Apple is removing all 181 apps related to vaping from its App Store, noting concerns expressed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association regarding the health hazards of vaping. Users who already have the apps, which offer vaping-related news and social networks and can be used to control vaping pens, will still have access to them.
Owners of Vizio smart TVs were left out of the Disney+ launch this week, as the TVs are not yet compatible with the streaming service. Vizio says it's working with Disney to make the offering available on its platforms next year.
Facebook's Jeff Birkeland spoke at the company's annual Video Summit about its goal to make Watch a repeat destination for viewers and plans to improve monetization and distribution for video creators. Creators and publishers share their views on improvements they're experiencing, including FBE's Rafi Fine who describes the platform's traffic sources feature as "game-changing" and says of the ambition to turn Watch into a video destination: "I don't think they will give up until they crack it. They just need some time."
Chick-fil-A increased mobile app downloads by integrating QR codes into digital signage and steakhouse chain Blackrock Bar & Grill recorded a 27% lift in redemption rate with a scannable coupon on restaurant TVs, according to UPshow analysis. As smartphone technology has advanced and leading platforms such as Snapchat and Pinterest have jumped on board, UPshow contends that QR codes are becoming a more viable marketing tool for encouraging app downloads, delivering coupons, activating consumer communications and other initiatives.
Google's Mark Spates speaks candidly about how the company is moving away from a purely device-focused marketing strategy for its smart devices and is instead focusing on how such devices can help users solve household challenges. Smart devices aren't being used to their fullest extent, says Spates, who also addresses the importance of consumer privacy.
Startups Grabango and AiFi are creating autonomous checkout systems that will let smaller players compete with Amazon Go stores. Also, Walmart has been testing cashierless checkout systems, and its scan-and-go technology is operational at Sam's Club stores.
Spotify has rolled out an app on the Magic Leap augmented reality headset that enables users to stream music on the device via a 3-D location-aware overlay. Users can also pin different playlists in different rooms, with the music automatically changing as the user travels throughout the home.
Years of investigation by the FBI culminated in the arrests of 11 people allegedly involved in an underground ring that exchanged counterfeit devices for authentic iPhones and iPads at Apple stores. The scheme, which involved shipping the real devices overseas at marked-up prices, is said to have cost Apple more than $6 million.
Motorola is going retro with the design of its new Razr, which folds similarly to a flip phone from circa 2004. The front display is tailor-made for selfies, notifications and music-skipping, and the device is compatible with Google Assistant.
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