Amazon Updates Echo Line & Works on Its Own Chatbot; Uber Launching Teen Accounts; Google Will Delete Your Gmail After a Couple Years; You May Be Able to Use Pixel as Dash CamPosted: May 17, 2023 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Amazon is freshening up the Echo lineup. A new device all together is the Echo Pop. Techcrunch.com reports that the Pop is more of a semi-circular gadget…as opposed to the Dot, which is basically spherical. the Pop comes in what Amazon calls ‘teen friendly’ colors like lavender and teal, and sells for $39.99. It will also extend your home WiFi network via eero. In addition to the Pop, there is an updated Echo Show 5, and Echo Buds and Auto get a bit of fresh paint. Amazon also teased that they are working on their own proprietary chatbot. The Amazon chatbot will…what else? Help shoppers (read that as help shoppers to buy more and more expensive stuff from Amazon!)
Uber has announced several updates, one of which might ultimately be a can of worms, in this reporter’s opinion. According to engadget.com, on May 22nd, Uber will roll out teen accounts. The company claims this will helping younger folks travel more safely by themselves. Uber says that only screened drivers who are experienced and highly rated will be able to carry out trips with teens. Drivers will be able to opt out of such rides. Teen accounts have a series of built-in safety features, including audio recordings, RideCheck (which proactively checks in with riders if the vehicle has stopped for a while) and the option to use a PIN to ensure young users are getting in the right car. Parents and guardians will be able to track the trips of teens. This really seems to be another one of those ‘what can possibly go wrong’ issues. Uber’s screened drivers in the past have turned out to be not so screened. In a better move, Uber is starting to offer rides with available car seats, so parents can secure a child while they ride with Mom or Dad.
If it’s been a while, log into that dusty Gmail account you have. 9to5google.com says that Google is starting to delete accounts that haven’t been active in at least 2 years. In addition to the email address becoming inaccessible, Gmail messages, Calendar events, Drive, Docs, and other Workspace files, as well as Google Photos backups, will be removed. Right now, Google isn’t planning to delete accounts with YouTube Videos. The deletions will start this coming December, and will be phased in.
In other Google news, an analyst has found some unreleased code in the Personal Safety Android app and managed to enable a new, unannounced “Dashcam” feature for Pixel phones. Mashable.com reports that while you can already do this with any phone and a dash mount, in this code there’s a setting to automatically start and stop recording when the Pixel connects to a certain Bluetooth access point, which would be your car in this case. Recordings are also deleted after three days unless you manually decide to keep them around, which should save on storage space. Since the code is basically complete, we could see this new Pixel feature rolled out soon.
I’m Clark Reid and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.