Google Releases the Latest Version of Android 8.0 aka Oreo

Although not quite a delicious chocolate sandwich cookie, the latest version of Android, Android Oreo still has many great features that users will enjoy. Not a stranger to naming its major releases after desserts, such as Cupcake and KitKat, Oreo (8.0), is expected to bring improvements to both speed and memory, changes to the operating system to boost Pixel smartphone start times, and improved efficiency of system resources for apps and other background tasks. This latest Android update will also feature picture-in-picture for smartphones and tablets, updates to notification dots and autofill functionality for apps. Oreo also brings additional security features for users, such as remote location, locking and wiping, and Google Play Protect. And for some added fun, Google has completely changed its emoji set, which is certainly good news for Millennials.

Read more about the new features included with Android Oreo at TechCrunch

Walmart Launches a New "Express Money Services" App for Customers

Walmart has recently launched a brand new mobile app for its money services offerings. Although the new “Express Money Services” app will only be available for domestic and international money transfers at launch, functionality will eventually expand to include bill payments and check cashing services. By offering access to money services in the app, Walmart will expedite processes for customers by eliminating lengthy paperwork in stores. Besides enabling customers to input information via the app for transfers and other transactions, they can also send money pickup information to recipients by email or text messaging. Walmart is expected to continue down this path of offering express services to customers by launching an additional mobile app later this year for pharmacy customers.

Read more about Walmart’s new money services app at RetailDive

Better Start Saving: Apple Plans to Sell the New iPhone for $999

How much is too much to pay for a new smartphone? For devoted fans of the iPhone, hopefully that amount is not $999. According to the latest rumors, Apple intends to sell the iPhone 8 for around $1,000, making it around $350 more than a standard iPhone. Apple will be releasing three new iPhones this fall, but two of them are expected to be updated versions of iPhone 7. It is this new, bevel-less iPhone 8 that will sport a $999 price tag. But why the price hike? Apple is reportedly offering several enhancements to this device including wireless charging, facial recognition, a sleeker design, and a higher resolution display.

Read more about the iPhone 8 and its anticipated new features at The Verge

Facebook Enables Users to Take 360-Degree Photos in Facebook App

Facebook has recently added a new enhancement that should please users who love capturing and sharing photos. Although Facebook has long supported 360-degree photos and videos, this latest enhancement marks the first time that users can capture 360-degree images from inside the Facebook app. Facebook will also enable users to zoom, tag friends, and to use these 360-degree photos as cover photos on Facebook profiles. Like all Facebook photos, 360-degree images can be posted to users’ Timelines, shared in albums and added to Facebook groups.

Read more about taking 360-degree photos in the Facebook app at TechCrunch

TD Ameritrade Leverages Facebook Messenger, Human Support and AI

As chat bots become more popular, companies are finding new ways to utilize AI for enhanced customer service. Brokerage firm TD Ameritrade is currently leveraging a chat bot in Facebook Messenger, that combines AI and live client service support. For customers with simple requests, such as changing a password, the chat bot is advanced enough to resolve issues without human intervention. By letting AI take care of these simple requests, TD Ameritrade’s team can spend their time and resources helping customers with more complex issues that require talking to a human, such as money and account information. TD Ameritrade’s chat bot is powered by the same engine that is used for Amazon Alexa.

Read more about TD Ameritrade and its use of AI at Finextra