Subscribers to Pandora's Premium service will be able to use the Google Assistant to play on-demand music. While this service was previously available on Google smart speakers, it was limited to standard automated stations.
Sprint has partnered with LG for the creation of 5G smartphones, which are expected in early 2019. Also, the company intends to launch 5G networks in major metro areas, including Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Houston.
Verizon is shifting the focus in its stores from phones to phone accessories, having overhauled 200 locations to make accessories more prominent. These Next Gen stores are designed to encourage handling of cases, which represent a higher profit margin for the carrier than phone sales do.
Samsung's competition could ramp up, as Apple may offer three new lower-cost phones and add Apple Pencil support, putting them in direct competition with the Galaxy Note 9. Apple may be receiving components from suppliers at a lower cost and may be using those lower prices to compete in price-conscious markets.
StarVR has rolled out a head-mounted virtual reality device designed for enterprise use; it offers a 210-degree horizontal field of view, allowing the device to work with the user's peripheral vision, which creates a more immersive and true-to-life experience.
Ubiquity6 plans to build on its augmented reality sharing platform with a fresh $27 million in Series B funding. The platform uses machine learning to find a user's phone and identify its surroundings, allowing the technology to leverage "the millions of smartphones already in consumers' hands to create a meaningful shared experience," said CEO Anjney Midha.
Verizon is adding Indianapolis to Sacramento, Los Angeles and Houston for its early rollout of 5G service. Separately, Verizon is reportedly closing in on deals with Apple and Google to provide video for its 5G launch.
Developers can now access eBay's application programming interfaces for image searches and machine translation and can add these features to their own platforms. Access, however, is confined to those registered as members of the eBay Developer Program.
Amazon is conducting a limited beta test of video ads in search results, and advertisers including Procter & Gamble are trialing the format. The company has also introduced guaranteed private deals via its Transparent Ad Marketplace.