Set to live alongside Snapchat's various lenses, Snap just launched Snappables. TechCrunch calls them “AR games that use your touch, motion, and facial expressions to compete for high scores or in literal head-to-head multiplayer matchups.” New games are expected to roll out on a weekly basis, while Snap plans to allow more successful ones to linger.
Google officially debuted an overhauled Gmail this week. The new service includes “email snoozing, nudging, and [a] confidential mode making their debut alongside a substantial visual redesign,” The Verge writes. “The new Gmail begins a global phased rollout today, which is to say that it won't be available to every one of Gmail's 1.4 billion users right away.”
In the interest of user security, Facebook just released more product and policy changes
reports. “The changes include provisions around the transfer of data outside the Facebook app, the use of service providers, data processing by technology partners and how Facebook monitors compliance with its own terms,” it writes.
Adding a unique package delivery option, Amazon just debuted a new service that gives couriers access to consumers’ vehicles. “The company is launching this new service in partnership with two major automakers -- General Motors and Volvo -- and will be rolling out in 37 cities in the US starting today,” The Verge reports.
Verizon added 260,000 monthly subscriptions in the first quarter, Bloomberg reports. “That topped the 159,000 average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg,” it notes. “The results renewed optimism that the largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier can cope with a maturing industry.”
Spotify just unveiled a redesigned app. “With the new [app], users can listen on-demand to whatever song they want, as many times as they want, as long as those songs appear on one of the 15 personalized discovery playlists like Daily Mix, Discover Weekly, Release Radar or Today’s Top Hits,” TechCrunch reports.
The Guardian investigates a new breed of Instagram influencers and how they’re taking their followers for a ride. “Posing as ultra-wealthy kids and posting internet memes taken from [Wolf of Wall Street], its followers aggressively sign up young people to what looks like an international pyramid scheme that has helped to generate billions of pounds for large companies selling highly risky financial trading products,” it writes.
The Wall Street Journal
surveys the many ways that Google extracts user data from Gmail, apps, its analytics service, and other avenues. Potentially raising a red flag for users and lawmakers, The Journal
warns: “Google likely knows more about us than Facebook.”
Amazon is quietly developing robots for the home, Bloomberg reports. Codenamed Vesta, the “project originated a few years ago, but this year Amazon began to aggressively ramp up hiring,” it writes. “People briefed on the plan say the company hopes to begin seeding the robots in employees’ homes by the end of this year, and potentially with consumers as early as 2019, though the timeline could change.”
Aleksandr Kogan -- the Cambridge University researcher at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal -- now says he may sue Facebook. As he tells Buzzfeed, that’s because he worked much more closely with the social giant than has been reported in the press. In fact, “He worked on ‘at least 10’ papers with Facebook’s Pete Fleming, who is now the head of research at Instagram,” Buzzfeed writes.