Google “Pausing” Allo

Google has announced that its messaging app called Allo is being “paused.”

Anil Sabharwal, who is the new head of the company’s communication group, said that not only was the company pausing Allo, but that all its personnel would now be working on a different messaging app called Android Messages. Some analysts believe that Google needs as many resources as possible on Messages to make sure that it is ultimately successful.

In effect, Allo suffered from a lack of users, making it an ineffective competitor against the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Sabharwal indicated that the app simply did not gain enough traction among users. At least not as much as they had hoped. They thought — when they started developing the app — that they would be building something that millions of people would not only use but get excited about. But he said that at this point the company does not see the app being on that kind of trajectory.

For those who use and depend on Allo, all is not lost. The app will still work, and Google is even saying that it will support it in some undefined way. The company actually has not made a final decision about what it will do with Allo, if anything. Sabharwal said that they wanted to be fair to users of the app, and that they did not want to make any rash decisions about it at the moment. Though, he added, the company had immediate needs when it came to Android Messages, and that is why they made the move.

For those who use Duo, which is a video chatting app Google launched at the same time that it launched Allo, the news is better. The company says that it is satisfied with how Duo has grown. The app, which is available for both Android and iOS, is steadily gaining users. As long as this continues into the future, the company will continue to develop it.

Square Buys Zesty to Help Caviar: Tech and Catering Mashup

Who would’ve thought catering and technology could fuse together? The wise executives at Square realize technology can go with anything including catering. Square intends to purchase the startup known as Zesty. Zesty focuses on an app designed to build up catering customers for businesses that otherwise couldn’t gain a foothold in the market.

Square truly sees solid earning potential with this app. If the company didn’t, then no serious thought would go into purchasing the startup.

Apps sharing similarities to Uber and other gig economy concepts seem to be growing tremendously. With Zesty, business concepts change and grow to another level. Instead of trying to connect freelancers with work, Zesty allows already established businesses to expand in the market. Specifically, restaurants can increase the scope of their business endeavors to include catering.

Launching a catering business isn’t exactly easy. Through Zesty, a pathway opens for business owners to perform catering jobs without significant financial expenditures.

Currently, Zesty is based in the single city of San Francisco. Square assuredly believes the company has the potential to grow. Relying solely on one city for business reflects too much of a risk considering the purchase price for the startup.

Zesty also heavily stressed connecting restaurants with corporate clients. Catering corporate events likely comes with high fees, and these fees may deliver the profit margins Square would be interested in seeing grow.

Square already owns a food delivery service known as Caviar. Caviar for Teams, a subdivision, deals with catering corporate events. Zesty could drive up business for Caviar hopefully delivering even more profits for Square if things work out. No real reason exist why things wouldn’t work out.

Nokia’s Acquisition Pushes Home WiFi

Smart home technology is exploding, and Nokia is moving in on that action by providing mesh WiFi solutions for the home. To achieve this, the company acquired Seattle-based Unium late last week and the deal is expected to close before the end of the first quarter. Unium’s tech includes mesh WiFi gateways, home-based mesh WiFi, beacons, and software solutions that optimize solutions.

Unium’s past clients include Google Fiber and the Department of Defense. The company understands how to deliver secure WiFi to remote regions. Nokia gains this technology and expertise with the acquisition. Industry experts expect Nokia to leverage this and other recent acquisitions “to add more value to [Nokia’s] business.”

Nokia’s Fixed Network business group president Frederico Guillen told reports, “With Unium inside, our Nokia Wi-Fi solution will deliver an unmatched user experience, going beyond what standard mesh Wi-Fi solutions deliver today.”

Home WiFi users typically experience dead zones, overlap and unexplained drops in areas of the home, especially homes with thick walls or those in rural areas. The rise of smart home technologies has brought these difficulties to prominence. Users investing in smart home technologies and smart home assistants can be disappointed in the lack of coverage in certain areas of their homes. Nokia’s mesh WiFi is one way customers can use their new technologies to their fullest potential.

Nokia’s entry into this area of tech is evidence of its mission to “deepen” its relationship with carriers. The company has also acquired Comptel that provides “software-based data solutions.” Such a relationship will ensure that Nokia is the go-to provider of powerful, secure, home internet that is compatible with a variety of partners. Nokia’s current home WiFi customers are able to continue contracts with their original carriers using plug-and-play solutions.

How 3D Printing is Poised to Revolutionize

Initially viewed as little more than a novelty, 3D printing is a technology that promises to make a sweeping impact across many different industries. From medical applications to industrial manufacturing, the latest trends in 3D printing promise a valuable glimpse into the many changes and possibilities that may be just over the horizon. Streamlining, upgrading or even outright replacing conventional production methods will soon allow manufacturers to enhance their output and efficiency while drastically reducing their overhead and operational costs.

