Your daily tech news digest – 10 biggest stories (July 17, 2018)
This is our daily digest series, wherein we bring to you a curated list of top 10 technology news from around the world.
In today’s edition, you’ll read about how kids are interacting with smart speakers (like Amazon Echo), how Uber is making pickups easy for you, new Apple emojis, a $1,500 Rolls Royce Edition phone, and much more.
So without any further ado, here’s the list:
Uber makes pickup easy with new features as company faces investigation over gender discrimination
Uber has added new features to its app. These features are aimed at making your pickup easy.
When you’re in crowded areas or it’s nighttime, it can be hard for you and your driver to find one another. With Spotlight, you can light up your phone with a special color specific to your driver. Your driver will receive a message telling them what color to look for, so you can just hold your phone in the air
Useful, right? The company has added a couple of other functionalities as well. Head here to learn more.
While all this good news for Uber users, there’s bad news for Uber itself. The US government has launched investigations into gender biasing allegations against the company. For details of the case, head here.
Meet the richest man in the world: Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now unarguably the richest person in the world.
Image by Seattle City Council from Seattle – https://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlecitycouncil/39074799225/, CC BY 2.0, Link
Agreed, he achieved the landmark last year itself, when his total assets touched the $104 billion mark, surpassing Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ best ever of $100 billion. But many argued that Gates touched the $100 billion milestone way back in 1999, and if that record is being compared with someone today, then inflation should be taken into account.
And with that, Gates fortune came out at around $149 billion.
But now, Bezos’s fortunes are at $150 billion, which officially makes him the richest person ever (at-least in the modern times).
Is the Netflix bubble about to burst?
Video streaming service Netflix is now a globally known brand name, thanks to some immensely popular original series the platform offers as well as wide variety of other videos it hosts, including TV shows and movies. In the past few years, the company has grown leaps and bounds, but now it looks the pace is slowing down.
The company fell short of its own expectations in Q2, adding around 5.2 million new subscribers globally, against the 6.2 million landmark it was hoping to achieve. Revenue was also slightly down at $3.9 billion, compared to the $3.934 billion expected. Net profit, however, was higher than expectations.
More details here.
Apple announces new emoji characters
On the occasion of world emoji day (what? yes, there’s one), Apple announced that over 70 new emoji characters will be made available on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year through a software update.
The new emoji designs, created based on approved characters in Unicode 11.0, include even more hair options to better represent people with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, and new smiley faces that bring more expression to Messages with a cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts
More info here.
Skype (finally) getting ability to record calls
Yes, it’s been 15 years since Skype launched, but the tool didn’t allow you to record your calls. However, that’s set to change now, as Microsoft has confirmed the feature is being integrated.
Call recording is completely cloud-based, and as soon as you start recording, everyone in the call is notified that the call is being recorded. Call recordings combine everyone’s video as well as any screens shared during the call
The functionality will start rolling out to users this month end, and will be available on all Skype clients, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Samsung mobile CEO snapped with upcoming Galaxy Note9
Samsung is all set to unveil the Galaxy Note9 phablet next month. Unsurprisingly, there have been many leaks and rumors about the device so far.
But now what you’re seeing is as official as it can get at the moment – the company’s mobile division CEO DJ Koh was snapped using the device in public. Take a look:
While the phone isn’t clearly visible in the image, the capture does reconfirm the positioning of fingerprint sensor, which is below the horizontal camera setup this time. More info here.
A $1,500 Rolls Royce Edition phone
Yes, you read it right. We are talking about a really expensive Rolls Royce Edition phone, but not solely from the luxury car maker. Instead, it’s a variant of the existing Honor 10 smartphone (by China’s Huawei), which has been developed in association with Rolls Royce.
Take a look:
More info here.
Armani announces new Android smartwatch series
Italian luxury lifestyle company Emporio Armani has announced a new Connected series of smartwatches. The devices run Google’s Wear OS, and are powered by Snapdragon 2100 chipset, which is a bit old at this point in time. Anyway, on the software side, you’ll see Google Assistant and Google Pay.
The watches are water resistant and are also capable of tracking heart rate. Pricing starts at $295 and goes up to $395. The wearables are available to pre-order in the US, with global availability set for September.
Apple users spend more on App Store compared to Android users on Google Play Store
Apple’s App Store has once again defeated Google’s Play Store when it comes to revenue. According to a new report, during the first half of the ongoing year, App Store revenue ($22.6 billion) was double that of Play Store ($11.8 billion), and that too on half the downloads.
The data suggests Apple users are spending two times on App Store purchases compared to what Android users are doing on Play Store. More info here.
How kids are interacting with smart speakers?
Smart speakers is one of the latest outcomes of human’s passion for technology, and as with other such outcomes in the past (like TVs, video games, and smartphones), studies are being carried out on how they affect kids.
Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenbarger dives into the topic, detailing what kids in different age groups think about smart devices, and more importantly, how they communicate with them? The article also discusses what affect these interactions could have on your child, and what – as a parent – you can do.
It’s a must read article for young parents – don’t miss it.
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