As we get ready for America’s 241st Birthday, what better way to prep for the four-day weekend then brushing up on the latest news in the tech world? So grab your swan float and your waterproof phone case; we’ve compiled the biggest stories in the tech world to talk about at any Independence Day celebration.
Proud to be an Amazonian
Err… we mean American. Amazon, which started as an online bookstore, has now transformed into what very well may be Jeff Bezos’ first step toward a Prime utopia. While that might be a slight exaggeration, Amazon has launched a number of services and products, as well as announced key acquisitions, in the past two weeks, which has us wondering: is there anything Amazon can’t do?
The biggest news from Amazon in the past week is its acquisition of Whole Food Market for $13. 7 billion, aka the standard grocery bill for a family of four when shopping at Whole Foods. This is Amazon’s latest move into online grocery business; the company previously launched Amazon Go at its corporate headquarters in Seattle as a no-line, no-checkout grocery store.
Amazon also launched Prime Wardrobe last week. The new feature available for Prime customers is aimed at making online shopping easier by shipping you your cart to try on before you check out. What’s better? You only pay for the items you keep, and you get a discount for the more items you decide to purchase.
One final update from Amazon: the company launched and began shipping its Echo Show this past Wednesday. Building upon the Echo, the Echo Show adds a 7-inch touchscreen and a camera for video calling and other capabilities. The Echo Show launched with integrations from several different IoT companies, including BIGclient Ring.
Freedom doesn’t knock. It Rings.
And so does the second generation of BIGclient Ring’s Video Doorbell. The leader in outdoor home security launched the Ring Video Doorbell 2 on June 19 with units available for purchase at more than 15,000 U.S. retail locations in the US, as well as online at ring.com. Want some light reading on the new products features? Check out one of the fire press hits the BIGteam secured for the launch day here.
In other BIGclient news, Petnet announced its new integration with Amazon Alexa (bet you thought you were done with the Amazon updates, didn’t you?). Always placing pet’s nutritional and health needs first, Petnet’s new Alexa skill makes it easier than ever to feed your pet by simply saying “Alexa, ask Petnet to feed Fido a half of cup.”
If Fireworks go off and no one is around to Snap it, does it really happen?
The big four social networks (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter) all had their own status updates to share these past few weeks. Facebook announced that they reached 2 billion active users. That’s billion with a “B,” making Facebook the largest social app in terms of logged in users. In other big-number-Mark-Zuckerberg news, Instagram Stories has reached 250 million daily users. Instagram’s attempt to pull a “Who Wore It Better” on Snapchat seems to be working out, with the photo sharing app adding 50 million daily users in the past two months.
Don’t let the Instagram Story news keep you from sending that dog-filter Snapchat. Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, released two new features, Snap Map and in-app custom geofilters. Snap Map allows you to keep tabs on all your Snap Friends through simply pinching your screen. We’ll let you decide if it is creepy or endearing. Snap also released in-app custom geofilters making it easier than ever to create and submit custom filters right from your phone.
Not to be forgotten about, Twitter was also a part of an interesting new study by Cardiff University that found that the social media app can predict dangerous situations up to an hour faster than police. Using machine learning algorithms to automatically scan Twitter to identify threats during the London riots in 2011, researchers were able to detect incidents faster than police in almost every instance.
Pass the Aux Cord
Everyone knows that the music is make or break for any party, so before you press play on Nickelback’s greatest hits, maybe pass the reins to someone else. Leave it to the professionals like Apple Music, who recently announced its first foray into personalized playlists. Taking a cue from Spotify’s curated playlists, Apple Music’s “My Chill Mix” gives listeners 25 tracks of chill vibes based on their listening habits and is updated every Sunday. Sounds oddly familiar to Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” if you ask us, but okay.
Speaking of Spotify, the music streaming service that recently got over its bad blood with Taylor Swift, also announced initial tests for a “Sponsored Song” ad set where labels can promote singles.
What’s more American than cracking open a cold one with the boys?
The hangover that hits the next day. A former Tesla engineer is hoping to make July 5th as much fun as July 4th by eliminating the headache. Sisun Lee left his position at Tesla to become the CEO of the Morning Recovery Drink, a hangover cure that is FDA compliant. Using the herbs that are popularly used in Asia to cure hangovers, the Morning Recovery Drink will be open for business starting on July 5. Well played, Lee, well played.
We hope everyone has a fun and safe Independence day weekend! Stay tuned for more BIGnews in the tech world by following us on Twitter at @BIGfishPR!