At CES 2020, Google made several announcements surrounding updates and advancements in Google Assistant, the company’s voice-powered AI assistant.
- Interpreter Mode – The tech company disclosed several major businesses, such as American Airlines and HSBC, are committed to using the tool’s updated Interpreter Mode to translate conversations in different languages.
- Webpage Reading – With this tool, the AI helper reads aloud the relevant information in articles, allowing users to save time and absorb more content.
Google released other add-ons to it’s AI-powered helper including scheduled actions, sticky-notes, speed-dial, and an option to have the assistant delete past voice recordings.
Also this week, Microsoft independent software vendor, AvePoint, received a $200 million Series C investment in a funding round led by TPG Sixth Street Partners with additional funding from Goldman Sachs. AvePoint provides a policy layer on top of Microsoft SaaS products including Office 360, SharePoint and Teams, allowing companies to employ usage rules such as restricted file sharing. The company also provides backup for several services along with migration tools to transfer data to Microsoft cloud services.
Apple’s retrospective of it’s Services business highlighted several milestones reached in 2019. From Christmas Eve to New Years Eve, customer spending in the App Store reached $1.42 billion, a 16% YoY increase. Just on New Year’s day, consumer spending saw a 20% increase from 2019, amounting to $386 million and setting a new single-day record. YouTube, Facetune, Mario Kart Tour and Minecraft were the most popular free and paid apps and games in their respective categories in 2019.
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In events news, 118 people are already signed up for our meetup in London next Wednesday and we are almost at maximum capacity. Invite a friend or colleague, and RSVP to “How To: Raise Capital for Your Technology Business” where you can hear from our expert panelists and meet with other founders, investors and experts in the tech space. We look forward to seeing you there!
FE International is offering free copies of the SaaS Founder’s Blueprint Guide, so request yours to get the comprehensive guide to profitable exit planning. Also, our 2020 Market Report will be released soon so keep an eye out!
Continue reading below for more on Google, Microsoft, Apple and more!
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In the News…
Chrome 80 Blocks Push Notifications
The newest version of Chrome, to be launched on February 4th, will automatically block push notifications for users and sites that meet a certain criteria. Users that has shown to consistently block push notifications will not longer have to opt-out manually as Chrome 80 will enable blocking by default. Websites will automatically enroll in the new blocking feature if their push notifications have low opt-in rates. The update is accompanied by a Quiet UI feature that alerts users of blocked notifications, giving them an opportunity to unblock.
CES 2020: New From Google
Google Assistant is seeing a notable amount of updates and advancements, all of which were announced at CES 2020 in Las Vegas this week. Coming sometime this year, the virtual assistant will be able to read articles aloud so users can absorb content without looking down at their device. Coming in 2020, the voice-powered AI helper will have features to let users post reminders (sticky-notes) to the lock-screen of their device as well as a Speed Dial so users can contact specific people quickly and easily.
AvePoint Series C Investment
Announced this week, AvePoint landed a $200 million Series C investment. The company manages a few key tasks for Microsoft and according to TechCrunch is “helping to protect 7 million Microsoft cloud service users around the world, but it has a long-term, rather ambitious goal of adding more than 40,000 new customers.” The funding round was led by TPG Sixth Street Partners a number of other investors including Goldman Sachs.
Record App Store Sales
Apple revealed a number record breaking sales numbers for 2019, especially during the holiday season. According to the company’s Services business 2019 retrospective, consumer spending between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve reached an impressive $1.42 billion in sales. The review also reported other interesting findings related to it’s other Services businesses. Apple’s podcasts app now offers 800,000+ shows in 155 countries and two-factor authentication has been enabled by 75% of iCloud users.