Google added an Easter egg that turns your spreadsheets into rainbows — here’s how it works

The words “fun” and “spreadsheet” aren’t exactly synonymous, but in celebration of International Pride Month, Google is making all your wildest spreadsheet dreams come true with rainbow spreadsheets. 

Spicing up your next budget proposal is easy. Simply open a spreadsheet and spell out pride across the top row with a letter in each cell.Screen Shot 2017 06 23 at 1.01.25 PM

When you’re done typing Google will automatically make your sheet rainbow. Your coworkers will gasp in awe, and walk out ready to don tutus and glitter all weekend long. Screen Shot 2017 06 23 at 1.04.14 PM

This isn’t the only thing Google is doing to make us all proud. Search any LGBT related term (marriage equality, transgender etc) and the page will deck itself out in rainbows. Or, virtually watch Switzerland’s pride parade on your Google cardboard with Google’s virtual parades.

SEE ALSO: How the rainbow became the symbol of LGBT pride

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    Jeff Bezos might become the world’s richest person — and he could redefine philanthropy

    Jeff Bezos

    When Amazon bought Whole Foods on June 18, the move sent the online retailer’s stock skyrocketing. It also increased the net worth of its CEO, Jeff Bezos, by $1.8 billion.

    That put Bezos’ net worth of $84.6 billion $5 billion behind — and within striking distance of — Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, whose net worth of $89.4 billion currently makes him the world’s richest person.

    If that happens, Bezos’ interest in furthering human progress through for-profit companies could shift how the world’s wealthiest think about philanthropy.

    “I think his activities to-date suggest he looks at some of his business investments as opportunities to advance social change,” Jane Wales, CEO of the Global Philanthropy Forum, told Business Insider.

    That was the case with The Washington Post, which Bezos bought in 2013 and quickly flipped into a lean, digital journalism powerhouse — something other large news organizations have struggled with doing. And it’s the case with Amazon, whose recent purchase of Whole Foods may hint at Bezos’ desire, or at least opportunity, to reinvent the food industry’s supply chain.

    Wales says these business plays offer a window into how Bezos, independent of the Bezos Family Foundation run by his parents, could cement his status as one of the most influential players in the philanthropy world. In fact, Bezos may already be looking to take more projects onto his plate. Recently, he tweeted his 274,000 followers asking for ways to generate lasting impact with quick, decisive action.

    “I’m thinking about a philanthropic strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time — working on the long term,” Bezos wrote. “For philanthropy, I find I’m drawn to the opposite end of the spectrum: the right now.”

    Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL

    — Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017

    Wales said Bezos’ stature could encourage others to find shorter-term solutions to problems typically thought of as systemic. She pointed to the ongoing migrant crisis as one example.

    “That requires action now. Governments are overwhelmed, and policy is not solving it,” Wales said. “The Bezos Family Foundation, which is mostly long-term in its thinking, is also giving to the International Rescue Committee, to Save the Children, to CARE — to organizations that address the immediate as well as the long-term.”

    jeff bezosAlthough Bezos’ parents have their own foundation, Bezos isn’t involved with it. He himself is a newbie to the philanthropy world, Wales said, and when people are just starting out they often dip their toes, taking one to two years to get a lay of the land and form a strategy.

    Going by his past business moves, Bezos-style philanthropy might involve private investments in startups looking to do social good or acquisitions of other larger companies, like Amazon did with Whole Foods.

    This wouldn’t lead other billionaires to do less of their own big-picture work, of course. Bill and Melinda Gates will still try to end polio once and for all, just as Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan will try to eradicate disease and improve education. Wales said Bezos becoming the world’s richest person would also have “no impact” on The Giving Pledge, a pact among billionaires to give away at least half of their fortunes before they die. To date, 16 people have signed. Bezos is not one of them.

    Warren Buffet Bill GatesNot everyone in the philanthropy community is as optimistic about Bezos’ influence.

    “You can add as many times as you like ‘and have lasting impact’ but it’s an impossible oxymoron to focusing short term,” philanthropy adviser Jake Hayman recently wrote for Forbes. “It’s the business equivalent of looking for ‘safe, proven investments’ with imminent 10-fold returns. It doesn’t happen.”