Made-to-Order Parts and Components

Conventional methods of component fabrication often required numerous resources and entailed a production process that was both time and labor intensive. Ordering raw materials, machining parts on-site and putting the finishing touches on any components utilized during the production of end-line consumer goods typically involved a number of cost and logistical obstacles. For many businesses that have been unable to overcome production limitation, 3D printers that are able to produce finished metal goods and high-quality parts and components more quickly and for less overall cost promises to be a real game changer. Eliminating the delays and costs needed to machine parts or assemble production components will soon allow both new manufacturers and more established businesses to take advantage of an expanded range of options, choices and solutions.

Streamlined Production

Inefficient workflow processes can impede the overall efficiency of an organization. More convenient and affordable ways to fabricate the items and resources they need ensures that manufactures will be able to streamline their production process in order to boost output and optimize their profitability. 3D printers that are able to work with a wider range of materials and substances are likely to revolutionize many aspects of manufacturing within the near future. Businesses that will have the opportunity to print what they need rather than fabricating parts and components through conventional methods will be able to enjoy a number of key benefits.

A $500 Million IPO Is Planned for Dropbox

There have been many discussions among Wall Street experts over the past few months about the possibility of Dropbox going public. It would seem that day has finally come. The company that is headquartered in San Francisco has contacted the SEC and filed for a $500 million initial public offering. The company allows people to share data. However, it was launched as a free method that people could use in order to securely store various files like music and pictures. “DBX” will be the ticker symbol associated with the company when it finally appears on Nasdaq.

Dropbox experienced revenue of more than $1 billion last year. This was above industry estimates. There are currently more than 11 million people who pay Dropbox to store their files. More than half of these people reside outside the United States. The company has experienced very steady growth over the past few years. This is very good new considering that there are many other companies that offer a similar type of service. However, Dropbox has done a very good job of marketing itself as a cheaper alternative for data storage. This has helped them steal many customers away from their more expensive competitors.

There were many stock market analysts who thought that Dropbox should have filed for an IPO two years ago. However, company executives did not feel the time was right to make a move of that magnitude. It appears as if their patience is going to pay off in a very big way. The announcement was a surprise to many people on Wall Street. Dropbox did not give any advance warning about filing the IPO. There are several of the largest financial firms in the United States who will be underwriting the IPO. People in more than 180 countries use Dropbox on a regular basis.

How Self-Driving Vehicles Will Revolutionize Urban Design

The sweeping changes mad possible with self-driving vehicles may extend well beyond commercial application and the influence this technology is expected to have on the transportation industry. From the largest commercial trucks to the smallest passenger cars, having growing numbers of self-driving vehicles on the road will have a major impact on urban planning and city design. Having to rethink urban development from the ground up may be the only way developers and planners will be able to keep pace with autonomous vehicles.

Congestion, Traffic and Parking

Traffic patterns are expected to undergo a rapid evolution thanks to vehicles that drive themselves and those that are able to operate without the need for human occupants. Certain routes, roads and areas may see a steep rise in the total volume of vehicles and traffic while other locations may experience a sudden drop off. Removing human drivers from the equation can also eliminate many of the most common and significant causes of traffic congestion. Even dedicated parking areas and structures may no longer serve a useful purpose as self-driving vehicles that have been stored off-site can easily routed to pick up passengers regardless of their proximity or surroundings.

Other Advances in Transportation Technology

Autonomous vehicles are not the only emerging technology that may serve to reshape urban environments. Other transportation technologies, such as emission-less vehicles, next-generation public transit systems and even aerial delivery drones may all have a role to play in shaping the ways cities are designed and built. Overcoming the limitations of existing city layouts and making the necessary changes and infrastructure upgrades needed to maximize the potential benefits made possible with self-driving vehicles is an important undertaking. Widespread access to more efficient and convenient transportation solutions is expected to make a big impact on the way tomorrow’s cities and urban areas are designed.

Advantages of Automated Delivery Drones

The limitations of today’s transportation technology has created a number of obstacles that businesses may soon be able to surmount through use of drone-based delivery systems. Small and even mid-sized aerial vehicles that are able to transport payloads to their destinations without the need for a human pilot or operator can provide a seemingly endless range of benefits. From shorter delivery times to decreased operational costs, use of a fully-automated transport and delivery system will soon change the way that businesses and other organizations are able to operate.

