Amazon Echo is half off on Prime Day: Here’s what you can do with it

The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot, from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company’s product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesAmazon is heavily discounting its Amazon Echo products for Prime Day, which runs through 2:59 a.m. Wednesday ET. Before we get started, make sure you have the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or Android. Call people with EchoYou can use the Amazon E


The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot, from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company’s product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesAmazon is heavily discounting its Amazon Echo products for Prime Day, which runs through 2:59 a.m. Wednesday ET. Before we get started, make sure you have the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or Android. Call people with EchoYou can use the Amazon E
Amazon Echo is half off on Prime Day: Here’s what you can do with it Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, echo, app, half, button, alexa, menu, ask, heres, timer, day, say, uber, amazon, prime


Amazon Echo is half off on Prime Day: Here's what you can do with it

The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot, from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company’s product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon is heavily discounting its Amazon Echo products for Prime Day, which runs through 2:59 a.m. Wednesday ET. The cheapest model, the Echo Dot, is only $22 (it’s usually $50), while the full-sized model is only $50 (it’s usually $100). If you’re on the fence, realize that you can do a lot more with the Echo than just asking Alexa the weather. You can use an Echo for many things, including calling people, booking an Uber, ordering stuff from Amazon and even setting it up to double as an in-home intercom if you own several devices. Before we get started, make sure you have the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or Android. You’ll be using that app to take advantage of some of the tricks in this guide. Here is a bunch of fun things you can do with the Echo.

Call people with Echo

You can use the Amazon Echo to call phone numbers or anyone with an Amazon Echo. To call a phone number, you’ll first want to make sure that person is in your Alexa address book. To check: Open the Amazon app

Tap the menu button then tap “Contacts.” Once you’ve confirmed someone is in your address book, you can call them by asking Alexa to call a specific person’s phone or Echo. Here are the commands to try. (I put my own name in, but swap it out for the person you’re trying to call): “Call Todd Haselton’s Mobile.”

Or you can call your contact’s Echo by saying “Call Todd Haselton’s Echo.”

Send voice messages

You can send voice messages to friends or family with an Echo, too. It’s kind of like leaving a voicemail, but your friends will get an alert on their Echo that they have a new voice message. Then, when they see the alert, they can ask their Echo to play it. To send a voice message: Say “Alexa, send a voice message to Todd Haselton.”

Speak your message.

Alexa will confirm you want to send the message.

Say “Yes.”

If you’ve received a message, say “Alexa, listen to my messages.”

Use your Echo as an in-home intercom

Source: Amazon

If you have multiple Echos around your house, you can use them as an in-home intercom system. You might want to do this to call the kids down to dinner, for example. Here’s how to do that: Say “Alexa make an announcement.”

Speak your announcement by saying something like “Hey everyone, dinner’s ready!”

Alexa will make an announcement to all of the Echos in your house with the message you spoke.

Book an Uber or Lyft with your Echo

If you’re at home and want to get a ride somewhere, you can ask Alexa to get you an Uber or a Lyft. You need to install either the Uber or Lyft skill first. Here’s how to book a ride with Echo. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the app.

Tap “Skills & Games.”

Search for Uber or Lyft.

Tap Enable Skill and link your Lyft or Uber account.

Now ask Lyft or Uber for a ride by speaking “Alexa, ask Lyft for a ride” or “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.”

Alexa will tell you how far the nearest Lyft driver or Uber driver is. You can then confirm you’d like a ride.

Order something from Amazon by voice

You can use your Echo to order goods from Amazon. Sometimes, like during Black Friday, Amazon even offers exclusive deals through the Echo. To order stuff from Alexa: Say something like, “Alexa order soap.”

Alexa will begin to list items that you might be interested in, including products from previous orders, and the price. Say “yes” to confirm you’d like to buy that item, or “no” to hear another item Alexa recommends. Tell Alexa to stop if you don’t want to hear more recommendations.

You can also order specific goods by speaking something like “Alexa, order me an Amazon Echo Plus.” Alexa will confirm the price before you decide to buy it or not.

Get a ‘flash briefing’ of news you care about

You can get a flash briefing from certain news sites you follow, including CNBC, the AP and BBC. Customize your Flash Briefing by doing this: Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the screen.

Choose “Settings.”

Tap “Flash Briefing.”

Toggle the news sites you want to hear news from and tap “+” to add new sources.

Now, say, “Alexa play my flash briefing.”

Alexa will give you the highlight news from the sources you’ve picked.

Play shows on your Amazon Fire TV

The Amazon Fire TV Cube in a living room Amazon

If you own a Fire TV, you can connect your Echo to the Fire TV so that you can ask Alexa to play specific shows or movies. You don’t even have to touch the remote. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the page.

Tap “Settings.”

Choose “TV & Video.”

Tap the + button next to Fire TV.

Tap “Manage Devices.”

Choose “Link another device.”

Choose the Fire TV in your house you’d like to link your Echo with.

Tap “Continue.”

Choose the Alexa devices to link the Fire TV with. You can select multiple Echos.

Tap “Link Devices.”