    Larry Brilliant, the acting chairman of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, criticized Bezos’ crowdsourcing approach.

    “The denominator of ideas you will get in, the vast majority of ideas which are not good, not viable, will flood this process,” Brilliant told the New York Times.

    But Wales contends that, like Gates, Bezos will send a strong signal to wealthy Silicon Valley types that philanthropy matters.

    “He is young, he is in the midst of his career, and he’s already seen as bold,” she said. “What that tweet says to me is, ‘I do not want to ignore today’s problems.'”

    SEE ALSO: Billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett like to try out mattresses together

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    NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin just showed off its SpaceX competitor


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      Sony made an $800 phone with extravagant features you won’t find in any iPhone or Galaxy phone — here’s what it’s like

      BI Review Xperia 4x3

      Sony has come to grips with the fact that you’re probably not going to buy its smartphones.

      The Japanese giant has steadily stripped down its Xperia line of phones over the past few years, effectively conceding that its dreams of reaching Apple and Samsung are over. But Sony has brought its mobile business back to profitability in the process.

      The company is now trying to keep that going by mainly selling expensive devices, the kind guaranteed to bring some sort of return, that bank on standing out to reel people in. 

      And so we have the Xperia XZ Premium, Sony’s latest top-of-the-line phone, which feels like an experiment in excess. An ultra-sharp 4K display? Sure. With HDR support? Of course. A camera mode that shoots at an absurdly slow 960 frames per second? Now we’re talking. High-res audio support, a 19-megapixel camera, gigabit LTE, a chrome finish? Why not! And priced all at $800? Whatever!

      I can respect Sony for taking the “premium” thing seriously; if you’re shelling out a ton for a new gadget, it’s good for that gadget to be differentiated. The Xperia XZ Premium is that, technically. But not all of its indulgences are practical, and some of its fundamentals fall short. Here’s what I mean:

      SEE ALSO: The latest HTC phone is gorgeous, powerful, and probably doomed

      The Xperia XZ Premium is classic Sony design, but I’m conflicted about it. On one hand, Sony has been recycling this boxy rectangular look, with its hard angles and rounded sides, for half a decade. Compared to the new-age designs from Samsung or LG, the Xperia XZ Premium is a dinosaur. The borders around its screen are massive, making the phone nigh-impossible to use with one hand, and the whole thing is fairly heavy (195g).

      At the same time, it’s clear the Xperia XZ Premium is more concerned with being distinct than chasing trends. Part of me likes that. Its borders are huge, but they’re perfectly symmetrical. The brushed metal on the phone’s top and bottom is chilly and solid. The chrome finish on my test unit is like looking into a mirror. It’s all fused together tightly. Put together, it’s like holding a cut of glass. Everything about the phone contributes to that aesthetic.

      The problem is that it doesn’t feel as nice as it looks. Apart from the difficulty of actually holding it, its sides are made of a warm, glossy plastic that comes off as too cheap for an $800 device. The glass back is smooth, but perpetually slippery; put it on anything other than a flat surface and it’ll fall to the floor. It’s also an immense fingerprint magnet. It takes effort to make the phone look its best.

      Sony’s continued inability to put fingerprint scanners on the US versions of its phones doesn’t help. Nor does the oddly huge SIM and microSD tray cutout on its side.

      On the plus side, the existence of a microSD slot in the first place is nice, and having a dedicated shutter button on the side is always handy for snapping photos while keeping the phone steady. The device is also fully waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it in the pool.

      Also, its dual speakers are placed in an ideal spot right on the phone’s front, making audio louder than usual — though not as rich as, say, the HTC U11.

      See the rest of the story at Business Insider


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        Here’s how Google Maps knows when there is traffic

        Google Maps is a very useful tool for navigating your way around the world and getting to your destination as quickly as possible.  One way it accomplishes this is by predicting traffic and calculating the fastest route. But how is Google able to accurately monitor all of these cars? The answer may creep you out.

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          Inside Apple’s rocky road to Hollywood, and what happened to Dr. Dre’s show (AAPL)

          Glenn Close, Zack Van Amburg, and Jamie Erlicht

          Last week, Apple finally hired a head of video programming — actually two — in a moment that Hollywood had been waiting for since Netflix and Amazon crashed into Los Angeles with billions of dollars to spend on TV shows and movies.

