Apple’s App Store- Record 2019; Facebook & eBay Step Up Fake Review Policing; Ford Getting 2 Leg Robot for Package Delivery; BMW Shows Future AR Windshield

Apple says its App Store brought in a record $1.42 billion for developers during the Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve period…a 16% jump over last year. The amount included app sales and sales of in-app items. Cnet.com reports that on New Year’s Evey Day, Apple hit a single-day record of $386 million, a 20% boost over last year! Which apps did the best?

Top Free iPhone Apps
1 YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
2 Instagram
3 Snapchat
4 TikTok – Make Your Day
5 Messenger
6 Gmail – Email by Google
7 Netflix
8 Facebook
9 Google Maps – Transit & Food
10 Amazon – Shopping made easy
Top Paid iPhone Apps
1 Facetune
2 HotSchedules
3 Dark Sky Weather
4 The Wonder Weeks
5 AutoSleep Tracker for Watch
6 TouchRetouch
7 Procreate Pocket
8 Sky Guide
9 Toca Hair Salon 3
10 Scanner Pro: PDF Scanner App

Under pressure from the UK, Facebook and eBay have promised to do more to clean up fake reviews. According to techcrunch.com, a British consumer rights group says Facebook has removed 188 groups and 24 user accounts so far. eBay has permanently banned 140 users after the watchdog and UK’s Competition and Markets Authority pressed them. Both companies have pledged to ‘better identify, investigate and respond to’ the trade in fake reviews, and keep them off their platforms moving forward.

Ford has announced the purchase of some new two-legged robots built by Agility Robotics. Zdnet.com says the robot, named Digit, is a 5 foot tall robot with humanoid form factor. Ford plans to mate them up with self-driving delivery vehicles to handle the pesky ‘last 50 feet’ of delivery that has been a knotty problem for delivery services. Some are working on drones…like Amazon, but those have limited carrying capacity and range. Ford would like to have autonomous vehicles for commercial operation by next year. Unlike a small drone, the robot could unfold out of the back of the vehicle, pick up a package of up to 40 lbs, and put it on a doorstep. Since Digit has legs as opposed to wheels like other concept delivery robots, stairs aren’t a problem. Ford plans for the robots to be able to top of and recharge while riding from place to place in the vehicle. Lidar will spot potential obstacles for the robot, and it can radio back to the car, which can connect to a bigger computer that will send a solution. It’s doubtful this will all happen by 2021 as Ford might like, but it’s definitely on the way.

In other cool auto tech, BMW showed off a mind blowing concept…an AR windshield for the 2021 iNext. According to engadget.com, the windshield has an overlaid transparent display, that lets data be overlaid onto the road ahead. You might get descriptions and contextual info about nearby objects, buildings, and signs. It has eye tracking sensors that let the car follow your gaze, and display more data about something that has caught your attention. If you want to go deeper, you will be able to gesture towards the screen, and more info will appear. To be able to make all this happen, it will require the speed of 5G, and BMW says the 2021 iNext will be the first car to feature 5G standard.



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