Weekly Tech News Roundup - Apr 5 2016
News on Google's April Fool, Apple, Facebook Messenger, and Slack’s growth.
That Time When Instead of Saying 'April Fool!' Google Had to Say 'Sorry!'
Unintentional consequences led Google to pull its April Fools' prank, Gmail Mic Drop, a few hours after launching it on Friday.
The joke let users claim the last word in an email thread by clicking on the "Send + Mic Drop" option. A GIF of a minion from the animated movieDespicable Me -- would accompany the reply, and the sender would not receive any further responses to the thread.
The "send and mic drop" button, which was located next to the "send" button, replaced the "send and archive" button.
"Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We're truly sorry," said Victor-bogdan Anchidin, a Google software engineer.
Apple releases iOS 9.3.1 with fix for bug that causes tapping links to crash iPhones
Well that was quick. A couple of days after a bug affecting iOS started making the news, Apple has released a fix. iOS 9.3.1, now available on the iPhone and iPad, fixes this bug. The changelog is quite short as there’s only one item. “Fixes an issue that caused apps to be unresponsive after tapping on links in Safari and other apps,” it says.
Facebook Plots Secret Chat for Messenger
Facebook apparently has been working on mobile pay and secret chat features for its Messenger app, according to a report published this week by The Information, based on clues found in extracted software code on Messenger for iPhone.
Commands embedded in the software hint at secret conversations, similar to what's found in WhatsApp, the voice and messaging service owned by Facebook, according to the report.
Other references reportedly found in the code include commands to pay in person and pay in Messenger when picking up an item.
All of Apple’s Products Ever, in One Glorious Infographic
HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, APPLE!
To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of the company’s 15 most pivotal products, starting with the design of the iPhone and ending with the San Bernardino iPhone. But to see all of Apple’s products from the past four decades, at once, look to “The Insanely Great History of Apple 3.0” ($90)—a comprehensive visual overview of Apple’s oeuvre, from the folks at Pop Charts Lab. The Brooklyn infographic-makers created the original chart in 2011, when the iPad 2 was the latest innovation. Now, they’ve updated it to include everything up to the iPhone SE and 9.7” iPad Pro, both of which were added to Apple’s lineup after the recent Apple event in Cupertino.
The updated poster, like the original, is organized by year and device category (software, all-in-ones, handhelds, and so on). You can watch as Apple shrinks from the bulky Lisa to the Apple Watch, but you can also see, quite clearly, the impact of Steve Jobs’ return to the company, in 1997.
Slack’s growth is insane, with daily user count up 3.5X in a year
Plenty of startups have tried and failed to make enterprise software sexy, but Slack made it viral. Its growth rate is unheard of. Both Slack’s daily user count and its paid seat count are up 3.5X in just a year. Tons of people have still never heard of it, but with this momentum, they probably will soon (it’s workplace chat).
What the growth means for Slack is network effect. Each person who joins makes the product stronger for everyone. Each one who hears about it or uses it to organize outside of work becomes more likely to infect their whole company with the Slack virus. And while competitors might be able to clone its basic chat features, they can’t clone its community.