Google’s Hardware Division is Growing Thanks to $1.1 Billion Agreement with HTC

It appears that Google is continuing its quest to build up its hardware division. Google’s recent cooperation agreement with HTC for $1.1 billion will result in a team from HTC joining Google’s hardware organization. Google has also signed a nonexclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property, showing its interest in both HTC’s smartphone hardware and other assets. Industry experts have noted that Google is starting to take an interest in both software and hardware. Google’s Pixel device and the Daydream View virtual reality headset are the result of this new interest in hardware and software, with a new Pixel-branded Chromebook expected to be announced at Google’s event on October 4th. Google is also rumored to be considering chip manufacturing, which would make Google an even bigger competitive threat to Apple.

Read more about Google’s growing interest in hardware at Business Insider

Apple’s P2P Payments Feature is Expected to Launch this Fall

Soon, it will be easier than ever to pay back friends and family. Apple is expected to launch its peer-to-peer (P2P) payments feature this fall. P2P will allow users to send money and accept payments through Messages. Users can also instruct Siri to pay someone with this new feature, using the stored credit and debit card information from Apple Wallet. When receiving a payment, funds will be available in Apple’s new Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet. Although Apple hopes its P2P payments feature will take on established providers like Venmo, Square Cash, and Zelle, the P2P payments feature will only work across Apple devices.

Read more about Apple’s P2P Payments Feature at Finextra

Waze and Spotify’s Partnership Brings Music to Navigation for iOS

If you like to listen to music while driving, then the new partnership between Waze and Spotify will be an asset for your travels. The integration between these two apps will bring Spotify’s music and playlists inside the Waze app, with certain Waze features being accessible in the Spotify app. This means that users, while using Waze for navigation, can access their favorite Spotify playlists from Waze, or if they are using Spotify to listen to music, they can begin their journey with Waze from inside Spotify’s app. Waze and Spotify accounts can be linked, meaning that music will automatically begin playing when starting a trip on Waze. It is also important to note that users can only browse Spotify music and playlists when the vehicle is stopped for safety purposes.

Read more about Waze and Spotify’s integration for iOS at TechCrunch

Target’s App Will Utilize Beacon and Bluetooth in Stores

Faithful Target shoppers will soon be able to experience a new enhanced shopping experience while visiting Target stores. Target’s mobile app will utilize both beacon and Bluetooth technology to map shoppers’ location inside a store on the store map inside the app. Based on the location inside the store, the app will alert shoppers to nearby “Cartwheel” promotional deals. This new feature is expected to go live in around half of Target’s stores during the holiday season.

Read more about Target’s mobile app and its latest features at RetailDive

Facebook’s M Can Now Share GIFs and Recommend Movies in Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s intelligent assistant, M has received new ways to respond and engage with messages in Facebook Messenger. Based on message content, M can now suggest GIFs, movie tickets to purchase, and can even send quick text responses. GIFs can be sent in both group chats and in 1:1 conversations, with M suggesting GIFs to send based on phrases such as “I Love You” or “Good Morning.” If a conversation includes the title of a film currently in theatres, the Fandango bot chat extension will display movie times and enable you to purchase tickets without leaving the Facebook Messenger app. M can also suggest quick replies, such as “Yes” or “No” to help you communicate easily in conversations.

Read more about Facebook’s M and Messenger at VentureBeat