Now speak a command like, “Play Man in the High Castle on Fire TV.”

Create a Routine

Set an Alexa routine to perform functions after your alarm is dismissed. Todd Haselton | CNBC

Amazon recently launched a new Alexa featured called “Routines.” When you speak a certain preset command, like “Alexa, good morning,” you can set Alexa to perform certain actions, like read you the weather, start playing music and tell you how long it will take you to get to work. Here’s how to create a custom morning routine, but you can change any of these steps to make something else, too. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the app.

Tap “Routines.”

Tap the top button that says “When this happens.”

Choose “Voice.”

Enter the phrase “Good morning.”

Tap “Save.”

Now choose “Add action.”

Tap “Weather.”

Tap “Add.”

Now tap “Add action”

Tap “Traffic.”

Now tap “Add action” again.

Tap “Music.”

Enter in an artist, like Bruce Springsteen.

Choose your music provider, such as Spotify.

Tap Next.

Tap “Create.” Now, when you say “Alexa, good morning.” Alexa will tell you the local weather, how long it will take to get to work on your commute, and will then start playing Bruce Springsteen. (Note: if you haven’t set up your commute in the Alexa app yet, you can do this by going to settings > traffic.)

Get a sports update for your favorite teams

Alexa can give you a quick briefing on your favorite teams. First, you need to tell it the teams you follow. To do this: Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left.

Tap Settings.

Select “Sports.”

Tap Add a Team. ”

Search for your favorite team.

Tap “Save.”

Repeat until you’ve added all of the teams you follow.

Now, speak “Alexa, what’s my sports update?” Alexa will read off the latest scores and upcoming games for each of the teams you follow.

Set a reminder

You can ask Alexa to remind you to do things, too. Say “Alexa, remind me to get candied yams,” or whatever you need a reminder for.

Alexa will ask when it should remind you. Say something like “Today at 3 p.m.”

Alexa will confirm that it will remind you at the preset time.

You can view, edit or add reminders in the Alexa app by tapping the menu button and selecting “Reminders & Alarms.”

Set multiple timers

Alexa can be really useful in the kitchen, particularly if you want to set multiple timers at once. Maybe you need to set the oven to one timer and then create a second timer for something you have cooling in the fridge. To set multiple timers: Say, Alexa set an oven timer for 30 minutes.

Then speak another timer, like, “Set a fridge timer for 1 hour.”

You can check in a timer by saying “Alexa, what’s the oven timer?” Or “Alexa, what’s the fridge timer?”

Alexa will alert you when the specific timer has ended.

Play music in different rooms at the same time

In order: The Echo, the Echo Plus and the original Echo Todd Haselton | CNBC

If you have multiple Echos around the house, you can link them up to play music at the same time in different rooms. I have a “downstairs” group for my Echos, for example, where I have my living room, dining room and kitchen all play the same music. To do this: Open the Alexa app on your phone. Tap Devices icon on the bottom right. It looks like a little house.

Tap the + button on the top right.

Tap “Add Multi-Room Music speakers.”

Create a group name, such as “Downstairs.”

Choose the Echos you want to include in the group, then tap “Save.” Now, you can speak something like “Alexa, play Beethoven downstairs,” and Alexa will play music on the speakers in that group.

Delete your history

A list of the recordings I’ve spoken to Alexa. Todd Haselton | CNBC

Amazon keeps a recording of everything you ask Alexa. For privacy’s sake, you may want to delete those recordings regularly. You can do that two ways. To delete things you said recently, just say “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” or “Alexa, delete what I just said.” To delete everything at once, do this: Visit Amazon’s Device page

Select the menu button to the left of the Echo device you’d like to manage. (The menu button looks like three little dots stacked on top of one another.

Tap “Manage Voice Recordings”

Tap “Delete.”

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, echo, app, half, button, alexa, menu, ask, heres, timer, day, say, uber, amazon, prime


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Here’s how to earn up to $55 in free Amazon credits for Prime Day

What’s better than Amazon Prime Day discounts? Free Amazon credits you can use toward those deals. To take advantage of the Prime Day deals, you need to Prime member. In total, first-time app users who are Prime members can earn up to $25 in free Amazon credits through July 31, 2019. Beyond the free credits, downloading the Amazon app also gives Prime members an edge.


What’s better than Amazon Prime Day discounts? Free Amazon credits you can use toward those deals. To take advantage of the Prime Day deals, you need to Prime member. In total, first-time app users who are Prime members can earn up to $25 in free Amazon credits through July 31, 2019. Beyond the free credits, downloading the Amazon app also gives Prime members an edge.
Here’s how to earn up to $55 in free Amazon credits for Prime Day Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: megan leonhardt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, prime, free, day, app, browser, deals, 55, heres, youre, credit, credits, amazon, earn


Here's how to earn up to $55 in free Amazon credits for Prime Day

What’s better than Amazon Prime Day discounts? Free Amazon credits you can use toward those deals. To celebrate Amazon Prime Day, which starts on July 15 and runs two days this year, the company has several deals that offer customers $10 credits for using several of its services, including the online retailer’s app and browser extension. To take advantage of the Prime Day deals, you need to Prime member. If you’re not already a Prime member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial. After the trial expires, a membership costs $119 a year. If you’re a student, Amazon offers a six-month trial period and half off a membership ($59 a year). Once your membership is sorted, take a moment to see if you qualify for any of these credits to use toward your Prime Day purchases.

