Monthly Tech News – NOV 2020

Nov 2020 Tech News of Google, Apple, Nvidia, Snapchat, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Airbnb, PS5, ZTE

Apple to Replacing AirPods Pro for Free After They Discover a Design Flaw

We all know, AirPods Pro came with a bang and a lot of buzzes. But sometimes the most expensive and high price product does not guarantee you an issue free product.   

There has been a lot of hype around AirPods Pro which has proven incredibly popular too. However, some of its units are suffering from audio issues such as malfunctioning active noise cancellation (ANC) and static and crackling sounds.

Google’s Representative Confirms on Official Forum that Pixel 5 Screen Gaps are Not Design Defect

After the debut of Google’s Pixel 5, many buyers took to online forums concerned about a possible design defect. There were certain gaps spotted between the phone’s body and screen.   

Now, Alphabet’s Google has addressed these concerns from the users. In the official Pixel forums, a community representative said that the gaps are not a design defect but a part of the phone’s original design.  

The representative says “We’ve had a chance to investigate units from customers and, combined with our quality control data from the factory, we can confirm that the variation in the clearance between the body and the display is a normal part of the design of your Pixel 5.” 

Apple to Make 2.5m MacBooks with In-house Designed CPU

Apple has been asking some of its suppliers to produce as many as 2.5 million MacBook laptops which are powered by in-house designed CPU by early 2021. This news comes as the tech giant starts to rapidly cut down on its reliance on Intel chips.  

Initial stages of production orders MacBook to use the Apple Silicon CPUs that are equivalent to 2019’s 20% of total MacBook shipments.  

California’s tech giant has also taken robust steps to place orders for older models of iPhones ahead of the holiday season. Sources say they are trying to make up for shortages of its 5G lineup facing a month-long production delay due to coronavirus.

FDA Approves Apple Watch App That Uses Vibrations To End PTSD Caused Nightmares

Apple is launching a new app for its Apple Watch for users that are having nightmares due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The watch will work with an app, called Nightware, that will help those suffering from this issue.  

The app utilizes sensors on the Apple watch to monitor the user’s body movements and heart rate when they are sleeping. Then the data is sent to a server where it is compared based on algorithms to a baseline sleep profile for the user.

NVIDIA and Hyundai Announced That They Have Connected Car Platform To Roll-out From 2022

Nvidia, an American tech company based in Delaware, along with Hyundai Motor Group, a South Korean automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul, have together announced that they will soon roll-out “Nvidia Drive connected car platform”.   

They are rolling out their new platform across all new models from Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia, starting from 2022 onwards.  

“Nvidia brought consumer electronic functionality and a graphics-rich user interface to infotainment systems more than a decade ago,” said Ali Kani, VP of autonomous vehicles at Nvidia.

Snapchat to Acquire Israel’s Voca.ai, a Voice Agent Developer, For $70 million

Snap Inc, the parent of Snapchat, messaging app, has announced that it is going to acquire an Israeli company, Voca.ai. The cost of the purchase is estimated to be $70 million. Voca.ai develops voice assistants for the call center.   

To date, they have raised a mere amount of $6 million. Some of its investors include American Express Ventures, Group 11, and Flint Capital. In total, the company employs 35 people and all of them will be integrated into Snap after the acquisition.

Amazon’s Alexa Will Now Ask You Follow-Up Questions for Integrated Conversational Experience

Amazon announced that in its recent update they have made Alexa, the digital assistant model, even more talkative. In the updated version of the assistant, it will be able to infer a user’s latent goal and use those to responding to demands from consumers with follow-up questions.  

For instance, if a user asks Alexa for the time taken to fully cook an egg. The assistant tells you that it takes roughly 1 1/2 minutes, then she will ask you if you’d like to set a timer.  

Amazon says “the update involves algorithmic tweaks and a deep learning model that will allow the device to evolve based on its relationship to the user. If you’re asking Alexa about how to cook eggs every morning and always opting to set the timer, Alexa’s discovery model will use active learning to improve its predictions and more accurately conclude whether or not you want to know when those 1 1/2 minutes are up.”

