Earlier this week, many of us experienced one of most elusive and sensational events in the world – no it wasn’t Taylor Swift’s return to social media, it was the ever-captivating solar eclipse (in case you had joined Patrick Star under his rock for the past few days). With all the attention turned towards the two biggest stars in the solar system, you may have missed some important stories in the tech world. But fear not, we’re bringing you the latest tech updates to help keep you up to speed.
In the flashiest style, Google unveiled its latest Android operating system at the peak of Monday’s eclipse. The tech giant has a long history of naming its upgrades after tasty treats – Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, KitKat etc (could go for any one of those right about now) – and stayed true to this pattern for the launch of Android 8.0, deeming the system Oreo.
Oreo will feature power saving technology, app optimization, autofill password capabilities, and more. You’re almost guaranteed crave a cookie every time you say it.
(Check out more examples of how brands leveraged the sensationalization of the eclipse here).
If you’re like us, you too have sheepishly dictated the contents of a text message into your phone when texting with your hands just felt like way too much work. (No shame, we’ve all been there). The good news is that now, Microsoft users will have the best speech recognition technology available on any device. In a recent test, Microsoft found that its technology achieved its lowest error rate yet at 5.1% – the same percentage as a human. It’s a big win for the tech giant that promises to offer improvements on products and services such as Cortana, Presentation Translator, and Microsoft Cognitive Services. Hopefully this means improvements are in store for other speech recognition softwares, so that when we say eclipse, it doesn’t come up as he slips in our text messages (true story).
Disney is looking to spice up the launch of the Last Jedi by bringing a new augmented reality game to Star Wars fans everywhere. The game, called “Find the Force,” will task participants with hunting down 15 Star Wars characters. To play, fans download the Star Wars app, head to a participating store (over 20,000 locations) and point their phone at “Find the Force” placard to unveil a talking virtual character. That all sounds well and good, but users should note that this campaign correlates with the launch of The Last Jedi merchandise in Disney stores on September 1. Are we on to you, Disney? Yes. Will we still play and probably buy some serious fan merch while we’re are your stores? Definitely.
Bumble swiped a hard left on Match Group’s (owner of Match.com, Tinder, OKCupid) $450 Million buyout offer. It’s unconfirmed as to why, but Bumble founder, Whitney Wolfe, has a tumultuous history with Tinder. One of Tinder’s initial founders, Whitney abruptly left the company in 2012 and filed a sexual harassment suit against the company, which was later settled in court. She then founded the female-centric Bumble app which also features a BumbleBFF feature for more platonic match-ups. Bumble’s current valuation is unknown.
Buzzfeed is helping to bring the Tasty food videos of your dreams to life the the launch of its Tasty One Top kitchen appliance. The device syncs up with BuzzFeed’s recipe videos and helps you cook the delicious meals to perfection. Along with the launch of the new product, Buzzfeed also introduced a new app dedicated specifically for its Tasty videos. The product will ship in November and is available for $149. Good for your taste buds and your wallet.
What are your favorite tech stories this week? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to follow us on Twitter @BIGfishPR to stay up to date on all the latest tech news!