Amazon’s Echo Echoes & More: Do Not Read Until Monday

It’s like an open bar… for tech news! It’s Do Not Read Until Monday!

 

Amazon (& On & On & On & On)

Amazon announced a new Echo device this week. And if that gets you excited, you’ll be happy to know they announced another one, which sounds nicer, too. Then one that’s like an alarm clock. And, like, a couple more I think.

Amazon Echo Buttons
“I’ll take ‘Who Has a Stranglehold on the Smart Speaker Market’ for $200, Alex.”

In short, it announced a lot of devices, most likely looking to stave off competition from Google, Apple, and whoever else might come along. The new Fire TV will also feature Alexa, and you’ll be able to use the voice assistant from the Amazon Music mobile app as well.

The reveal(s) came hot on the heels of Google Assistant’s introduction to 87 of LG’s connected appliances. Google, through YouTube, also slapped Amazon’s wrist this week, keeping its videos off the Echo Show.

But while a bridge to one competitor burns, another is being rebuilt – as Apple TV has now returned to Amazon after a two-year absence.

 

This Week in Snapchat Vs. The World: ‘Ey, Are These New Features Impressive or What?

Tired of the dumb sky in your Snaps? Just lame clouds or boring blue? Snapchat fixed that this week with its new Sky Filters, that can help users replace any firmament fails with more eye-catching backdrops like a starry sky or stunning sunset. The move coincided with its sixth birthday, and it also announced several new 3D Bitmoji lenses.

If you’ve forgotten, 3D Bitmoji unleashes tiny animated versions of your avatar into the AR world. Of course, brands want to get in on that action too, and we’ve already seen some for Blade Runner 2049 and Bud Light. Snap also did a nice by teaming with Google to get kids aged 13-18 (a demographic that includes some of its biggest users) to code.

Who ripped them off? Well, there’s now a thing called Baby Snap, so we’ll just leave it at that.

The Verdict: The Snap winning streak continues!

 

Odds + The End

  • Twitter announced its plans to test 280-character tweets. Its users agreed this was a good idea without exception* and everyone had a good chuckle over why it was 140 in the first place. I mean, right? 140? And it’s not like they built the whole platform’s raison d’etre around it.
  • YouTube now has native ad tech to create 1000s of ad variants and serve them to different audiences.
  • Ikea bought TaskRabbit.
  • Bill Gates uses an Android now. Na-na.
  • Instagram users can now decide who gets to comment on their posts.
  • It also now has 800 million users, or 100 million more than April for those keeping score at home.
  • WTF.
  • Spotify pulled the ultimate TBT with its new Time Capsule playlist, proving you’ve *always* had good taste.
  • It also launched a self-serve platform for advertisers.
  • [Bad dog voice]: Giphy, No! Giphy!
  • [Good dog voice]: Good dog!
  • Levi’s teamed with Google to create a smart jacket that can control your phone. AND they liked our tweet about it. *puts feather in cap*
  • Target’s website and mobile app will now feature Pinterest visual search.
  • Elon Musk This week he told a rival to spend $9B more on R&D via tweet and they did, then he made an announcement SpaceX would reach Mars by 2022 and soon, instead of planes, we’d be travelling in rockets. Rockets!

 

*this is a lie. Expect a full MRY POV on this woefully misbegotten proposal soon.

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