Techmeme
February 6, 2018, 3:00 PM

Top News

Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Apple HomePod review: looks great, has best-in-class sound for $349 and above, but voice controls only work with Apple Music, no third-party service support  —  It sounds amazing.  Is that enough?  —  Photography by James Bareham; Video by Phil Esposito, Becca Farsace, Andrew Marino, and William Joel
Ben Lovejoy / 9to5Mac:
HomePod review roundup: Siri is very limited, despite integration with iCloud and iPhone, recognizing few commands and not being able to tell voices apart  —  Apple seeded HomePod review units to a number of websites, embargoed for today, and the first reviews are landing.  —  There are quibbles.
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Amazon says it will begin removing lock screen ads on its discounted Prime Exclusive Phone program on February 7 but will reportedly raise phones' prices by $20  —  New devices will drop the ads starting tomorrow  —  Amazon has announced that starting tomorrow, February 7th …
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
IDC: quarterly tablet shipments down 7.9% YoY, the 13th straight quarter of decline; Amazon sells ~7.7M tablets in Q4, overtaking Samsung for second place  —  The tablet market has now declined year-over-year for 13 quarters straight.  Q4 2017 saw a 7.9 percent year-over-year decline …
Eric Zimmerman / The Keyword:
Google begins rolling out ability to book flights and hotels directly from search results  —  Planning a trip involves lots of searching for flights, hotels, things to do, itineraries and more.  The process is often cumbersome because we have to use multiple tools to gather everything we need—especially on a mobile phone.
Stephen Shankland / CNET:
Google brings AR stickers to its Motion Stills app for Android, which does not require ARCore-compatible smartphone or high-end specs  —  Want to plop a 3D T. rex into a video of your hand?  The Motion Stills app for Android phones now lets you do that with a rough-and-ready technique.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Home design platform Houzz acquires IvyMark, which raised ~$3M and offers a platform for interior and home designers; sources say deal is worth $30M-$40M  —  Houzz, the platform now valued at $4 billion where people plan and help find people to complete home design projects …
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Cloudflare terminates service to domain names of Sci-Hub, the “Pirate Bay of Science”, after the American Chemical Society obtained a permanent injunction  —  While Sci-Hub is praised by thousands of researchers and academics around the world, copyright holders are doing everything …

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