Industry News

Industry IQ: Google and Amazon in Giving Moods, Announce New Additions Just Before Christmas

Amazon’s Simple Update Could Make The Echo Spot a Regular Bedroom Accessory

Already found in bedrooms across the world, the Echo Spot is getting a much-needed update that will make it essential in every bedroom – at least according to Amazon. Instead of your typical alarm clock ringtone – which is more irritating than anything else – Spot users will now be able to incorporate their favourite music to their mornings.

The music update is compatible across all Alexa products, with the exception of Fire TV. By using voice command, a Spot user can ask Alexa for a specific song to wake up to, or even set the device so that you wake up to your favourite streaming services, such as Prime Music and Spotify. Similar to a regular alarm clock, you can also ask Alexa to have this repeat every morning, if you wake up at the same time every day.

Although the update might seem trivial, Amazon says the ability to set music alarms was one of their top requested features. Recently, Amazon has been pushing their Echo products more and more. Black Friday saw Echo Dot rise to the bestseller list; if you act fast, you can snag one for yourself at a discounted holiday price. Get moving! (Or should we say dancing?)

Using Google Maps Just Became More Useful with Their New Live Update Feature

If you’re one of the many people who fall asleep during long public transit journeys, don’t worry — Google is thinking of you.

The popular search engine just announced a new addition to their widely used Google Maps app: travellers will now be given real-time notifications as they make their way to their destination. (One of the perks being that the app will remind you when you’re approaching your destination, sleepyheads.)

The app’s interface remains the same: input your destination, and you’ll instantly receive a suggested route and an estimated time. Now, however, you’ll be given the option to tap a “start” button at the bottom of the screen, which then feeds you live updates as you walk or ride. You won’t have to keep track of your route because Google will be doing the work for you every step of the way.

The nifty new feature also allows you to interact with the app straight from the lockscreen. You can scroll through your journey details without having to unlock your phone. No word yet on when the update will be made available, but it’s expected to be soon.

Google Aims to make Life Easier for their Search Engine Users with New Snippet Word Limit

A few weeks ago, Google search engine users began noticing a small change in their search results: the snippets had gotten much longer. Prior to the update, snippets averaged roughly 160 characters, but now users will see 230 characters. It’s a small, but notable, increase, which occurred due to Google trying to pack in useful information.

Also worth noting is the fact that businesses won’t have to adjust their meta descriptions (of course, they can if they want to). Google will likely generate a new snippet using a mix of meta description and content from the page. If you’ve been dying to add juicy details to your descriptions — your time has finally come! Get to writing, marketers.

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