IT News Weekly Recap – Amazon’s Secret Program, Google Revenue Record, Twitch’s Virtual Currency & More

Amazon Is Building ‘Vesta’ Home Robot For 2019

Amazon Vesta home robot

  • Amazon’s Lab126 R&D division has been secretly developing Vesta for a few years already
  • Leaked information suggests that the robot is meant to accompany users to places with no Alexa devices around
  • Vesta uses autonomous car technologies such as cameras and computer vision for navigation

Gaming Monetization On Mobile Flagships Hits Historical Peak

Mobile gaming on iPhone X

  • DeltaDNA research shows that flagship users spend 270% more on games than the average mobile user
  • Conversion leaders are Apple, Google, and Samsung phones
  • Google Pixel 2 XL shows the highest conversion rate – 11.11%

Google Revenue Sets A New Record High

Google headquarters dining hall

  • The company reports a 26% year-over-year revenue growth with $31.16B in the last quarter
  • The first quarter of the last year brought Google $24.75B.

New GitHub Learning Lab Features A Bot-Assistant

GitHub Learning Center Bot

Twitch Brings Its Virtual “Currency” To Extensions

Twitch extensions using bits

  • Earlier last year, Twitch has launched Bits as a “virtual good you can buy and use to Cheer”
  • Since today, Bits can be used to power extensions (Twitch channel add-ons)
  • 150 add-ons now can charge Bits to provide additional experience to the users
  • Use cases include in-stream mini-games, polls, leaderboards, tickets, a priority queue for joining a creator’s game, etc.

SmugMug acquires Flickr

Flickr logo on mobile

  • The financial terms remained a secret
  • The new management hopes to “revitalize” Flickr
  • Flickr will remain a separate site, with no merging of user accounts or photos

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