Tech Roundup: Amazon Anytime, EU Planned Obsolescence & More

[A recurring feature on the latest in Science & Technology.]

  • Reportedly working on its own cross-platform messaging platform called Anytime with a focus on messaging (including business chats), voice and video calls, and photo sharing, with additional capabilities to apply filters to pictures and videos, @mention other users, use sticker and GIFs, and play games.
  • Said to have passed 15,000 skills in its Alexa voice platform, up from 10,000 back in February.
  • Hits back at graphics chips supplier Imagination Technologies over its decision to develop its own chips; says it began winding down the relationship almost two years ago.
  • Faces questions from Australian watchdog for banning an iMessage extension that allowed users to make payments over messaging services. (It is to be noted that unlike Android Pay or Samsung Pay, Apple prohibits third-party digital payment solutions on iOS, instead preferring to integrate banks into Apple Pay.)
  • Said to be testing 3-D face scanning to unlock iPhones, according to Bloomberg, as a replacement for fingerprint sensor.
  • Updates Instagram to allow users to respond to Stories with photos and videos.
  • Tests built-in GIF maker in its flagship app. (I can't understand Facebook's logic. It has bundled so many features into the app, it keeps swelling with bloat and very little useful functionality. And to think that they removed Messenger and gave it an app of its own!)
In other news: