elproducto #41 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness
WhatsApp real time location, Facebook CVs and Explore feed, Smart home-brew kit, Netflix and UberEats growth, Google Calendar updates, “Do the UX” & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto!
📰 Seen on the news
WhatsApp introduces real time location sharing; known as Live Location, the feature lets users share their whereabouts for a set period of time; users can also see active friends on a map.
Amazon patents technology that would enable a drone to provide an emergency recharge to an electric vehicle on the road; the patent references a rooftop docking station that would allow the drone to charge a moving vehicle.
Amazon is developing its own sportswear label; two Taiwanese vendors are producing products on a trial basis; Amazon is not yet promoting the brand; company seeks to fill gaps in its inventory with its own products.
Facebook launches Explore Feed for desktop; similar to News Feed, it contains articles, videos, and photos from across the whole of Facebook; the feature was previously available on mobile.
Facebook begins testing a resume feature; lets users add employment history to the Work and Education section of their profile, though the information is not made public; unclear if or when it will roll out wider.
Messenger-Paypal integration. The feature is already live on iOS Messenger for US market, allowing transfers directly from the platform.
Facebook acquires tbh (iOS): a teen-focused anonymous polling app; users post positivity-based polls by which groups of friends anonymously send compliments; example: “Which of these people has the best smile?”; claims to have garnered 5M downloads and 2.5M daily active users over the past nine weeks; will continue to operate.
Twitter will begin hiding hate symbols behind a sensitive image warning; users will also be able to report those sexually harassing others, even if they haven’t been targeted themselves.
Airbnb will launch Airbnb Select, a trial program to ensure a more standardized, hotel-like experience for customers, in 2018; will provide hosts with loans for home improvements; will also offer tips on topics like performing cosmetic upgrades and taking photos for advertising.
UberEats is now growing faster than Uber’s core business; based on Q2 numbers, the delivery service accounted for almost a tenth of Uber’s total bookings worldwide and is expected to generate revenues of $3B this year.
HOPii launches a Kickstarter for a smart home-brew kit; the device automatically monitors oxygen levels, carbonation, and more; features a serving tap for pouring direct from the tank; has raised $375k on a $50k goal, ends Nov 2
Dieter Bohn reviews the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for The Verge; cites a great camera and speakers; also says it’s the best Android experience; points to a lack of a standard headphone jack and few camera customizations.
Garmin launches Speak, a $150 Alexa-powered in-car navigation device; the 1.5-inch unit features an OLED display with directional arrows and full voice control; also provides weather forecasts, traffic updates, sports results, and more; available now.
Netflix says it will spend $8B on original TV shows and movies next year; the slate includes 30 anime series and 80 films; Netflix also reiterated its plan to achieve 50 percent original content by the end of 2018. On Q3 results announced $2.9B revenue, up 30 percent YoY; 850k US subscriber growth (774k expected); 4.45M international subscriber growth (3.72M expected).
Alphabet’s Project Wing partners with Mexican food company Guzman y Gomez and pharmaceutical chain Chemist Warehouse to test drone deliveries in rural Australia; customers order items via an app and products are automatically flown to them; Project Wing says it’s learning how to deal with unique layouts such as trees, sheds, and fences.
Google Calendar updates for the web; refreshed design includes new color palette, a responsive layout, and the ability to view multiple calendars side-by-side; also lets G Suite admins add more detailed information for meeting rooms.
Gmail begins testing support for non-Google email accounts in its iOS app; beta testers can add accounts from Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, and others; the feature is already available to Android users.
Google Maps for iOS removes a recently introduced feature that estimates how many calories a user could burn by walking; the counter was represented by mini cupcakes, but received criticism from some users who claimed it could have a negative impact on those with eating disorders.
Google to reduce the percentage it takes from Play Store subscriptions, beginning in January; only applies to accounts that have subscribed to a given product/service for more than one year; Apple similarly reduced its cut for subscriptions from 30 percent to 15 percent last year.
More than 500M people have been mining cryptocurrencies unaware, according to ad-blocking software company Adguard; the company monitored the world’s most popular 100k sites over three weeks; found those running mining scripts generated an average $43k over the period.
Samsung announces version 2.0 of AI assistant, Bixby; includes tech from Viv Labs, which was founded by Siri creators and was acquired by Samsung in 2016; Samsung is also launching an SDK, enabling developers to integrate Bixby into third-party products.
📚 Good reads
Roadmap driven vs User driven teams. Focusing too much on the method and the script can help you building a great feature factory, but you may end up solving no one’s problems.
Quantitative UX Research vs Data Analytics at Facebook. Researchers and Data Scientists at Facebook explain us how do their roles differ and how do they work together.
How two ex-Googlers want to make you forget about Excel sheets. Coda is rethinking spreadsheets by focusing on how they would be if invented today. Check out how companies like Uber have experienced the beta.
🎯Quote of the week
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” — Louis L’Amour