
Churn is the success metric for subscription models. David Pakman explains why churn rates must be taken seriously, and gives us some examples of good / not-so-good subscription products’ performance.
Journey Mapping is key to gaining empathy. Empathy is one of the most valuable traits on Product and UX people. Tif Wang explains how Journey Mapping can help us empathizing with our users.
How Facebook’s VP of Product finds focus. Fidji Simo talks about her experience with several practices to create the right conditions for focus.
Why isn’t Agile working? John Cutler shares some frequent pitfalls in ‘Agile wanna be’ teams and organisations.
Have User Conversations. Nicola Rushton explains why we should move away from formal and too-structured user interviews.
🎯Quote of the week
“The stupidity of people comes from having an answer for everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything”- Milan Kundera