Market Appeal Blog and News

Apple Working on Amazon Echo Competitor

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Apple to open up Siri to third-party apps


The battle to be smartphone users’ virtual assistants is stepping up a notch. In the wake of Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple is reportedly working on its own physical Siri device for the home. More importantly perhaps, as part of that project it will be opening Siri up to third-party apps, with a software development kit on the way for developers who want people to be able to access their apps through Siri. This was apparently always Apple’s plan for the service, but it got sidelined, and now it’s competition from Google and Amazon that’s forcing its hand. Expect to hear more at this month’s WWDC.


Google assistant Is Here


Meet Google assistant


Google has unveiled its next-gen Siri competitor and the “next evolution” of Search: Google assistant. Yup, that’s ‘assistant’, not ‘Assistant’. The lower-case name is important, because Google isn’t trying to brand this as a new standalone product or feature, but simply an integral part of Search going forward. “It’s not enough to give them links. We really need to help them get things done in the real world. This is why we’re evolving search to be more assistive,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said at the recent Google I/O event. The conversational new tool will appear in Google Home and Allo, and no doubt other products down the line.


Google Unveils Gboard for iOS


Google launches Gboard


Google has announced a surprise new iOS keyboard app named Gboard that allows users to search directly from their keyboard – without ever having to leave the app they’re using. For example, iMessage users can quickly search for information to send in a message, or use search terms to find emoji and GIFs without having to scroll through the whole selection. The app is available for free, but Google insists that it has “No current plans” to incorporate ads into the experience – despite the obvious potential to effectively insert Google ads into every app on a user’s device.


China Scrutinises Paid-For Baidu Search Ads


China scrutinises PPC Baidu ads


China’s largest search engine is under scrutiny from authorities over the way it presents paid search results following the death of university student Wei Zexi, who died after trying a bogus cancer treatment advertised on the site. Chinese advertising regulations reportedly don’t currently include search results, and the case has sparked concern that the government isn’t doing enough to make sure consumers know they are being served ads through search results. Baidu controls more than 70% of the Chinese search market, serving roughly 600 million monthly users. (more…)

Amit Singhal Quits as Google’s Senior Vice President of Search


Amit Singhal, head of Google Search, announces departure


Google’s Senior Vice President of Search, Amit Singhal, has announced that he is leaving the company after 15 years of service. He’s not leaving the company for a competitor though, instead revealing that he wants to “give back to others,” and pursue work in philanthropy. “Things are in amazing shape,” he wrote of the company he is leaving behind. “Search is stronger than ever, and will only get better in the hands of an outstanding set of senior leaders who are already running the show day-to-day.” John Giannandrea, Google’s Vice President of Engineering, will now step into Singhal’s role after he departs on February 26th. (more…)