Download the Amazon app

If you don’t have the Amazon shopping app yet, Amazon is offering Prime members a $10 credit when they download it and sign in for the first time. You can earn another $10 credit after you purchase an Amazon product through the app and another $5 when you use the camera and Alexa features for the first time. In total, first-time app users who are Prime members can earn up to $25 in free Amazon credits through July 31, 2019. Credits expire on August 2, 2019. However, if you’re on a free trial, you’re not eligible. Beyond the free credits, downloading the Amazon app also gives Prime members an edge. App users will be able to preview deals and can turn on “personalized notifications” in the app settings to get notified when deals are live.

Install the Amazon Assistant browser extension

Those looking to use a desktop or laptop to shop for Prime deals can install the Amazon Assistant browser extension and get $10 off their first order of $50 or more. A browser extension is a small software package that you can download, typically for free, and will work with websites. The Amazon Assistant browser extension shows you the top trending deals and offers, as well as notifies you when deals you are watching go live. Plus, this credit lasts beyond Prime Day. Users have until August 2, 2019 to use their credit on any order over $50 on Amazon.com.

Shop at Whole Foods

To score this credit, you’ll need to spend a little money. Prime members who spend at least $10 at a Whole Foods store or through Prime Now (which partners with the grocery retailer) through July 16 will receive a $10 credit to use on Amazon Prime Day purchases. The grocery store will also be adding exclusive deals on “peak-of-season produce and high-quality grocery favorites” during the week of Prime Day, including on strawberries, peaches, blueberries, salmon fillets, nut butters, trail mixes and ice creams, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said in a statement.

Reload an Amazon gift card


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: megan leonhardt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, prime, free, day, app, browser, deals, 55, heres, youre, credit, credits, amazon, earn


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

How to see which apps are gobbling up all of your data each month

If you don’t have an unlimited wireless data plan — and sometimes even if you do — you should pay attention to which apps use the most data on your iPhone. Sometimes, for example, an app that you use frequently might consume far more of your data than you think. And, if you start to get warnings about using too much data, it could be that a buggy app is using more than it should. It’s good practice to check up on which apps are using most of your data. That way, you’ll know to remember to connec


If you don’t have an unlimited wireless data plan — and sometimes even if you do — you should pay attention to which apps use the most data on your iPhone. Sometimes, for example, an app that you use frequently might consume far more of your data than you think. And, if you start to get warnings about using too much data, it could be that a buggy app is using more than it should. It’s good practice to check up on which apps are using most of your data. That way, you’ll know to remember to connec
How to see which apps are gobbling up all of your data each month Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wireless, wifi, app, check, youll, way, gobbling, apps, using, data, month, example


How to see which apps are gobbling up all of your data each month

If you don’t have an unlimited wireless data plan — and sometimes even if you do — you should pay attention to which apps use the most data on your iPhone.

Sometimes, for example, an app that you use frequently might consume far more of your data than you think. In my case, I found that Twitter uses nearly as much as Apple Music, for example. And, if you start to get warnings about using too much data, it could be that a buggy app is using more than it should.

It’s good practice to check up on which apps are using most of your data. That way, you’ll know to remember to connect to a Wi-Fi network when using a particularly data-hungry app, or which apps to limit before you go over your cap.

It only takes a couple of seconds to check. Here’s how to do it on an iPhone, though the process is relatively similar on an Android phone, too.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wireless, wifi, app, check, youll, way, gobbling, apps, using, data, month, example


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Microsoft says its Teams app is bigger than Slack and growing faster

Tobias Schwarz | AFP | Getty ImagesMicrosoft’s answer to the trendy team chat app Slack has exceeded Slack in regular usage after only two years on the market. Slack, whose app became publicly available in 2014, no longer discloses that figure; in 2017 it said there were 9 million weekly active Slack users. A chart Microsoft released suggests that Teams is growing faster than Slack in terms of daily users, despite being larger. Using email properlySince March 2017, Microsoft has included Teams i


Tobias Schwarz | AFP | Getty ImagesMicrosoft’s answer to the trendy team chat app Slack has exceeded Slack in regular usage after only two years on the market. Slack, whose app became publicly available in 2014, no longer discloses that figure; in 2017 it said there were 9 million weekly active Slack users. A chart Microsoft released suggests that Teams is growing faster than Slack in terms of daily users, despite being larger. Using email properlySince March 2017, Microsoft has included Teams i
Microsoft says its Teams app is bigger than Slack and growing faster Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-11  Authors: jordan novet
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, office, growing, users, microsoft, app, jha, business, email, group, bigger, faster, slack, team, teams


Microsoft says its Teams app is bigger than Slack and growing faster

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at a fireside chat with the CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen (unseen) where they unveiled their cooperation for the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud in Berlin on February 27, 2019. Tobias Schwarz | AFP | Getty Images

