The USPS has been testing a service, called Informed Delivery, that sends you an email with scans of the letter mail you’ll be getting in your mailbox each day by 11:00am. Although this service may provide some solace for people eagerly waiting for a specific letter, there is still noticeable skepticism about the usefulness of the product. You’ve got mail.
When people think of mobile payment innovation they reference leading brands like Apple, Google and Facebook, startups like Square and legacy players like PayPal. Each is steadily rolling out new-fangled services to replace cash and checks with our smartphones. If this all seems cutting edge, you may be surprised to learn one country is far ahead of Silicon Valley. In Kenya, you don't need a bank account, you don't need a credit history, or very much money for that matter to send a payment. Texting money.
Whether you’re planning your first “Friends-giving” dinner or a veteran chef of turkey feasts, the ‘The New York Times' wants to help you plan the perfect meal this Thanksgiving. The online, interactive meal planner helps you determine what is best to include on the menu based on the size of your party and provides a variety of recipes for all skill levels. Gobble Gobble.
Despite being the ideal users for many of these services, that can help lend an extra hand to busy moms, a recent survey from BabyCenter highlights lack of awareness of apps that offer on-demand/sharing economy services among moms who were frequent mobile device users. See more survey results here.
If you’ve ever forgotten to download a movie before leaving for the airport, then you know the agony of in-flight Wi-Fi. This week, Gogo had journalists test their new 2Ku satellite internet, which will actually support streaming. Its nothing compared to your home internet, but it is worlds better than Gogo’s current offering. I’ll take ANY improvement.
In practice, YouTube has become the world’s largest streaming music service – more well-known than Spotify or Apple. Today, they released their dedicated music app that offers unlimited access to 30 million tracks including music videos, live concerts, and karaoke tracks. The app becomes even more powerful with a $10 subscription to Red that provides ad-free listening and even an offline mode. See it for yourself.
Using “deep learning” artificial intelligence, Google is looking to streamline time spent responding to emails by analyzing its contents and proposing a few, brief, responses for the user to select from on the go. Dubbed Smart Reply, the AI technology learns to compose 6 to 8 word email replies by analyzing and learning from mass amounts of real-world email conversations. Personal Assistants need not apply.
Amazon merges online data and reviews with the physical space of a bookstore as it opens its first real-world bookstore today in Seattle. Reviews and star ratings will be displayed alongside the physical books, which will be arranged so their covers face out rather than their spines. See how Amazon translates digital into a brick-and-mortar experience.
Today more than ever, customer reviews have an astounding impact – one extra star on Yelp raises a restaurant’s revenues by 5-8%. But the legitimacy of these reviews is in question. As Amazon files lawsuits against individual reviewers and operators, and Yelp’s algorithm removes 30% of posts they deem as “suspicious”, the fight is no where near over. Read more about fighting fakes.
Match, which filed for an IPO last week, estimates it has helped put together more than 10 million couples. Making the service appealing to women, and a dedication to safety, helped it get off the ground. It initially had to promote the category, not its specific service. As the business grew, the organization realized a strange corollary: in countries where Sex and the City was syndicated, Match had immediate adoption. The evolution of online dating.