          By hiring veteran Sony Pictures Television execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were responsible for hits like “Breaking Bad” and “The Crown,” Apple sent a signal that it’s looking to become a major player in the market. The pair of execs will be Apple’s equivalent of Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, or Amazon’s Roy Price, and oversee “all aspects of video programming,” reporting to Apple services boss Eddy Cue.

          These hires help clarify a video strategy that was murky to people both inside and outside of Apple.

          Up until now, Apple had been taking a bunch of meetings, and had a few TV-quality projects in development, including its “Shark Tank”-style show “Planet of the Apps,” which debuted this month on Apple Music. But in conversations with half a dozen people who worked for Apple or on Apple productions, there was a lack of clarity about who was spearheading Apple’s overall video efforts.

          Cue, along with music industry legend Jimmy Iovine, VP of content and media apps Robert Kondrk, and Apple Music content boss Larry Jackson, were all involved in ways that varied between projects. And Apple’s participation in the production of the shows varied as well, with the company sometimes being almost completely hands-off, while at other times taking a more active role in a show’s creation.

          Put plainly: Apple’s first forays into TV didn’t feel like part of a cohesive strategy to disrupt the industry. What we’ve seen over the past few months have been a handful of TV projects tied to Apple Music, some of which have been delayed or re-shot, and the first of which was walloped by critics.

          Apple wasn’t trying to become Netflix, yet.

          “The idea that Apple is chasing Netflix, that’s the wrong way to think about it,” a former Apple Music manager told Business Insider when describing its video efforts and the upcoming “Carpool Karaoke” in particular. “They are not. No one gives a sh– … I think what is happening is that Jimmy [Iovine] sees a way to, not just within music, connect to the brand promise of Apple.”

          Iovine, the Interscope Records cofounder who became involved in Apple when it purchased Beats for $3 billion in 2014, has been preaching the marriage of technology and pop culture for years, the former Apple manager said. Video was one piece of that.

          But by hiring Sony veterans Erlicht and Van Amburg, Apple has taken a step in a more expansive direction, and looks to be marshaling for a video effort that transcends music.

          Jimmy Iovine

          The Apple way or the highway

          Apple’s TV saga didn’t start with Iovine or Apple Music; it’s been a hot topic in tech and entertainment for the better part of a decade.

          For years, Apple has tried intermittently to get together its own TV bundle, particularly a so-called “skinny bundle” which would give customers a small number of marquee channels for a lower price. But Apple’s plans never quite came together. One reason multiple Apple insiders cited was Apple’s tendency to negotiate in a way TV execs didn’t like.

          “Eddy [Cue] is extremely smart,“ a former Apple Music staffer said, but Cue is “very aggressive” in negotiations with people outside Apple. “In that area , Eddy negotiates like they need Apple. Not everybody is on board that they need Apple.” With the music industry, Apple had a lot more leverage than with TV, this person explained.

          “They were trying TV stuff, but things would always fall through with networks,” another former Apple Music employee said. This person said that everyone in Apple Music had a great deal of respect for Cue, and that he was a smart guy, but that he could be overbearing in negotiations (“like a dictator” was the exact phrasing).

          With the entrance of Iovine in 2014, another exec was added into the TV mix. But though Iovine has deep connections in the entertainment industry and has been the catalyst for some Apple TV-style projects, he’s not a TV producer. He comes from music. Until last week, Apple didn’t have a TV big-shot to guide its programming strategy.

          Still, Iovine has been a shot of energy in getting projects done.

          “Jimmy is not a normal person, he is extraordinary,” one former Apple Music employee said. “A typical Silicon Valley person would underestimate him,” but Iovine moves seamlessly in the world of entertainment, something Apple has lacked.

          Iovine sparked the conversations that led to “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke,” Apple Music’s first two big shows, he told Bloomberg in a recent interview. That spark and finesse in Los Angeles is probably something Apple is looking to get more of with Erlicht and Van Amburg.

          Eddy Cue

          Where is ‘Vital Signs?’