Microsoft’s answer to the trendy team chat app Slack has exceeded Slack in regular usage after only two years on the market. On Thursday the company revealed a statistic it had previously kept to itself: The Teams service has more than 13 million daily active users, which puts it ahead of Slack’s last reported number of 10 million daily users in the three months that ended on Jan. 31. On a weekly basis, Teams has 19 million active users. Slack, whose app became publicly available in 2014, no longer discloses that figure; in 2017 it said there were 9 million weekly active Slack users. A chart Microsoft released suggests that Teams is growing faster than Slack in terms of daily users, despite being larger. The success of Teams, at least in relation to Slack, is an example of how Microsoft can make hits out of young products just by distributing it to its large collection of existing customers. The company has done this in the past with software like Internet Explorer in Windows and SharePoint in Office. In addition, teams is part of the Commercial Cloud category that investors watch closely; in the most recent quarter Microsoft’s Commercial Cloud revenue grew 41%. Shares of Slack haven’t ended any day higher than the $38.62 closing price on the day of the company’s market debut, June 20.

Using email properly

Since March 2017, Microsoft has included Teams in companies’ subscriptions to the Office 365 bundle of productivity software at no additional charge. In Teams, people can make calls and exchange messages with teammates, and work on Word and Excel files without switching to different applications. Later in 2017, Microsoft introduced a software bundle called Microsoft 365, which includes Windows 10, Office 365 subscription-based productivity apps and mobility and security tools. “Teams, I think, is a canonical example of the flagship of the Microsoft 365 product, which is person-centered, customer-centered,” said Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s executive vice president for experiences and devices, and the person responsible for Office at the company. “You select the group that you’re doing a project in or you’re working with, and all the tools and the applications and the context all comes to you there.” Microsoft uses it internally, too — including the senior leadership team that includes Jha alongside CEO Satya Nadella and finance chief Amy Hood. “We’ve got a Teams group, and not only are our meetings and our chats integrated in there, but our business dashboards, our shared documents or any other business process that we interact with is all in that same context of the Teams scaffolding,” Jha said. One such business process, he said, is a playbook for business continuity that Microsoft’s IT team built. Nadella is all about having Microsoft operate as one company, a conscious break against its historical tendency to break into warring silos, Jha said. So instead of having many one-on-one conversations, Nadella meets with Jha and the others on the senior leadership team for hours every Friday. This is reflected in how the group uses Teams. Jha said the group uses “less DMs [direct messages between individuals] and much more group messaging, much more shared context in the documents and business dashboard.” He added that he communicates with the leaders in his team in a similar fashion. Jha said he personally prefers Teams to email — he particularly appreciates the ability to react to messages through emojis in a more lightweight fashion than one can over email — although he also oversees Microsoft’s popular email programs, including Exchange and Outlook.

Microsoft

He said Teams has helped email get used for the right things inside Microsoft. In certain contexts Jha is seeing less email communication, although he stopped short of saying he’s getting less email altogether after adopting Teams. “When I talk to customers or partners, or when I’m not logically in kind of a group with people where there’s sporadic, intermittent interaction, email is still the tool. But when I’m in the senior leadership team or my leadership team, or I’m in some project that’s about to launch in those groups, rather than going back and forth in email, it’s much more efficient to have the chats, the transcripts of meetings we’ve been in, the dashboards, the files, all of that in one place,” Jha said. The Teams user base even includes Microsoft co-founder and board member Bill Gates. “He’s a big email guy, but he’s started to use Teams as well,” Jha said. “It’s good to see that.”

Read receipts and a ‘priority notifications’ feature


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-11  Authors: jordan novet
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, office, growing, users, microsoft, app, jha, business, email, group, bigger, faster, slack, team, teams


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

YouTube launches on Fire TV, ending dispute between Amazon and Google

YouTube will launch on Amazon Fire TV devices on Tuesday. YouTube Kids and YouTube TV will launch later this year, Google said. Amazon did not sell Google products, such as the Google Home speaker and Nest cameras, which compete with the Amazon Echo and Amazon’s Ring cameras. Google decided to pull YouTube from Fire TV due to a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon. YouTube will be available Tuesday on the Fire TV Stick, TV Cube and Toshiba, Element, Insignia and Westinghouse TVs with Amazon’s Fire


YouTube will launch on Amazon Fire TV devices on Tuesday. YouTube Kids and YouTube TV will launch later this year, Google said. Amazon did not sell Google products, such as the Google Home speaker and Nest cameras, which compete with the Amazon Echo and Amazon’s Ring cameras. Google decided to pull YouTube from Fire TV due to a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon. YouTube will be available Tuesday on the Fire TV Stick, TV Cube and Toshiba, Element, Insignia and Westinghouse TVs with Amazon’s Fire
YouTube launches on Fire TV, ending dispute between Amazon and Google Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-09  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, users, products, google, launches, dispute, amazon, youtube, app, ending, available, sell, tv, streaming


YouTube launches on Fire TV, ending dispute between Amazon and Google

YouTube will launch on Amazon Fire TV devices on Tuesday. YouTube Kids and YouTube TV will launch later this year, Google said. Amazon Prime video will also be available on Google Chromecast products and Android TVs.

