A Smarter Siri + Yay! More Emoji at WWDC ⚡️ Do Not Read Until Monday

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WWDC: Siri smartens up, iOS performance improves and, what the hell, why not even more personalized emoji?

Christmas in July in June for Apple fans, aka the Worldwide Developers Conference, dominated tech news this week, with Apple announcing approximately 5 billion updates for its software.

How does one break down so many changes? Well, you can check out TechCrunch’s 14 big announcements, CNet’s smart home specific listings or unmentionables at the conference, USA Today’s 3 key iOS features … eh, you get the point: It was a great week for listicles.

More seriously, the major revelations at the event seemed to revolve around AI, augmented reality and performance. Apple knows Siri needs to smarten up a bit to go toe-to-toe with Alexa and Google, and it’s promising just that. New ‘Shortcuts’ will allow users to speak a single command to have Siri carry out a number of related tasks, and the voice assistant will start giving suggestions based on your calendar, location and more.

The most eye-catching AR piece was new Memoji – basically a Bitmoji knock-off that can function similar to Apple’s Animoji.

“[Audible gulp.]” – Snapchat

However, aside from that crowd-pleaser, Apple also announced a new, proprietary file type for working with ARKit, and collaboration with other users. They’ve also developed an app that lets you measure objects with your camera(!).

In regards to performance, iOS promises to speed everything up tremendously, with apps opening around twice as fast. Apple also emphasized that improvements will impact older devices as well, perhaps in response to fairly recent revelations it was knowingly slowing down legacy models of the iPhone.


Facebook takes on Twitch as Instagram looks set to ‘borrow’ another Snapchat feature

Facebook must have been feeling particularly feisty this week, as it took aim at a brand new competitor and vertical – Twitch and video game streaming – in addition to further strikes on Snapchat.

For the former, Facebook launched a new platform to stream video games, Facebook.gg. It has been building the capability, which also sets it against perpetual rival YouTube, for most of this year.

As for Snapchat, Mark Zuckerberg’s pet project of putting them out of business seems to be steaming right ahead, with reports Instagram may have a Discover rival set to drop this month. Discover, Snap’s hub for publisher and influencer content, has thus far not been ripped off effectively by Facebook, though Watch also offers native programming. Utilizing Instagram’s untarnished reputation (seriously, do people just forget Facebook owns them too?) may get more users interested in such content.

Watch, for what it’s worth, just inked deals for new programming with major partners, such as CNN and Fox, as well.

Meanwhile, Facebook also struck further into online classifieds, giving some users the ability to boost Marketplace ads. Craig is bummed*.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a week at Facebook without revelations about handing out personal data to third parties, or, you know, revealing about 14 million users’ private posts.


*Just kidding, that guy’s worth like a billion dollars, he’s fine.


Odds + The End

 …And slightly terrifyin’.




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