          One big question mark around Apple’s TV-style efforts on Apple Music has been the whereabouts of “Vital Signs,” helmed by Dr. Dre, who, like Iovine, came into Apple’s orbit with the acquisition of Beats in 2014. “Vital Signs” was meant to be Apple’s first scripted show, in the form of a six-part semi-autobiographical series about Dre’s life.

          “Vital Signs” began shooting back in February, 2016, a person who worked on the production told Business Insider. But it still hasn’t arrived, or gotten a firm release date from Apple.

          “American Gods” and “Deadwood” star Ian McShane, who is in the series, talked about the show recently on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

          “Dre was great, this was an Apple project, by him,” McShane said. “It’s about his sort of story … There’s three of us … We play parts of Dre’s imagination who actually come to life at various points in this … Sam Rockwell plays ego, who’s very funny, and Michael K. Williams, the charismatic Omar the gay assassin from ‘The Wire,’ plays negativity, and I play vengeance.”

          At the time “Vital Signs” was shot, there didn’t seem to be much Apple involvement on the ground, according to sources close to the production.

          “From my experience, and what I saw on-set and in-office, Apple was almost completely hands-off,” a person on the “Vital Signs” production told Business Insider. “My guess would be that Apple was a bit green around the ears in terms of film production and may not have realized the importance of a studio or financial backer in their position to be invested with eyes and ears on the ground, especially when they have final approval on the product,” that person continued.

          Even beyond Apple input, Dre wasn’t satisfied with the product. Multiple sources said that there were reshoots on “Vital Signs” after the initial filming. A source close to the production characterized the reshoots as part of Dre’s creative process, and “Vital Signs” as his passion project.

          Ian McShane said during his Seth Meyers appearance that “Vital Signs” will be out in August, but Apple hasn’t said anything, and other Apple insiders aren’t clear about a time frame. It’s also good to note that Dr. Dre fans had to wait over a decade for him to release his last album, and when it arrived it wasn’t called “Detox.”

          Apple doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to get “Vital Signs” out the door until it’s happy with it, and that may continue to an even greater extent in the era of Erlicht and Van Amburg, since it’s not their project.

          Dr. Dre

          More delays

          “Vital Signs” isn’t the only Apple Music series to have had timeline hiccups.

          “Carpool Karaoke,” Apple’s spinoff of the popular sketch on the “Late Late Show with James Corden,” was delayed four months, though Apple did not specify why.

          Late last month, Eddy Cue announced that the show would be airing on Apple Music starting August 8. This announcement came after a premiere party in March, and then a launch party in April, were both cancelled.

          Planet of the Apps

          Enter the critics

          The Apple Music show that has already arrived, “Planet of the Apps,” has not exactly been greeted with fanfare.

          You can think of “Planet of the Apps” as a “Shark Tank” for app developers. App makers get help from celebrity mentors like Jessica Alba and Will.i.am, and then pitch venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, hoping they’ll invest some of the $10 million Lightspeed promised to the show.

          Variety’s critic slammed the show’s first episode as a “bland, tepid, barely competent knock-off of ‘Shark Tank.’” My colleague Avery Hartmans followed suit.

          Apple appears to have been more involved with “Planet of the Apps” than with other projects, which makes sense given the topic. Apple’s VP of content and media apps, Robert Kondrk, is not listed as an executive producer on the show, but essentially played that role. Apple also collaborated on building the set, which involves an escalator from which contestants pitch their app ideas.

          But Apple was still hands-off in some ways. Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the celebrity judges, told The Hollywood Reporter that Apple wasn’t that involved in the creative process. “They were pretty hands off,” Paltrow said, though she did add that Apple execs were more involved with how the show would be distributed. The 10-episode series is available on Apple Music, for subscribers only, with a new episode debuting at 9 p.m. PST every Tuesday (from June 6).

          The poor critical reception for the first “Planet of the Apps” episode means that Erlicht and Van Amburg’s hiring comes at an opportune time, since they bring firm hands with proven TV programming chops to Apple.

          And with that in place, along with Apple’s pile of over $250 billion in cash, Apple has the opportunity to make compelling video that might not be possible other places.

          One former Apple Music staffer mentioned “808: The Movie,” which shows the impact of Roland’s TR-808 drum machine, as a special moment that’s happened already, without Erlicht and Van Amburg.

