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🛍️ Meta and Amazon Revolutionize In-App Shopping Experience

+ Gmail Redesign | AI Wearable Launch | Chatbot Outage

Hello tech junkies!

Apologies for the later-than-usual dispatch, but we are sending you the update anyway to ensure you have some engaging weekend reading! Today is Friday, November 10, and the tech market waits for nobody. Let’s dive into today’s top stories:

  • Shopping Evolution - Meta and Amazon's latest in-app shopping advancements.

  • Apple's Tax Battle - Escalating tax issues within the EU.

  • Play Store Quality - Google mandates higher standards for Android developers.

  • Chatbot Shutdown - OpenAI's chatbot faces a widespread outage.

  • Siri's AI Leap - The iPhone 16 introduces a new era for Siri.

  • Wearable Innovation - Humane's AI-powered device in collaboration with OpenAI.

  • Gmail's New Look - Gmail undergoes a significant chat-style makeover.

  • Inactive Gmails Gone - Google's upcoming purge of inactive email accounts.

  • Spotify's TV Refresh - A major redesign is aligning the TV app with mobile user experience.

  • and more…

Stay tuned for these stories and more. Read on to keep up with the cutting-edge of the tech world!

Tech Companies

Meta is collaborating with Amazon to enable users to shop directly from their Facebook and Instagram accounts. The new feature, available for select products sold by Amazon or independent sellers on Amazon's storefront, lets customers view real-time prices, Prime eligibility, delivery estimates, and product details, and make purchases using their saved Amazon payment and shipping information. The partnership, which could enhance conversion rates and ad targeting, also circumscribes the challenges Apple's App Tracking Transparency policy poses.

💡 Why does this matter?

Meta and Amazon's collaboration on an in-app shopping feature could redefine social e-commerce, offering a seamless, data-driven customer experience. The move also hints at an ambitious strategy to circumvent potential challenges posed by policies such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency.

Apple's struggle against the European Union's order to pay a £11.3 billion tax bill in Ireland has hit a snag. Following the advice of a top adviser to the European court of Justice, a ruling favoring Apple's stance may be overturned. Apple and the Irish government are facing allegations of a tax break that resulted in a €13bn advantage for the tech giant. The case dates back to 2014 and relates to tax rulings that could have selectively reduced Apple's tax dues since 1991.

Google is enhancing protections for Android developers, requiring app testing for two weeks prior to publication on Google Play. The company also plans to further invest in its app review process, which may delay some approvals.

Meta has introduced an optional ad-free subscription for Facebook and Instagram in Europe priced at €9.99 per month, responding to EU regulations on user data. Early experiences suggest minimal changes in user content, with continued suggested posts posing as a potential caveat for subscribers.

Apple's Mac sales fell by 34% YoY in Q4 2023, impacted by pandemic-induced demand fluctuations and the transition to Apple Silicon. However, a return to steady growth is anticipated.

AI Corner

OpenAI experienced outages on ChatGPT, their viral chatbot, due to a targeted attack. Affected tools included the API used by over two million developers. Despite the intermittent downtime, no customer information was compromised. OpenAI announced steps are being taken to mitigate the impact. This follows their recent announcement of surpassing 100 million weekly active users and the release of their most advanced AI model, GPT-4 Turbo.

Apple is reportedly overhauling Siri with generative AI features for the iPhone 16, as per a Korean blog post. The company aims to revamp Siri into the ultimate virtual AI assistant, with these changes expected to be displayed at WWDC 2024. The exact requirements for the upgraded Siri, whether a new chip with a better Neural Engine or just an iOS 18 functionality, still need to be determined.

AI startup Stability, led by chipmaker Intel Corp, secured nearly $50 million in fresh funding. The funds come at a crucial time for the image-generating software startup, reportedly undergoing disputes with board representatives and following the departure of several senior employees. The company is known as the anchor customer for Intel's AI supercomputer.

Samsung is set to introduce 'Galaxy AI', with features including real-time phone call translations, which is expected to debut on the 2024 Galaxy S24 smartphones.

Markets & Money

Roblox's Q3 earnings have exceeded expectations, with bookings reaching $839.5 million, beating the estimated $822.2 million. The company also reported a 20% YoY increase in daily active users, bumping its revenue to $713.2 million. Its growth strategy, involving attracting older gamers and reducing the 'metaverse' label, has been instrumental in this success. Besides, partnerships with major brands and leagues offer diversified monetization. Looking forward, Roblox plans to strengthen its advertising and tech capacities.

Apps & Gadgets

Humane has officially launched AI Pin, its $699 wearable device powered by OpenAI. Controlled via a combination of voice, gestures, a camera, and a small projector, AI Pin connects to AI models using Humane's software, AI Mic, and its operating system, Cosmos. Notably, it requires manual activation for data collection. Preorders begin on November 16, with shipping starting in 2024. The device includes features like voice messaging, email summarizing, and real-time translation, aiming to simplify the user-tech interaction.

A new Gmail update introduces Android's chat-style reply user interface (UI). It allows for efficient replying by making the popular options - Reply, Reply all, and Forward, plus emoji reactions - stick to the bottom of the screen. The redesigned UI enables users to view the email context while composing their response, a significant change from the previous UI. The update isn't widely available yet and its compatibility with Quick Replies is unclear.

In December, Google plans to delete millions of inactive Gmail accounts to enhance its security measures. Underutilized accounts with old or reused passwords are more prone to security threats, hence the purge. To avoid deletion, users are advised to remain active on their accounts. This move also frees up long-taken usernames.

Spotify is rolling out a redesigned TV app with improved navigation, a new homepage, a playback queue, and a dark mode. The upgrade will cater to both free and premium users on compatible devices.

Apple has unveiled new firmware 6.1.32 for the second-generation AirPods Pro, primarily addressing bug fixes and enhancements. The update can only be installed via Bluetooth connection to an iPhone.

In anticipation of Apple's 2024 Vision Pro headset launch, the updated tvOS 17.2 beta now hosts 3D movies on its TV app.

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