Google had originally promised to relaunch YouTube on the Fire TV in April after it pulled the app in December 2017 as competition between Google and Amazon began to heat up in the streaming space.

Amazon did not sell Google products, such as the Google Home speaker and Nest cameras, which compete with the Amazon Echo and Amazon’s Ring cameras. Google decided to pull YouTube from Fire TV due to a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon. Amazon still doesn’t sell the Google Home, but it now sells Nest products.

A third-party YouTube app has been available on Fire TV devices, but it only brought users to YouTube’s website and was not a full-featured experience. The new YouTube app will support streaming in 4K HDR and users can ask Alexa to play videos from the service or control content, for example.

YouTube will be available Tuesday on the Fire TV Stick, TV Cube and Toshiba, Element, Insignia and Westinghouse TVs with Amazon’s Fire TV software installed.

WATCH: How binge-watching is changing everything


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-09  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, users, products, google, launches, dispute, amazon, youtube, app, ending, available, sell, tv, streaming


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

As MoviePass seeks to resuscitate its business, movie theaters are moving in on its turf

The end could be near for theater subscription service MoviePass. Especially as movie theaters develop and launch their own loyalty programs. Hannah has been a member of MoviePass since January 2018, when subscribers were still permitted to see a movie more than once. Early in 2018, it offered moviegoers the chance to watch one movie per day for just $10 a month. Also at that time, MoviePass began charging service fees for subscribers to see highly anticipated movies and prime time showings.


The end could be near for theater subscription service MoviePass. Especially as movie theaters develop and launch their own loyalty programs. Hannah has been a member of MoviePass since January 2018, when subscribers were still permitted to see a movie more than once. Early in 2018, it offered moviegoers the chance to watch one movie per day for just $10 a month. Also at that time, MoviePass began charging service fees for subscribers to see highly anticipated movies and prime time showings.
As MoviePass seeks to resuscitate its business, movie theaters are moving in on its turf Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-05  Authors: sarah whitten
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, month, resuscitate, app, subscribers, seeks, business, company, moving, movie, subscription, moviepass, members, theaters, turf, service


As MoviePass seeks to resuscitate its business, movie theaters are moving in on its turf

The end could be near for theater subscription service MoviePass. On Thursday, the company suspended its service while it undergoes unspecified “improvements” to its product.

“For the past several months, MoviePass has been working hard to improve our groundbreaking subscription service to ensure it meets the vision that we have for it,” the company wrote on its website. “We are temporarily not accepting new subscribers as we work on these improvements.”

A similar statement is on its mobile app. The message says it’s working to improve the app, but doesn’t say when it will be available again. On Twitter, the company responded to user questions saying the “process will take several weeks.”

MoviePass has been struggling for more than a year. The subscription went from having more than 3 million members to around 225,000 in April 2019, according to Variety, which was first to report the service had been suspended. It’s unclear if an app revamp can actually help the company stay afloat.

Especially as movie theaters develop and launch their own loyalty programs. In fact, AMC Theater’s own subscription-based program, Stubs A-List, has more than 860,000 members as of the end of June, Cinemark’s Movie Club has more than 500,000 subscribers and Regal Cinemas is set to launch its own unlimited movie ticket subscription.

Even Alamo Drafthouse, a smaller player in the industry, plans on dropping its own service by the end of the year.

For those that still use MoviePass, the sudden closure of the app was a surprise.

“I opened [the app] last night and was very upset,” Hannah, 24 of New York, said. She had hoped to get tickets to see the new “Spider-Man” film. “I have no idea when it will be back up.”

Hannah has been a member of MoviePass since January 2018, when subscribers were still permitted to see a movie more than once. Even as MoviePass has limited the number of movies members can see per month and how many times they can see a movie, she said she is happy to stick with MoviePass.

“Movie tickets in New York City are really expensive,” she said. If she goes at least twice a month, the $10 she pays for the subscription is more than worth it, she said.

While there are still some showings that are blacked out at some theaters, Hannah said New York City has so many theaters that she hasn’t had trouble finding a place to watch the movie she wants to see. She said her mother, who lives in a small town, canceled her membership because there weren’t many nearby theater options.

If MoviePass remains at its current price, Hannah said, she has no reason to unsubscribe. However, if the company does another round of price hikes, she said she’d consider deleting the app.

Many Twitter users aired their grievances about MoviePass shutting down the app temporarily. Some said they were wondering how to cancel their subscriptions if they’re unable to access the app or the website.

MoviePass’s financial issues have been pronounced since 2018. In late June of that year, AMC launched Stubs A-List, offering its members the opportunity to watch up to three movies a week for under $20.

At the time, MoviePass was in the process of changing its subscription model. Early in 2018, it offered moviegoers the chance to watch one movie per day for just $10 a month. However, by April, new members who signed up for the subscription were only able to see four films in a month and couldn’t see the same movie twice.