          “That’s a really remarkable piece of work,” the former staffer said. “It only could be created at a place like Apple.”

          If you know anything more about Apple’s original TV plans, tip the author at nmcalone@businessinsider.com.

          SEE ALSO: ‘Game of Thrones’ fans picked their favorite villains, heroes, seasons — and which deaths were most satisfying

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            These are the watches worn by some of the most powerful tech CEOs

            watch

            Since it was invented over 200 years ago, the wristwatch has been an integral component of fashion.

            In addition to their practical functionality of telling time, a watch serves as a collectible piece of art that communicates the personality and style of its wearer.

            With the help of Crown & Caliber, an Atlanta-based pre-owned luxury-watch marketplace, we’ve put together a list and commentary about the wristwatches worn by nine of the most powerful CEOs in the tech industry.

            SEE ALSO: These are the watches worn by some of the most powerful men in finance

            SEE ALSO: The incredible life and career of Warren Buffett, the billionaire every investor looks to for inspiration

            Melissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo

            The Wisconsin native was appointed the head of Yahoo in 2012 following a 13-year career at Google. Verizon officially closed its $4.48 billion purchase of Yahoo, the company announced Tuesday. Mayer will step down with a $23 million package.

            Omega Deville Symbol Quartz — $4,900

            Mayer’s watch, an Omega Deville Symbol Quartz, retails for $4,900 but can be purchased pre-owned on Portero, a watch marketplace, for $985.

            Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

            Apple’s market cap surpassed $800 billion in May. As such, the iPhone-maker is one of the world’s most valuable companies. And the man at the helm of it all is Tim Cook. He assumed the position as CEO in 2011.

            See the rest of the story at Business Insider


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              Lexus, Volvo, Audi — 3 great choices when it comes to luxury SUVs

              Audi Q7 41

              The SUV market has been booming for the past few years, and that means the luxury SUV market has also been on the rise.

              Business has gotten so good that brands that never did SUVs in the past — Jaguar, Lamborghini, Bentley, Maserati — are getting into the game.

              Consumers have more luxury SUV choices than ever, so choosing the right vehicle can be difficult. Over the past year, we’ve sample three good choices: The Lexus RX 350, the Volvo XC90, and the Audi Q7. 

              They’re all excellent. So how to chose among them?

              Read on:

              SEE ALSO: The Ford Focus RS is almost too much fun to drive

              THE LEXUS RX 350: This midsize crossover SUV has been in the Lexus lineup since 1998 and is perhaps the luxury brand’s most important vehicle in the US market, where SUVs rule the road these days. Pricing starts at about $43,000.

              The RX 350 is a core product for Lexus — the Lexus that Lexus can’t afford to screw up. The vehicle was redesigned for the 2016 model year, and our conclusion after we reviewed it was that Lexus did a fine job.

              The RX 350 remains the default luxury family hauler in the segment. Basically, everything about it is good. Well, almost everything. But we’ll get to that in a second.

              Our test car had a 3.5-liter V6 that served up 295 horsepower, with an all-wheel-drive system could handle nasty weather. This is a perfectly capable powerplant that won’t leave anyone wanting. 

              The luxury level is sort of high-medium. The materials are excellent, the fit and finish is wonderful, and the overall comfort level of superb. Nothing on the RX 350 blows you away, but there’s also very little to complain about. There’s a reason this thing has been going strong since the late 1990s. 

              The new styling is mildly controversial, but over a week, we got used to it.

              Infotainment is a weak spot for the RX 350. Lexus is lagging the competition here, but not by all that much.

              Here’s what we said in our review:

              The infotainment system runs off a substantial center screen that’s controlled with a puck-like thingy that resides between the seats. The screen doesn’t retract, and while it satisfies all the necessary functions — audio, navigation, Bluetooth connections, and so on — it simply doesn’t feel as up-to-date as what you can get in a Cadillac, Audi, or BMW.

              We’ve made this complaint about all the Lexus vehicles we’ve tested. This is in no way a dealbreaker because the system works fine, once you get the hang of it. But infotainment is the main place where owners interact with vehicle technology, and as Apple CarPlay and greater levels of connectivity come online in autos, some new standards are being established.

