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Tech Bytes – Week of May 23

📰 Recent Top Tech News

  1. Google launches hyper-personalised UI for Android phones

  2. Samsung and Google merge smartwatch software to take on Apple Watch

  3. Crypto crashes on rejection from Tesla, China and regulatory moves in the US

The Takeaways

  1. Google held their annual developer conference online, where they announced Material You, a new design language. Material You will fully customise the Android experience based on 1 provided photo, creating unique permutations for every user.

🔎 Our Take

  • One of Android’s big advantage over iOS is the degrees of customisation that it offers. The mobile phone is often integrated into each individuals identity, and by offering users a way to quickly generate a custom UI, Google sets itself apart from Apple, which only recently has offered custom icons (through a complex shortcuts workaround at the moment). 

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • In an era of automated systems, Personalisation plays an important role in differentiating your product or service from others. While custom products can cost more effort, there will likely always be some premium customers who would be more than happy for that. Also, look out for systems that allow you to automate personalisation for higher conversions. 

2. Google and Samsung are merging Tizen and WearOS to create a single Smartwatch OS. The joint effort promises better battery life, a greater selection of apps, and apps with offline mode. 

🔎 Our Take

  • Google had built WearOS to compete with Apple WatchOS but has struggled to make major inroads. Apple has about 40% of the smartphone marketplace, followed by Huawei at about 10% (though this is mostly just China), Samsung also around 10%, and the rest with smaller players. Huawei is still banned from working with Google, so that leaves Samsung as a logical partner. As with any platform, the more partners you have on board, the stronger the network effect helping both sides.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Check your ecosystem for synergies. Samsung realised that the Google ecosystem would help them, while Google knows that Samsung can deliver the hardware needed. In your line of business, identity logical win-win situations, and if necessary, drop what’s not working on your side.

3. Cryptocurrency value crashed to 2020 levels after a combination of Elon Musk’s Tesla no longer supporting Bitcoin, followed by China reaffirming that Crypto is not officially allowed. US government also signalled new reporting rules for bitcoin transactions above $10k.

🔎 Our Take

  • Cryptocurrency value is pretty much entirely speculative, depending on what people expect it to be. Without an inherent value (such as the assets of a company if you buy stock), the next best indicator is how useful it is. While celebrity moves such as Elon Musk make waves by statements supporting (or not) crypto, one major driver is Government support (or the lack thereof). China reaffirming the ban means a major market is not allowed to access it. The US treasury seeking to track transactions also makes it less valuable for anonymous, international transactions. 

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Buying Crypto is effectively gambling, and definitely not for the faint of heart. While crypto has a technology angle to it, its value (and its volatility) is based on emotion. Only consider crypto if you can handle the waves.

Jargon Buster

  • Meme-coin: Memes refer to photo or short video jokes that go viral on the internet, forming well-understood catchphrases. Meme-coins are crypto currency based on some funny element, with the original intent that they are not meant to actually be used. DogeCoin, the crypto supported by Elon Musk, is considered a meme-coin with a dog logo. DogeCoin was created in 3 hours with no expectation of its current popularity. Meme-coins are considered very high risk, high return.

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