Moviegoers could only see 2D films with MoviePass’s subscription, while AMC offered 3D, 4D, Dolby and IMAX viewings.

Also at that time, MoviePass began charging service fees for subscribers to see highly anticipated movies and prime time showings.

The shutdown of its app and website is just another stumble for the brand.

“Sounds like they’re on life support in the critical condition wing,” said Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “And honestly, I don’t suspect they’ll have many visits … MoviePass, while a great idea, is a horror show in terms of execution and customer service. It’s hard to exist as a company when you don’t have the public’s trust nor can you deliver what you promise.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-05  Authors: sarah whitten
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, month, resuscitate, app, subscribers, seeks, business, company, moving, movie, subscription, moviepass, members, theaters, turf, service


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

TikTok is under investigation in the UK over children’s data privacy rights

The Logo of social media app TikTok (also known as Douyin) is displayed on a smartphone on December 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Popular Chinese video sharing app TikTok is under investigation in the U.K. for how it collects and uses children’s personal information. Elizabeth Denham, head of the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said in a parliamentary hearing Tuesday the agency is investigating whether TikTok violated the EU’s data privacy law called GDPR (General Data Protection


The Logo of social media app TikTok (also known as Douyin) is displayed on a smartphone on December 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Popular Chinese video sharing app TikTok is under investigation in the U.K. for how it collects and uses children’s personal information. Elizabeth Denham, head of the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said in a parliamentary hearing Tuesday the agency is investigating whether TikTok violated the EU’s data privacy law called GDPR (General Data Protection
TikTok is under investigation in the UK over children’s data privacy rights Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-03  Authors: elizabeth schulze
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, children, privacy, data, investigation, rights, childrens, uk, looking, watch, personal, denham, tiktok, app


TikTok is under investigation in the UK over children's data privacy rights

The Logo of social media app TikTok (also known as Douyin) is displayed on a smartphone on December 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

Popular Chinese video sharing app TikTok is under investigation in the U.K. for how it collects and uses children’s personal information.

Elizabeth Denham, head of the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said in a parliamentary hearing Tuesday the agency is investigating whether TikTok violated the EU’s data privacy law called GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which requires companies to provide specific protections related to children’s personal data.

“We are looking at the transparency tools for children,” Denham said. “We’re looking at the messaging system, which is completely open, we’re looking at the kind of videos that are collected and shared by children online. So we do have an active investigation into TikTok right now, so you can watch that space.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-03  Authors: elizabeth schulze
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, children, privacy, data, investigation, rights, childrens, uk, looking, watch, personal, denham, tiktok, app


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Apple continues expanding into health care by selling a consumer-focused diabetes monitor in stores

Some Apple retail locations now sell a glucose monitor that integrates with the iPhone to give people with diabetes a way to track their blood sugar through Apple’s Health app. One Drop is an aesthetically designed blood glucose monitor with an associated iPhone app that integrates with Apple’s Health app, as well as a separate Apple Watch app. Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company’s health products will be Apple’s “greatest contribution to mankind. ” Apple has experimented with


Some Apple retail locations now sell a glucose monitor that integrates with the iPhone to give people with diabetes a way to track their blood sugar through Apple’s Health app. One Drop is an aesthetically designed blood glucose monitor with an associated iPhone app that integrates with Apple’s Health app, as well as a separate Apple Watch app. Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company’s health products will be Apple’s “greatest contribution to mankind. ” Apple has experimented with
Apple continues expanding into health care by selling a consumer-focused diabetes monitor in stores Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-27  Authors: christina farr kif leswing, christina farr, kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, consumerfocused, iphone, app, expanding, drop, store, monitor, care, health, stores, selling, glucose, continues, products, apple, diabetes


Apple continues expanding into health care by selling a consumer-focused diabetes monitor in stores

Some Apple retail locations now sell a glucose monitor that integrates with the iPhone to give people with diabetes a way to track their blood sugar through Apple’s Health app.

One Drop is an aesthetically designed blood glucose monitor with an associated iPhone app that integrates with Apple’s Health app, as well as a separate Apple Watch app. It’s the only diabetes product that Apple is currently selling in its physical stores, although it previously carried One Drop online and carried a Sanofi monitor in 2012.

The introduction of OneDrop is a prime example of how Apple is breaking into the health space by selling consumer-oriented products and integrating the data from them in its Health app, making the iPhone and Apple Watch hubs for people’s personal health.

Apple hasn’t been shy about its interest in creating products and services to address the health market. Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company’s health products will be Apple’s “greatest contribution to mankind. ” Apple has experimented with creating its own glucose monitor, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has been spotted testing a continuous glucose monitor, although he’s not known to have diabetes. (One Drop isn’t continuous. It requires a finger prick before every individual reading.)

Apple’s health team and the merchandisers who select products for the store are different divisions at Apple. But the inclusion of One Drop in the store is a sign that Apple products are increasingly capable of performing health-related tasks.