Cost Advantages of Automated Delivery

From staffing costs to the maintenance needed to keep a fleet of conventional delivery vehicles operating in the field for any length of time, logistical expenses associated with existing delivery systems are often substantial. Smaller drones that are only dispatched at need and that can bypass ground-based obstacles with ease will be able to provide a far more cost-effective way to fill orders and make deliveries. New startups that would otherwise lack the resources needed to handle a delivery process and larger organizations interested in curbing operational costs would do well to learn more about automated delivery options and drone-based transport solutions.

Other Uses for Aerial Drones

When it comes to the many potential uses for autonomous drone-based transport, commercial delivery services are just the beginning. Drone-based solutions are ideal for optimizing the effectiveness of limited resources and drone delivery may soon be used to delivery defibrillators or other life-saving equipment to the scene of an accident or other emergency. Areas and regions that lack conventional infrastructure may also be able to utilize drone delivery in order to better service a rural or developing population. The sheer number of drone delivery systems that are already being developed and those that are beginning to see implementation and real-world use offer a valuable glimpse into the many ways that this technology may soon be utilized.

Amazon Will Open Additional Stores Without Cashiers

Amazon has been dominating the online retail industry for a very long time. The company has used their money to get into other industries. For example, they purchased the Whole Foods Market chain of grocery stores. Amazon is currently trying to revolutionize the convenience store industry. They have already opened one Amazon Go store in Seattle. The unique aspect that separates Amazon Go stores from other convenience stores is the fact that there are no cashiers. Customers download an app and scan a bar code on their phone. This opens a turnstile that allows them into the store. A running tally is kept as he or she places each item into their cart. They are charged when they leave the store.

This type of store is appealing to customers because there is no need for customers to wait in line. There is also no need to carry cash or a credit card when you shop at a store like this. The one Amazon Go store in Seattle has been a success so far. This is why Amazon is already planning to open six additional Amazon Go stores in Los Angeles and Seattle. However, the exact locations of these stores have not yet been revealed by the company.

Amazon has not released a time frame regarding when the six new stores will open. There has also been no word about the size of each store. The company released a statement saying additional info on each of the new stores will be released within the next months. There are rumors that the new location will be larger than the original store. This has led to speculation that a larger selection of items will also be available. However, that it purely speculation at this point. Amazon said that more stores will open later this year.

Changes in the Mobile Industry

There are currently changes in the mobile industry. While smartphones are selling as much as ever, there is another form of technology that is starting to take off. This is the virtual reality technology. The interesting thing is that this is one of the most anticipated forms of technology in that it has been showcased in sci-fi productions. It has also been one of the most talked about forms of technology. Now, it has finally been unveiled to the public, and people are taking advantage of all of the fun they can have with the products as they try the games in virtual reality simulators.

However, there is one company that is looking to merge the mobile phone and virtual reality sections in order to be more efficient. This company is HTC. HTC has been struggling and is actually laying off a lot of people and preparing what could be its last flagship. One thing that can be said about HTC is that it is a good mobile phone company. The only thing is that the mobile industry is saturated and dominated by Samsung, Google, Apple, and LG. Fortunately, there is always going to be hope for HTC to move with its next project.

One of the best things to happen for HTC is that the smartphone division has been acquired by Google. Therefore, HTC is going to receive the Google touch and come up with some better selling phones. One of the best things about Google is that it is one of the more marketable company. With all of the expert marketing, there are going to be phones that are going to sell better than the last.

The Future of Augmented Reality Applications

While a technology that is still in its infancy, augmented reality (AR) is a term that end-line consumers can expect to hear a whole lot more of in the days to come. AR applications function by providing a visual overlay, one that augments but does not supersede a users field of vision. AR has numerous uses in terms of both practical applications as well as games and other forms of recreational media, but its true potential as a marketing tool often goes overlooked. Providing end-line consumers with relevant product information in real-time or making use of an AR overlay to ensure quicker and easier access to a payment portal can offer several key benefits.

Next-Generation Promotional Strategies

Businesses that fail to market themselves effectively could be missing out on a great deal. The rapid pace of technological advancement often means that even promotional and advertising strategies that were once effective can quickly loose their impact over time. AR-based marketing tools will be able to provide a number of uses, features and benefits that established techniques may simply be unable to rival. Investing in a more effective advertising strategy and taking advantage of the latest technologies and marketing methods can help to ensure that businesses are able to remain competitive and successful.

Future Commercial Uses

Technology that provides new ways for businesses to interact with their customers and clients can become a crucial asset. Ecommerce applications that may be able to combine various retail uses with marketing content have the potential to become a real game changer. The full range of potential commercial uses that AR may be able to offer is just beginning to be explored. Businesses that wish to keep pace with changing times and evolving consumer habits would do well to keep an eye out for the latest AR trends, applications and other emerging developments.