              Overall, we try to put ourselves in the mind of an owner when we review a vehicle, and we think that RX 350 will ultimately be irritated by some of the SUV’s infotainment quirks.

              VERDICT: You really can’t go wrong with the RX 350. This is the one that doesn’t require a lot of thought.

              Lexus has been selling this car since the late 1990s, and it should keep selling it until humanity decides that luxury SUVs are going the way of the Conestoga wagon.

              “The 2016 RX 350 was one of those cars that tested out exactly as expected,” we wrote. “OK, the design is going to be a bit much for the ‘burbs. But otherwise the crossover that started it all is holding up its responsibilities admirably.”

              For the price, it’s an easy choice. But maybe you don’t want an easy choice. So read on.

              See the rest of the story at Business Insider


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                Watch SpaceX launch and land its second used rocket of the year

                SpaceX is on a roll.

                It has successfully launched and landed its second used rocket of the year. This makes 8 successful rocket launches for 2017, so far, and 12 overall rocket landings.

                SpaceX also helped Bulgaria make history today by sending the nation’s first telecommunications satellite into orbit. Not bad for a Friday!

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                  Upday is an Apple News rival that’s only available on Samsung phones

                  Upday app

                  The Upday app is used by millions of people to catch up with the news, but unless you own a Samsung Galaxy phone, you probably won’t have heard of it.

                  The app acts as an aggregator, pulling in stories from different news sources like the Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, and the BBC. The concept is similar to Apple News.

                  It ranks stories by importance and, as you use the app over time, it learns what sort of headlines interest you and learns accordingly.

                  Stories show as “cards,” which you swipe through.

                  Every now and then, you’ll see an ad among the cards. According to Upday’s UK managing director, Robin Hough, you’ll see an ad every four to eight cards.

                  Upday

                  Stories are pulled in from the RSS feeds of publishers like the BBC and, yes, Business Insider. They’re generally sorted algorithmically, but top stories are curated by Upday’s local editorial teams. Each country has a “quality content team” that makes sure Upday isn’t pulling in fake news.

                  So far, so news aggregator. What’s unusual about Upday is that it’s a joint venture between German publisher Axel Springer (which owns Business Insider), and Samsung. That means it’s only available on Samsung devices — if you own any other brand of phone, you can’t download it. More on that relationship later.

                  The app launched on the Galaxy S7 last year, and is now available on the new S8, the cheaper J Series of phones, and the Gear 2 smartwatch, among other devices.

                  According to Hough, Upday has 11 million monthly unique users. As a comparison, Apple News has 70 million users, according to November 2016 figures.

                  Back to that Samsung exclusivity agreement, which seems like the company’s biggest risk factor.

                  The major upside is that the app comes pre-installed on Samsung devices. That means Upday skips an app marketing hurdle because it doesn’t have to spend any money buying an audience — it just has to persuade people to open the app and stay engaged.

                  But this is less great for people who don’t like “bloatware” — uninstallable software put there by the phone manufacturer. If you do a Google search for “Upday app”, the first result is a PC Advisor article with the headline: “How to remove Upday from Galaxy S7 & S7 edge.”

                  Upday removal

                  Samsung also uses Upday as free channel to push out its own marketing content — to promote new Galaxy phones, for example.

                  “You can’t please everybody,” Hough said of users who don’t like pre-installed apps. “We want to be a one-stop shop. There’s no fake news, and no filter bubble.” 

                  And there’s the fact Upday might be vulnerable to any sudden changes in direction from Samsung. The firm might build its own news app, or simply scrap the Upday partnership altogether. What then?

                  But Hough is outwardly confident.

                  “At the moment, our relationship is totally wedded to Samsung,” he said. “We are very close to them, we have a great relationship, and they seem to be going from strength to strength. Obviously we’re integrated into their premium phones — during the S8 launch there was a reference to Upday.”

                  What is in Hough’s control is trying to turn Upday into a household name, and enticing more advertisers on board.

                  So far it’s going well, with the firm in “rude health” commercially.

                  Samsung is the biggest smartphone maker in the world, according to TrendForce, meaning there are hundreds of millions of Samsung devices out there with the Upday app installed. As we know, Upday’s usage is in the tens of millions.

