Fitbit's New Ionic Smartwatch is a Health and Fitness First Watch

Fitbit’s new smartwatch, the Ionic, is being positioned as “a health and fitness first platform,” but will this new product be enough to help Fitbit recover from dwindling sales? Fitness trackers, such as Fitbit’s various products have performed better than smartwatches, but IDC reports that sales of fitness trackers are expected to fall this year, from last year’s 49.2 million devices sold to an anticipated total of 47.6 million this year. With Fitbit’s $146.3 million-dollar loss for 2016, the company hopes its new Ionic smartwatch can help grow market share. Despite being “a health and fitness first platform,” the Ionic has stiff competition from other vendors in the market such as Apple and Samsung. Besides providing a wealth of health and fitness information, the Ionic will also feature a music player, an NFC chip for wireless payments, and its own operating system, Fitbit OS to support third-party apps. The Ionic will be released in October and will retail starting at $300.

Read more about Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch at FastCompany

New York City Police Set to Replace 36,000 Windows Phones with iPhones

Microsoft’s announcement in July that the company was ending support for the Windows Phone 8.1, essentially sounded the death knell for this device. Loyal fans and users of this platform are now being faced with the decision to switch to a different device, including the New York City Police Department. The NYPD is set to replace its 36,000 Windows phones with iPhones starting this fall. Three years ago, the NYPD selected the Windows phone as part of a $160 million-dollar initiative to modernize the NYPD. The switch from Windows phones to iPhones will likely happen after the release of the iPhone 8, although it is unlikely that the NYPD will be carrying the latest version of the iPhone.

Read more about the NYPD’s upcoming switch to the iPhone at The Verge

Amazon's Echo Can Be Purchased at Whole Foods

Now that Amazon has purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion dollars, customers can now pick up the ‘farm fresh’ Amazon Echo as the ‘pick of the season’ while shopping for groceries. Although only being sold in select stores, Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot are now sharing real estate with delicious produce and organic goodies. Currently, buying the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot at Whole Foods will cost the same as purchasing it from Amazon.com.

Read more about Amazon and Whole Foods at TechCrunch


Push Notifications Increase Purchases by 9.6X

According to a new report by Leanplum, push notifications on mobile devices increase user purchases by 9.6X. Leanplum’s study found that push notifications not only increase the number of purchases by consumers but also the amount of money spent. Based on the findings of this study, Leanplum recommends that push notifications are more powerful when leveraged as part of an ominchannel marketing strategy. This is because only 40 percent of mobile users’ opt-in to receiving push notifications, meaning that push notifications have a better chance of success when accompanied by another marketing touchpoint such as an email. To fully harness the power of push notifications, Leanplum recommends personalizing them to buyers and making the information valuable to consumers.

Read more about Leanplum’s study about push notifications at Venture Beat

Facebook Acts to Combat the Spread of Fake News

With so many sources of information, how do you know which sources to trust? Combined with the reach of social media and the constant sharing of information, it is easy for false information and fake news to spread virally. But, Facebook is attempting to control the spread of fake news by banning Facebook pages that repeatedly share fake news on the platform. Facebook’s goal is to prevent the spread of false information and to prevent repeat offenders from making money. Facebook has also worked with third-party fact checkers, such as Snopes and the Associated Press to flag false news stories. In addition, Facebook pages who continually post false stories will be prevented from purchasing Facebook ads, to stop these pages from acquiring larger audiences and from making more money.

Read more about Facebook’s initiatives to prevent the spreading of false news at Business Insider