- Apple made some minor product updates: minor iPad refresh, new Apple Watch straps, and a iPhone 7 Product RED and someone was quick to replace the white face with a black one;
- A New App: Clips by Apple is a video creation tool with overlaid effects. iOS 11 is rumored to feature more offline and social capabilities and I suspect this app is nothing more than a testbed for that: "Say It" = Offline Speech-to-Text for Siri; "Jazz Things Up" = GPU optimizations; "Share Smarter" = Offline ML, an iteration of the people recognition that's in iOS 10 Photos, and a recognition this is an ephemeral app by exporting its content to persistent mediums (Instagram/Facebook/YouTube/Vimeo);
- Acquisitions: Workflow, the iOS automation app for expert users, has been acquired, it's now free and will continue to be available on the App Store.
- Software Updates: iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, iWork and Remote all got a significant updates with new features (iOS Find My AirPods, watchOS Theater Mode, macOS Night Shift) and security fixes. Oh and App Store Review Replies as well as Alternate App Icons (video, documentation)!
Facebook Messenger Updates
- Google Android O: Picture-in-Picture, Multi-display, better Ad-Hoc Wi-Fi, Power Savings, Notification Channels, Keyboard Navigation, CallKit-alike, better Audio.
- Google Hangouts: Google continues the withdrawal of Hangouts as a consumer app with Allo and Duo.
AI and ML
UK watchdog “close” to verdict in DeepMind Health data consent probe | TechCrunch
Google's DeepMind is close to loosing access to real-time NHS patient data it got access without proper consent. This is why we can't have nice things, AI has tremendous potential in a largely tech-starved market such as Health, but I fear this kind of event pushes these two fields further apart.
DeepMind in talks with National Grid to reduce UK energy use by 10% | Ars Technica UK
Because the world isn't all Health, DeepMind sets its eyes on another interesting data set.
Retailers explain how AI is being used in fashion | Glossy
Answer: not much: personalization, analytics, smarter fulfillment isn't exactly AI-based. Shows how design thinking hasn't reached all markets.
Dan Ariely Is Trying to Change Our Behavior Through Technology | Fortune.com
Some interesting examples of how Dan Ariely applied Behavioral Economics for good, especially like the frictionless money savings achieved by rounding up certain customer transactions.
Why chatbots fail
Interesting read if you're contemplating whether a Chatbot can help your users. A lot of issues and very little answers but I'm sure there are plenty of articles out there that give you those answers.
WebMD launching pregnancy study app with Apple’s ResearchKit | 9to5Mac
Interesting to see WebMD joining the list of entities using Apple's ResearchKit, back in February this year Johns Hopkins published the results of their Epilepsy Study. You have to remember the Health industry ensures safety through copious amounts of bureaucracy and regulation. ResearchKit is interesting because, it can safely enable access to high-quality sensor data from millions of iPhones and Apple Watches (platform wars are over), simplify enrollment, and frequent data gathering without user intervention.
The Three-Hour Brand Sprint – GV Library
Another interesting tool from Google Ventures to define and document a brand through a company's roadmap and goals, values and audiences, self/competitor personality.
“Note And Vote”: How Google Ventures Avoids Groupthink In Meetings | Co.Design
TL;DR: 1. Diverge: write ideas individually (5min); 2. Converge: select two ideas (2min); 3. Share Ideas: write all ideas on the board; 4. Vote final individual vote, no going back (5min); 5. Share Votes: add votes to the ideas on the wall; 6. Decide: the Decider makes the call. My Note: All sharing should be done through a mediator to remove bias from all steps.
How to Get Biased Data from Your Users
Repeat after me: behavioral insights from behavioral data, attitudinal insights from attitudinal data. The New York Times asks its consumers how many times they've performed Action XYZ through a survey instead of resorting to analytics. The author is actually more focused on Selection Bias which is also an issue here and the reason you should think twice when using specific sources for your research (e.g. Twitter Poll for "Do You Use Facebook?").
Security & Privacy
Hackers threaten to wipe millions of Apple devices, demand ransom | CSO Online
It would appear they do have single-factor credentials for quite a few customers. Multi-factor authentication is essential for protecting your customers and their trust, reliance in your product.
iPhone owners have more smart home devices, are more satisfied with their phones – J.D. Power | 9to5Mac
Turns out high-end phones tend to be used for high-end applications.
Boston Federal Reserve Bank Confirms Merchant Discovery Holding Back Apple Pay. – @ReadMultiplex
TL;DR: Customers expect to see the Apple Pay instead of the Contactless logo and thus hesitate to use Apple Pay on Contactless terminals. Something to have in mind if your strategy relies on customers being aware of Apple/Android Pay. Just yesterday a restaurant employee told me they support Apple Pay but "it doesn't work above the contactless limit because there's something wrong with the card machine", turned out they don't support Apple Pay.
There's also a State of The Union report for Apple Pay by Loup Ventures (not bad, but not great either).
An iOS Dev’s Experience with React Native
If you're doing the work, you'll do it better, otherwise, you'll understand it better, either way learn it.
Siri and Alexa Are Fighting to Be Your Hotel Butler
Marriott R&D (😯) are trialling Alexa and Siri to improve customer experience. The article doesn't include any official results but hints at a higher deployment rate for Alexa. To be honest, they're not on the same league: Alexa's (well, Echo) is a fixed-position 7-microphone array device that can be pre-configured to access the hotel room's "skills" (👍) but lacks access to your existing personal news/music/messages/… (👎), Siri is a personal assistant (👍) but with less reliable performance, limited software-based access control, and a more limited range of features that makes it harder to support a hotel room experience (👎👎👎).
Blast From The Past
Early Touch Screen Technology - Tomorrow's World - BRITLAB - BBC - YouTube
Natural first applications for the Touch Screen: Drawing, Tic-Tac-Toe, and…
A Stunning Video of Mars That Took Three Months to Stitch Together—by Hand | WIRED
Not your typical Mars pictures. 👽⛰👓 (Less fun fact: the author was unaware the process can be automated through software, wouldn't have been so impressive 😉)
The "I promise the next issue will be shorter" Issue
🤖 Welcome [reader_name]! This first issue is a big one but should be easy to skim, don't miss the Blast From The Past and an Mars off-topic at the bottom 😉