                  Hough added that people spend more than five minutes a day on Upday. That’s pretty good going — as a comparison, Snapchat’s users spend about 25 minutes a day in its app.

                  Upday

                  Upday tends to have “premium brand” advertisers, such as Microsoft Cloud, Audi, and VW he added, who are attracted by the type of user who can afford a premium Samsung phone.

                  The three formats are display — full-screen ads that take the same card format as Upday’s news stories; a native format which sends you to the advertiser’s website; and sponsored content.

                  Not everyone sees the same ads, either. Given Upday knows what kind of news interests you, it can target ads that are more likely to get you to click.

                  The next step is pushing up that user growth number.

                  Upday has expanded from its four original markets last March — France, the UK, Germany, and Poland — to 16 territories in total. That should mean that 11 million user number goes up, Hough said, as the teams in each country bed in.

                  “We’re expecting massive growth,” he said.

                  Join the conversation about this story »

                  NOW WATCH: This couple lived in Google’s parking lot for 2 years and saved 80% of their income — here’s how they did it


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                    THE SMARTWATCH REPORT: Forecasts, adoption trends, and why the market isn’t living up to the hype (AAPL, FIT, GOOG)

                    smartwatches

                    This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

                    When they first broke onto the scene, smartwatches were touted as the next generation of devices set to transform consumers’ lives. And brands, service providers, and the healthcare segment were ready to capitalize on their “always on” nature, which promised to provide greater insight into consumer habits. But while the market initially grew rapidly, it has begun to cool off, as consumers become impatient with the technology’s lack of distinct capabilities, such as LTE connectivity and device-specific apps.

                    In the next few years, the smartwatch market will likely see the addition of new functionality and increased capabilities, which will see the device shipments grow at an annualized rate of 18% through 2021 to reach 70 million units.

                    However, smartwatches are reliant on a number of factors in order to generate any sort of meaningful consumer demand. Until such a time, adoption of smartwatches will likely be sluggish, as consumers wait for vendors to produce products that can run independently from their phones and provide more useful functions.
                    So what does this mean for the device championed as the replacement for the smartphone? Should vendors manage to implement a lower price point, better functionality, and expanded use cases, there is a vast potential for accelerated global growth. Moreover, because of the low adoption rate thus far, there is still ample opportunity for new entrants to join the market, and capture mind share.

                    In a report from BI Intelligence, we examine all areas of the smartwatch market, including a five-year forecast, key growth trends, market leaders, consumer demand, and more. We also discuss the need for the inclusion of standalone capabilities in smartwatches, the importance of bringing both better apps to the devices and greater consumer awareness of capabilities. Lastly, we will explore the nascent smartwatch app market, including its shortcomings and how it can be improved.

                    Here are some of the key takeaways:

                    • Demand for smartwatches has cooled as consumers wait for better functionality. But early demand suggests the market could take off when functionality improves. 
                    • Apple will continue to drive a large portion of the overall market, however, Android Wear devices will quickly catch up as emerging markets begin to adopt the technology.
                    • Health and fitness remain a dominant segment of the smartwatch market, providing healthcare workers and hospitals with savings opportunities. As technology and app development advances, the benefits of smartwatches within these segments will become even more robust.
                    • The future of the smartwatch market remains somewhat unclear, however, there is profound opportunity for businesses and developers to begin exploring the nascent smartwatch market. This will give them a head start against competitors.

                    In full, the report:Smartwatch Report Cover

                    • Forecasts smartwatch shipments through 2021 for both overall device shipments as well as by operating system.
                    • Provides an overview of the main players in both hardware and software, and how they will size up in the future.
                    • Demonstrates the effect of Apple’s entrance into the market, and why it’s unlikely to dictate future growth.
                    • Gives insight into what technologies need to be worked on in order to incentivize future growth, the effects they will have on the market, and how they can be used.
                    • And much more.

                    Interested in getting the full report? Here are several ways to access it:

                    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
                    2. Access the Ultimate Mobile, Apps & Platforms Reports Bundle and save 95% today. You will gain immediate access to the Chatbots Explainer and 75 other comprehensive research reports covering the most important topics impacting the mobile. >> Bundle & Save Now
                    3. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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