Google Releases App-Shrinking Tools; Time To Break Up Facebook; Tesla Cars Self-Diagnosing Software; Edgewell Buys Harry’s RazorsPosted: May 9, 2019
Last year, Google rolled Android App Bundle…a publishing format that shrinks app installs. Engadget.com reports that it’s now out in beta for developers, and should be able to make a significant space savings on your smart device. According to Google, some 80,000 apps are working on production using the feature….it gives an average size savings of 20% leading to an 11% install uplift. Soon, ‘storage full’ notices may become a lot less frequent on Android devices.
In an editorial in the NY Times, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes unloaded on his former partner Mark Zuckerberg and said it’s time to break up Facebook. Hughes opines that Zuck’s influence is vastly greater than anyone else in the private sector or government. Hughes says this is via his control of 3 core communications platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp…apps that billions of people use daily. The Facebook board is more of an advisory committee, according to the former co-founder, since Zuckerberg controls about 60% of the voting shares in the company. Hughes affirms that he thinks Zuck is a good person, but that he has sacrificed security and civility for ‘clicks.’ He calls for the US and other governments to start holding Facebook accountable, and putting in regulations with teeth that will reign in the influence of the social network, Instagram, and WhatsApp….something he points out the US has done throughout its history with monopolies.
There was no big announcement, but Tesla has released a couple of interesting features in a software update. Mashable.com reports that one of them allows the cars to diagnose themselves, and pre-order parts if needed. If it happens, the car’s screen will display “an unexpected condition has been detected” and that a “replacement part has been pre-shipped to your preferred Tesla Service Center.” The screen then prompts the user to make an appointment using their app or Tesla account on a computer. Another improvement…a new setting to allow your car to receive software updates as soon as they are released.
All good things must come to an end, and that is especially true of startups. They either become mature companies, are bought out, or go away. Techcrunch.com says that Harry’s razors is now joining the ranks of those snapped up by bigger companies. Edgewell Personal Care, which owns Schick, Banana Boat sunscreens, and Wet Ones (moist wipes) has snagged Harry’s in a $1.37 billion dollar acquisition. Harry’s co-founders Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider will become co-presidents of US operations for Edgewell. Raider is also a co-founder of glasses maker Warby Parker.