Facebook to Utilize AI and ML to Take More Calls

Facebook has said that it is improving its content moderation tool by the implementation of enhanced artificial intelligence and machine learning. According to the company, it will help combat misinformation and hate posts effectively.   

Ryan Barness, product manager with the Facebook, announcement revealed that the new system would prioritize content based on numbers of different parameters such as severity, virality, and impact.   

Till now, the posts are thought to violate the company’s rules are flagged by human moderators in chronological order.

IBM Partners with KAYA&KATO to Develop New Blockchain System to Track Sustainability in Fashion

IBM or International Business Machines Corp, a consulting company headquartered in New York, announced its new partnership with KAYA&KATO, a German textile company. Their partnership will target sustainable clothes in the fashion industry.   

Together they aim to develop a system based on blockchain to bring trust and transparency to the origin of each product.

IBM says “The network is designed to create transparency about the origin of garments, from the fiber used to the completion of the final product, and to provide consumers with the knowledge that their clothes are sustainably produced.”

Airbnb Considers Blockchain Technology For its Business

Airbnb, a vacation rental online marketplace company in California, has shown a keen interest in adopting trending technologies such as cryptocurrencies, tokenization, and other blockchain applications, according to the prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  

For the future, the company’s official filing states that they are considering technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, distributed ledger, and cloud technologies.   

In the past, the company has said that they have no plans to consider any cryptocurrency as a mode of payment.

Google Transforms its Google Pay App to Personal Finance Assistant

Google has recently announced that it is transforming its Google Pay app into a personal finance powerhouse. The new app will provide users with various options such as budgeting money amongst other things.   

Google’s revamp focuses on making transferring funds for users and businesses much easier with a new group payment feature in a similar fashion to Venmo.

Google Inching Towards World of End-to-End Encryption with its Messaging App

Alphabet’s Google has started rolling out end-to-end encryption for Rich Communication Service. With this move, the industry giant is pushing text-messaging standard as an alternative to SMS. 

RCS abbreviate for Rich Communication Service provides a better user experience than the standard SMS. Its key selling points are presence information, typing indicators, longer messages, location sharing, and better media support. They have also led everything to high-quality photos and videos, knowing when a message is read, sharing reactions, chat over Wi-Fi, and improved capabilities for group chats.

Snapchat Add New Features and is Offering $1 million to Creators with Most Engagement Each Day

For the first time, Snapchat is copying another app’s features. On Monday, the disappearing-photos app unveiled a new feature that mimics short video feeds from TikTok. It allows users to post content that might go viral. the company plans to give out $1 million per day to users who will start using it.  

Spotlight of Snapchat will provide users a vertical feed of videos that are selected algorithmically and joins Instagram’s Reels as the new copycat to tap into TikTok’s magical formula.  

Snapchat which is headed by Evan Spiegel, says that the company will $1 million available to users each day who will post the most-watched videos. This is a new way to lure and keep talented creators on its platform.

PS5 Gets New Patch for Overall System Performance Improvement

Sony, Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation, has dropped a PS5 system update designed to improve its overall system performance. However, many still remain unclear about which patch has changed specifically. 

Similar to last week’s updatethe details read simply as: “This system software update improves system performance.” The 20.02-02.26.00 system update weighs in at 886MB. 

Traditionally, Sony doesn’t always comment on the contents of its system updatesNeither, the company has responded to requests for comment on the recent patches.

ZTE Launches New Smartwatch with Heart Rate and Blood-oxygen Sensors

In native China, ZTE, Chinese telecommunication and technology company, has launched the Watch Live. The new watch by ZTE is off the Apple Watch-clone variety. However, the watch comes at a much lesser price than its inspiration.   

The company and its maker claims that the watch packs 24-hour heart-rate tracking, sleep-tracking, blood-oxygen sensing, and also have a battery life of up to 21 hours in its square casing.  

This brand-new Watch offers 12 different sports modes, besides, it also offers sleep and stress-tracking features. The watch also has a very good rating for continuous SpO2 measurements and heart-rate tracking.

For this new watch, the buyer gets the device in black finishing with a black silicone band. Also, according to its marketing material the strap comes in orange, blue, or gray. However, these options are not available to order in the website.