Techmeme
April 12, 2021, 8:40 AM

Top News

Microsoft:
Microsoft says it has acquired speech technology company Nuance for $19.7B, a 23% premium on its Friday closing price, as it boosts its healthcare offerings  —  Acquisition will combine solutions and expertise to deliver new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other industries
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is in early stages of developing a product that combines an Apple TV with a HomePod speaker and has a FaceTime camera and smart home functions  —  - Company also exploring Amazon-like speaker with iPad as screen  — Apple has trailed Amazon, Google in the connected home market
Leo Kelion / BBC:
Apple and Google block an update to NHS COVID-19 app that uploads logs of venue check-ins, citing API terms on collecting location data  —  An update to England and Wales's contact tracing app has been blocked for breaking the terms of an agreement made with Apple and Google.
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Substack strikes deals with trans writers, amid claims it supports allegedly anti-trans writers and is a kind of lucrative off ramp for “cancel culture” victims  —  A company that makes it easy to charge for newsletters has captivated an anxious industry because it embodies larger forces and contradictions.
Pranav Dixit / BuzzFeed News:
Reporting on tech from India “feels like having a front-row seat to the country's rapid slide into authoritarianism”, as Big Tech companies remain silent  —  I love writing about tech.  But covering how a Hindu nationalist government is using it to destroy a secular democracy isn't what I signed up for.
Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple faces supply constraints due to issues with MiniLED display production, but still plans to debut two iPad Pros later this month  —  - New iPads planned for introduction in latter half of April  — MiniLED display is key part of Apple's upgrade proposition
Julia Carrie Wong / The Guardian:
Sources detail how Facebook allowed state-backed political manipulation in small countries, prioritizing abuses considered PR risks in countries like the US  —  A Guardian investigation exposes the breadth of state-backed manipulation of the platform  —  Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders …
Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg:
Under intense pressure from China, Ant Group will become a financial holding company that is regulated more like a bank, among other changes  —  - Chinese regulators summoned Ant for meeting on April 12  — Ant to fold all financial operations into holding firm
Liam Tung / ZDNet:
Google urges Biden admin to join a US-EU technology council to prevent further barriers to trade and data flows, citing an “explosion in national policies”  —  Google is worried that an “explosion in national policies” is harming technology trade between the US and Europe …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google confirms it is ending support for Google Shopping apps on Android and iOS, as it expands shopping functionality in Search and apps like YouTube  —  A new Google Shopping experience that featured a personalized homepage launched in 2019.  On Android, Google rebranded the existing Express app …

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