Apple and Goldman Sachs are reportedly readying a joint credit card. “Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plan to start issuing this spring a joint credit card paired with new iPhone features that will help users manage their money,” The Wall Street Journal writes.
Smart glasses maker North just laid off 150 employees, The Verge reports. “North launched its smart glasses, which use a laser to project a display in front of wearers’ eyes, in January,’ it writes. “Just weeks later, the company lowered the glasses’ starting price from $999 to $599.99,” it notes. To date, the company has raised about $130 million from the likes of Amazon and Intel.
Facebook has access to some of the most sensitive information that consumers share with apps, The Wall Street Journal reports. “The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to Facebook,” it writes. “The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the testing showed.”
Pinterest is planning its IPO for June, and hopes to raise roughly $12 billion in the process, The Wall Street Journal reports. As The Journal writes: “Pinterest Inc. has confidentially filed paperwork … for an initial public offering that is expected to value the company, which operates a platform for online-image searches, at $12 billion or more as it joins a parade of hot tech startups planning share debuts in 2019.”
Google will offer a glimpse of its forthcoming gaming strategy at next month’s Game Developer’s Conference, Fortune reports. “The event will be the coming out party for Google’s entry into the video game space -- and the company is spending heavily to get publishers on board,” it writes. “The gaming unit is expected to be a Netflix-like streaming service, building on the success of Project Stream.”
SoundCloud is adding distribution to its self-monetization Premier program, The Verge reports. “Those who are eligible in the open beta will now be able to self-upload, monetize, and publish their songs to other streaming platforms,” it writes. “Notably, SoundCloud says those who use its distribution service will keep ‘100 percent of their distribution royalties from third-party services.’
Google is finally apologizing for failing to tell Nest Secure owners that the devices came with built-in microphones. “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs,” a Google spokesperson tells Business Insider. “That was an error on our part.”
Apple is planning to align its app platforms by 2021, Bloomberg reports. As such, “Developers will be able to build an app once and have it work on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers,” it writes. “Later this year, Apple plans to let developers port their iPad apps to Mac computers via a new software development kit that the company will release as early as June.”
From the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2018, shipments of AI-imbued speakers grew 95% to 38.5 million units, Venture Beat reports, citing a new report from Strategy Analysics. “The massive fourth-quarter leap isn’t too surprising — a report released by Adobe during the Consumer Electronics Show in January last year found that nearly 76 percent of smart speaker sales occur during the holiday season,” VB writes.
The Hollywood Reporter chats with Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke about various issues, including the unit’s content acquisition strategy and broadcasting live events. “A year after she took the job, the former NBC Entertainment president is cementing her film strategy: a mix of theatrically distributed art house titles and blockbuster swings,” THR writes.