“I think it’s great to have more consumer-friendly medical devices in the Apple Store,” said Aaron Neinstein, an endocrinologist at UC San Francisco, who treats patients with diabetes. “One Drop has embraced the fact that they’re part of people’s lives, and that includes their smartphone, and I wish other more traditional device makers would follow suit.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-27  Authors: christina farr kif leswing, christina farr, kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, consumerfocused, iphone, app, expanding, drop, store, monitor, care, health, stores, selling, glucose, continues, products, apple, diabetes


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Big California insurer is ditching ‘zombie’ workplace wellness programs and focusing on digital health apps

But studies are finding that most traditional workplace wellness programs do not work, and large employers aren’t reporting a reduction in their health-related spending, which is now at a record high. For Williams, that suggests that the health plans need to go back to the drawing board. Williams said that his team selected about 70 digital health apps from more than 300,000 that are available on the Apple App Store alone. That way, suggests Williams, “the best tools that our members really like


But studies are finding that most traditional workplace wellness programs do not work, and large employers aren’t reporting a reduction in their health-related spending, which is now at a record high. For Williams, that suggests that the health plans need to go back to the drawing board. Williams said that his team selected about 70 digital health apps from more than 300,000 that are available on the Apple App Store alone. That way, suggests Williams, “the best tools that our members really like
Big California insurer is ditching ‘zombie’ workplace wellness programs and focusing on digital health apps Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, digital, programs, members, apps, workplace, dont, health, california, williams, zombie, wellness, app, way, insurer, focusing, suggests, ditching


Big California insurer is ditching 'zombie' workplace wellness programs and focusing on digital health apps

Companies have embraced health surveys, biometric screenings and other wellness offerings, as a way to keep employees healthy and lower their overall medical costs.

But studies are finding that most traditional workplace wellness programs do not work, and large employers aren’t reporting a reduction in their health-related spending, which is now at a record high.

One of California’s largest health insurers has had enough.

Blue Shield of California’s Bryce Williams, who’s responsible for the plan’s lifestyle initiatives, feels that these programs are “zombies” that should be phased out.

For Williams, that suggests that the health plans need to go back to the drawing board. “When something is not working, and it’s expensive and not delivering results, we need to do something different,” he said.

In his view, these programs struggle because they don’t often align with the latest medical research. and the rewards are “insignificant,” while the penalties, which typically take the form of increased premiums, “don’t make anyone feel good.”

So the plan, which serves more than 4 million people across California, is rolling out a new offering called “Wellvolution” in across its employer customers, as well as its Medicare and Medicaid members in California. The idea is to provide members with a curated range of offerings from consumer-friendly digital health start-ups, including apps for stress management, smoking cessation and sleep quality, as well as in-person resources like gym memberships and Weight Watchers classes.

Williams said that his team selected about 70 digital health apps from more than 300,000 that are available on the Apple App Store alone. They spent the bulk of their time vetting the apps that purported to manage a disease, like diabetes or heart disease, to ensure that they had clinical evidence to backup their claims.

According to Williams, there’s an online portal for members to login via a mobile app or the web. Members will then be asked to answer some basic survey questions about their health goals. From there, they’ll get a recommendation for an app or a service they can use as a wellness perk. If they don’t like it, they can change it up at any time.

That way, suggests Williams, “the best tools that our members really like can rise to the top.”

The insurer teamed up with a health-tech start-up called Solera Health to develop the service. Solera specializes in developing technology that can match individuals with wellness programs and other health services that best meet their needs.

Follow @CNBCTech on Twitter for the latest tech industry news.

WATCH: Your physical exam just got a high-tech upgrade


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, digital, programs, members, apps, workplace, dont, health, california, williams, zombie, wellness, app, way, insurer, focusing, suggests, ditching


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Inside Apple’s team that greenlights iPhone apps for the App Store

The “executive review board,” or ERB, sets policy for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations department, which is often called App Review. Inside the app review team, Apple employees manually screen every single iPhone app before they become available to download on Apple’s platforms, the people said. How the process worksAny app or update that runs on an iPhone needs a stamp of approval from a human being in order to be distributed on Apple’s App Store. App Review was developed shortly after the


The “executive review board,” or ERB, sets policy for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations department, which is often called App Review. Inside the app review team, Apple employees manually screen every single iPhone app before they become available to download on Apple’s platforms, the people said. How the process worksAny app or update that runs on an iPhone needs a stamp of approval from a human being in order to be distributed on Apple’s App Store. App Review was developed shortly after the
Inside Apple’s team that greenlights iPhone apps for the App Store Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-21  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, review, apple, apples, reviewers, team, developers, app, iphone, familiar, apps, greenlights, inside, store


Inside Apple's team that greenlights iPhone apps for the App Store

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc., speaks at an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

