Week 10

Abstract graphic in the Google color palette representing Google I/O 2023

I/O 2023. Google announced the date of this year’s Google I/O. Primarily oriented towards developers, the 2023 edition of the annual conference will like cover updates on Android 14, the Pixel Tablet, possibly a Pixel 7a or Pixel 8 launch and maybe — just maybe — the rumored foldable. Microsoft also announced an AI Event (tomorrow), where we may hear more about OpenAI powering various tools and services. I’ll likely skip Microsoft, but I can’t wait till I/O (and WWDC the follow month) — woohoo!

Messenger. Meta is bringing Messenger back to the Facebook mobile app. Pulled out as a separate app back in 2014, the company wants to make it easier and more convenient for its users to “connect and share.” Given that the standalone app has grown in feature set, it will be interesting to see how well the re-integration will go. From a product strategy perspective, it’s understandable that they’d want to cut back on managing so many properties (see also: WhatsApp, Instagram).

Spotify… announced Home feed updates to its iOS and Android apps. Borrowing from the TikTok, the company will be introducing a short-form video feed based on personalized recommendations in an effort to drive discovery. Spotify hopes to build off the Canvas video feature — the looping video clip that you can currently view as a background image of the play screen for a song. I just hope it doesn’t get overrun with ads like in other short-form video spaces.

Apple… made the Classical app available for preorder in the App Store. Similar to its older sibling, Classical will allow users to stream over 5M tracks as well as curated playlists and exclusive albums. The will offer a simple, yet familiar interface with an updated serif font for headings to match the feel of the app. I’m not convinced that a standalone app for the classical experience is necessary, but I’m happy to have another Apple app to study!

HomePod. In more Apple news, the next HomePod could come with a 7-inch display. Note that this is just a rumor — and I wouldn’t put too much faith in rumors — but this one makes sense (see the included concepts in the linked article). As someone who also uses a Nest Hub daily, it always felt like a miss that the HomePod didn’t do much more than offer volume controls and Siri lights on its current display. Apple also announced a new color for the iPhone.

From the desk of…

This week, I reviewed The State of Mobile 2023 in our monthly Mobile Community of Practice at my full-time gig. Together with other community members, we walked through and discussed a condensed version of the annual report produced by Data.ai. As is the challenge with data, we tried to make sense out of the macro trends and how they connected to the work we do in the automotive software space.

In an effort to make the data relatable, we embraced more of an open format style, keeping the conversation casual and inviting attendees to ask questions as they came up. In my experience, based on the reporting and analytics projects I’ve had the pleasure to worked on, understanding the story that the data is telling has always been a struggle. I greatly enjoyed being able to discuss that story with others — something you cannot do through an app.




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