In the last 48 hours, as of this writing, a whole lot has happened in tech. Initially, today’s article was going to talk about the new work from home policies and guidelines that tech companies announced last week. But we have months to comment on that, and we will.
Today, however, there’s much more to talk about. Here goes:
Facebook announced Facebook Shops. And it will also work similarly for Instagram. You know how you’re scrolling Instagram and see a product that you like, so you click on it to buy it? Right now, the app pushes you to the brand’s or shop’s website. But Facebook Shops will allow you to shop directly from there.
For small business owners who have small stores that sell unique items, this is a great way to come online. And just like a customer would reach for customer support on a website, they can reach a seller here via Messenger or WhatsApp. The larger, long term plan of integrating all the products that Facebook has is getting clearer.
The concept is neat. You have a small business and want to sell online without having to create a store? Have a store on social media. On a platform that millions of people anyway visit. But I think we are yet to see the caveats and we won’t know those until people actually begin to use it. For an in depth detail on Facebook Shops, check out their press release.
Next up is that Microsoft’s Build Conference is going on. I managed to watch the keynote by Satya Nadella, the CEO, and some videos of upcoming things. It is the first developer conference of this kind, a virtual one, happening from everyone’s homes. If anyone saw it, you know what it felt like. The whole thing was basically a Microsoft Teams simulation as the video went from home to home as it moved through speakers. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
A lot of what they said was about how they are building platforms and products. The attention to platforms being equally important. They announced new things like Fluid Office documents, which as a concept is breathtaking. You don’t have to think about files, only the data you have in those files, and it can move, and sync in real time. I am here for such fluidity. But we will see how it pans out. I have learnt to take flashy presentations with a slight grain of salt, while still having faith.
If you wish to check out the conference, you will have to register and then you can watch it for free. You will also find the videos on their YouTube channel if you want to catch up with the sessions again.
Sundar Pichai appeared on a popular podcast, Vergecast, and talked about the irony of developing Google Meet, a product for video meetings, while working remotely. He also talked about how hardware is hard to execute, Pixel being the case in point and he, kind of, sort of admitted that they haven’t done enough work on the watch (WatchOS). But Nest is doing great. Having the camera mastermind Marc Levoy leave the company, means they will have to work even harder to keep the Pixel’s flagship feature alive and thriving.
In a way, this podcast interview was a replacement for the Google I/O keynote and in a way it wasn’t. The familiarity of hearing updates from Google in May lives on. At some point, there will be some unveiling of Android 11 (Bring back the dessert names, Google!), an update on new Assistant features, and a bunch of other typical I/O announcements. But it is safe to say that the Android timeline has moved back a bit farther.
He also commented about the partnership with Apple regarding the COVID-19 exposure notification system. The two companies are constantly in conversation regarding it while they work. As of right now, Apple even released an iOS update 13.5 which not only covers the API, but also the changes to the FaceID screen, and changes in FaceTime that I mentioned in the last update.
Note: The Exposure Notification API will be used by governing bodies of a state or country when they make their apps, or if they already have apps for COVID-19.
Here are the tweets from Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook:
Sundar Pichai happens to be the CEO of Google and Alphabet and folks, the man managed to compartmentalize mentally while working from home and allotting specific times for his tasks. I noticed I have quite a bit to learn from it.
In conclusion, new updates are coming to all kinds of tech. Tech is evolving for the new world, Facebook Shops being the case in point. Next month is Apple’s WWDC, the next big conference to happen online.
Until then, I hope to have plenty more to write about, just like the last 24 hours.
Till then, follow us on Twitter @biztechcs where we share our interesting thoughts on all the things happening in tech. Your daily dose of tech, simplified.