In an inside look at Apple, CNBC has learned from people familiar with the process how the company reviews and approves apps and other iPhone software. The app review process has grown in importance as Apple increasingly emphasizes its App Store services as a source of revenue and iPhone security as a key selling point. In addition, Apple’s platform is drawing new scrutiny as politicians and regulators take a more skeptical look at the power of big tech companies. In the United States, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says that Apple competes with the apps on its own platform. Spotify, the streaming music service that competes with Apple Music, has filed a competition complaint with the EU. And Apple’s own developers for years have chafed under App Review’s sometimes arbitrary rejections and boilerplate feedback. People familiar with the matter told CNBC that an executive board led by Apple marketing Senior Vice President Phil Schiller meets every week to discuss controversial apps or other iPhone software programs that may infringe Apple’s App Store guidelines. The “executive review board,” or ERB, sets policy for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations department, which is often called App Review. ERB is also the body that makes the final call on whether an app can stay on the store or is banned. For example, last year, the ERB and Schiller made the decision to ban the Infowars app from the App Store for violating content policies after publishing threats to a reporter, a person familiar with the matter said. Inside the app review team, Apple employees manually screen every single iPhone app before they become available to download on Apple’s platforms, the people said. Apple recently opened new App Review offices in Cork, Ireland, and Shanghai, China, according to a person familiar with the matter. The department has added significant headcount in recent years, they added. Last month, Apple published a new webpage that explains the principles that govern the App Store as well as the most common reasons for rejection to show an increased level of transparency over previous years. “We’re proud of the store we’ve built and the way we’ve built it,” Apple said on the page. “We created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers,” it continued. Apple declined to comment on its app review process.

How the process works

Any app or update that runs on an iPhone needs a stamp of approval from a human being in order to be distributed on Apple’s App Store. While Apple does use automated filters, people familiar with the department say it’s always relied on manual labor. Unlike content moderators at Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook or YouTube that rely on tens of thousands of contractors, Apple’s app reviewers work for Apple, people familiar with the process said. They’re paid hourly, have employee badges and get Apple benefits such as health care. Everyone starts out reviewing iPhone apps, and as reviewers become more senior, they are trained to evaluate apps with in-app purchases, subscriptions, Apple Watch and Apple TV. The department has more than 300 reviewers and is based out of a pair of offices in Sunnyvale, California — not Apple’s famous Apple Park campus or its older headquarters, Infinite Loop, people familiar with the offices said. Lots of reviewers are fluent in non-English languages, and some teams in the division specialize in individual languages. Apple says its reviewers speak 81 different languages. App Review is organized under the marketing umbrella at Apple and always has been, even before Schiller took over the greater App Store marketing and product departments in late 2015. Although Schiller is involved in decision-making through the ERB, people who worked at the App Review office said that he rarely if ever visits the office where the review takes place. According to people familiar with app review operations, day-to-day oversight mainly falls to a vice president at Apple, Ron Okamoto, and a director who joined Apple when it bought TestFlight in 2015, whom CNBC is not naming because of security reasons. Reviewers say they sometimes receive feedback from developers that can be threatening. App Review was developed shortly after the iPhone App Store was launched in 2008. Apple’s two goals for the department, according to a response to the FCC in 2009 and the webpage published earlier this year, is to create a store where customers can be confident that apps are safe and to provide a level playing field for developers to reach customers, in exchange for a 15% to 30% cut of sales.

Accept, reject or hold

Reviewers “claim” a batch of apps through a web portal on a Mac desktop, called App Claim. They often examine the app on an attached iPad, even if it’s an iPhone app, although there are stations for reviewers to evaluate Watch and TV apps on those devices, people familiar with the process said. (Some developers have said they were surprised to see iPad screenshots of their iPhone apps in their logged communication with App Review.) Reviewers compare the app with Apple’s public App Store guidelines, including making sure it runs without crashing and isn’t full of illegal content. Then the reviewers make a call whether to accept, reject or hold the app. Most reviewers spend only a few minutes per app, but many apps are simple and only require a short period to evaluate, the people said. Reviewers have daily quotas of between 50 and 100 apps, and the number of apps any individual reviewer gets through in an hour is tracked by software called Watchtower, according to screenshots seen by CNBC. Reviewers are also judged on whether their decisions are later overturned and other quality-oriented stats. People who worked at App Review said that work days could be long, especially ahead of Apple’s annual release of its new version of iOS, when app developers update their apps so they’re compatible. One stat that is closely tracked at App Review is called SLA, which stands for service-level agreement. Apple aims for 50% of apps to be reviewed within 24 to 48 hours. When there’s a big queue of apps, the SLA percentage drops, according to reviewers who worked at Apple. On July 30 last year, the SLA fell to 6%, according to a staff email. “Until we catch up, we are opening up 12-hour days,” according to the email seen by CNBC. “Please note that you should not work over 12 hours in one day.” Reviewers generally don’t face horrific or illegal content on a regular basis, although one reviewer said that one time they discovered child pornography in a pending app. The app wasn’t approved and the incident was reported to the FBI, the reviewer said. The bigger concern is that developers can get angry that their livelihood can be threatened by a prolonged review process, and some reviewers wish they could share more details or help more beyond the boilerplate responses they are required to send, they said. Another reviewer said that sometimes they approve what looks like a valid app, but changes can be made on the developer’s server to make it into a scammy app that violates Apple’s guidelines. Sometimes reviewers get dinged for that, the person said.

What happens when an app gets rejected


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-21  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, review, apple, apples, reviewers, team, developers, app, iphone, familiar, apps, greenlights, inside, store


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post