Amazon has started sales of the Alexa-powered Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus smart speakers in Japan. Pre-orders opened on March 30th, with devices scheduled to ship starting on April 3rd. This release is moderately delayed—Amazon announced last October that Echo would release in Japan “later this year,” on the same day Google announced Google Home sales to start in Japan that week. Half a year later, Amazon has finally followed through.
Pre-orders for Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus start in Japan, shipping April 3rd was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Apple’s new iPad will start its retail run in the US this week – T-Mobile and Verizon have confirmed they will carry it. Apple’s own store will be able to ship ordered iPads starting April 2 – the same date that AT&T is delivering its pre-orders. Meanwhile BestBuy is offering a $ 25 gift card with an iPad purchase. In reality the 2018 version of “the iPad” costs as much as its predecessor but brings support for Apple’s $ 99 Pencil and offers a $ 30 reduction in price for schools, which can have it starting at $ 299. If a student goes for a combination of the Apple iPad, the…
After rocketing to a $ 250 million valuation in 2015 amid a massive hype cycle for on-demand companies, on-demand startup Shyp is shutting down today.
CEO Kevin Gibbon announced that the company would be shutting down in a blog post this afternoon. The company is ending operations immediately after, like many on-demand companies, struggling to find a scalable model beyond its launching point in San Francisco. Shyp missed targets for expanding to cities beyond its core base as well as pulled back from Miami. In July, Shyp said it would be reducing its headcount and shutting down all operations beyond San Francisco.
The company raised $ 50 million in a deal led by John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins back in 2015, one of his last huge checks as a variety of firms jumped onto the on-demand space. The thesis at the time was pretty sound: look at a strip mall, and see which businesses can come to you first. Shipping was a natural one, but there was also food, and eventually groceries. Today, there are only a few left standing, with Postmates, Instacart and DoorDash among the most prominent ones. Even then, Instacart is now under threat from Amazon, which is ramping up its own two-hour delivery after buying Whole Foods.
“At the time, I approached everything I did as an engineer,” Gibbon wrote. “Rather than change direction, I tasked the team with expanding geographically and dreaming up innovative features and growth tactics to further penetrate the consumer market. To this day, I’m in awe of the vigor the team possessed in tackling a 200-year-old industry. But, growth at all costs is a dangerous trap that many startups fall into, mine included.”
Shyp is now a casualty of the delivery space. Where it originally sought to make up the cost of delivery in the form of cheaper bulk costs for those deliveries, Shyp’s one-size-fits-all delivery — where you could deliver a computer or a bike — eventually ended up being one of the most challenging and frustrating elements of its business. It began adding fees to its online returns business and changing prices for its bulk shipments. As it turns out, a $ 5 carte blanche for delivery was not a model that really made sense.
Indeed, that growth-at-all-costs directive has cost many startups, with companies like Sprig shutting down and many companies getting slapped on the wrist for aggressive growth tactics like text spamming. It also meant that startups had to very quickly develop an effective playbook that, in the end, might not actually translate to markets beyond their core competency. Shyp pivoted to focusing on businesses toward the tail end of its lifetime, including a big deal with eBay, which we had heard at the time was doing well.
“We decided to keep the popular-but-unprofitable parts of our business running, with small teams of their own behind them,” he wrote. “This was a mistake—my mistake. While large, established companies have the financial freedom to explore new product categories for the sake of exploring, for startups it can be irresponsible.”
But Gibbon said the company kept parts of its popular but challenged models online – which may have also contributed to its eventual shut-down. The company expected to be in cities like Boston, Seattle and Philadelphia in early 2016, but that didn’t end up panning out. And Shyp increasingly felt the challenges of an on-demand model, trying to push the cost to the consumer as low as possible while handling the overheads and logistical headaches of a delivery business.
“My early mistakes in Shyp’s business ended up being prohibitive to our survival,” Gibbon wrote. “For that, I am sorry.”
Pre-orders for the $ 499 Honor View10 opened on March 12th, and Huawei initially stated that orders would begin to ship out on March 22nd. It turns out that Huawei’s estimate was a bit off, though; the HiHonor site is now saying that Honor View10 orders will begin to ship today, March 23rd.
The Honor View10 is a nice phone, especially for $ 499. You get a 6.0″ 1080p IPS display, a Kirin 970, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage with microSD expansion, a dual 16MP + 20MP setup on the rear, a 13MP sensor up front, and a 3,750mAh battery.
More app developers are getting into augmented reality on Android now that Tango is a thing of the past. Google’s official AR platform of the future is ARCore, which will work on most devices. Even eBay is getting into AR with its latest Android app update. Sellers can now use AR to choose the right box size.
The latest version rolled out earlier this month, but eBay didn’t do much to make the new AR features known.
eBay app adds augmented reality to choose the right shipping box was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Way back at CES in January, Lenovo and Google announced they had partnered on two new virtual reality hardware products, but gave no indication as to a release date. But thanks to two listings at B&H Photo, the cat is out of the bag…and you can record the cat as it emerges from that bag in glorious 4K virtual reality starting on May 11.
The two devices, based on Google’s new video format VR180, are the Mirage Solo, the first Daydream headset that doesn’t require a connected smartphone, and the Mirage Camera, an “aim and shoot” VR camera.
Lenovo’s Mirage Solo Daydream headset and VR camera both available for pre-order, shipping May 11 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
The long-awaited ecobee Switch+, a smart light switch that offers Siri HomeKit voice control via far-field voice technology, is coming at the end of March.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Nest announced its smart doorbell, the ‘Nest Hello,’ back in September of last year. It has an HD night-vision camera on the front with two-way audio, so you can see who’s at the door from anywhere, even on your Chromecast. The company initially said it would be available in Q1 2018, and according to the Nest Twitter account, shipments will begin on March 15.
We plan to begin shipping Nest Hello on March 15th.
Nest Hello doorbell will begin shipping on March 15 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Anticipated iPad Pro upgrades should be on the verge of mass production, but may only hit doorsteps late in the June quarter, an analyst claimed in an investor memo obtained by AppleInsider.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News