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By Namerah S
Uber partners up with Marriott to introduce in-app reward collecting system
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
American e-hailing platform Uber has joined hands with Marriott, a popular luxury hotel chain. The duo has partnered up to deliver a new in-app reward system to customers of both companies. From now on, Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to claim certain bonus points when using some of the services offered by the Uber app.
Before qualifying for the reward points, Marriott Bonvoy account holders will have to link their Uber account with their Bonvoy account. This can be done via the settings option in the ride-hailing mobile app. Once their accounts are linked, the following bonus points can be claimed:
6 points per dollar spent on Uber Eats orders delivered to Marriott properties (minimum $25 basket) 3 points per dollar spent on Uber XL, Uber Comfort, Uber Black and Premium rides 2 points per dollar spent on all other Uber Eats orders (minimum $25 basket) Points collected on the Uber platform will be redeemable through the Marriott loyalty program. This means Bonvoy members will be able to claim travel rewards by collecting points on Uber. David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty at Marriott International, commented on the partnership:
As a launch promotion, any Bonvoy account holder who links his or her account with Uber will get 2,000 points. To qualify for this offer, however, the user must have a minimum of one eligible transaction via Uber. More details about the Uber-Marriott Bonvoy collaboration can be found here.
By Namerah S
Microsoft kills support for Cortana app on Android and iOS
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
In July last year, Microsoft confirmed that it would be scrapping its Cortana mobile application. Support for the Android and iOS AI-powered assistant ended on January 31, 2021, everywhere except the U.S. The reason for the decision to end Cortana was to remodel the app as a “productivity-focused” product.
Today Microsoft pulled the final trigger in Cortana's end-of-life process. Spotted by MacRumors, the support page for the virtual assistant's mobile app was updated today. According to the page, from today onwards, the Cortana app will not be supported on iOS and Android in the U.S. anymore. All content created with the AI assistant will no longer be accessible through the mobile app. Users will need to access notes, lists, reminders and other content through their Windows PCs or through the content synced to the Microsoft To Do app for phones.
Prior to today's developments, Cortana was already pretty much dead on Android and iOS devices in other parts of the world. The AI-powered voice assistant was also removed from devices such as Harman Kardon's Invoke smart speaker and the Surface Headphones.
Clubhouse for Android is a couple of months away
by Paul Hill
According to Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davison, his popular but exclusive app is set to arrive on Android in a “couple of months”, according to a report in TechCrunch. Davison initially announced the Android time frame during a Clubhouse Townhall meeting that was subsequently made public when a recording was uploaded to YouTube.
This is not the first time we’ve heard mentions of Clubhouse arriving on Android. In a January blog post, the firm said that it was planning to bring its product to Android “soon” but never gave any concrete details. Last month, CNBC reported that the firm had now hired Android software developer Mopewa Ogundipe to begin work on the Android app.
Clubhouse’s appeal has not gone unnoticed by the larger tech firms who want to stomp on any competition before it becomes a threat. In February, there were reports that Facebook was working on an alternative to Clubhouse and at the end of last week, the messaging app Telegram got a new update which brought similar functionality to Telegram channels.
With its rivals working on similar products, it’s not clear right now whether Clubhouse will keep its invite-only model or make access open for everyone. On the one hand, exclusivity may boost its appeal – something Apple does with its high prices, on the other hand, rivals that make their competing product open may grow to become more popular than Clubhouse.
By Usama Jawad96
Amazon changes its app icon... to apparently make it look less like Hitler
by Usama Jawad
In January, Amazon updated its app icon for mobile devices. The graphic featured a minimalist style with a brown background, a serrated piece of blue strip on the top and a curved arrow in the middle indicating a smile. It was intended to convey a "smiling" Amazon box with a piece of tape on top. However, many noted that the serrated tape actually made it look like Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's mustache, so now the company has redesigned its icon once again.
As can be seen above, the old icon (left) had serrated edges for the blue tape, which many considered to be similar to Hitler's toothbrush-style mustache. In effect, people who noticed this would perceive the overall icon to be very similar to the lower half of Hitler's face smiling. The new icon (right) ditches the style for the blue tape and instead opts for a two-tone design with one of the edges of the tape even turned to indicate that it's a tape that a person would rip off their shipment box.
In a bit of a non-statement to The Verge, an Amazon spokesperson had the following to say about the redesign:
While it is debatable whether the old icon actually bears a resemblance to Hitler, it seems that Amazon has just quietly changed the icon itself within a few weeks after releasing it to somewhat control the ongoing controversy.
Source and image via: The Verge
By Namerah S
Instacart and Walgreens join forces to provide same-day delivery
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Since the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out more than a year ago, online shopping has become close to essential for many. Reflecting the needs of customers, grocery delivery app Instacart has partnered up with health and wellness chain Walgreens to bring same-day delivery of healthcare products to users.
Starting today, more than 500 Walgreens outlets in Illinois have become available on Instacart. The service will further be expanded to other areas in the weeks to come. The duo has promised that as a result of their alliance, users of the grocery delivery app will soon be able to order from almost 8,000 Walgreens branches in the U.S.
In a press release, Stefanie Kruse, VP of digital commerce and omnichannel at Walgreens, commented:
Meanwhile, Chris Rogers, VP of retail at Instacart, also expressed his thoughts on the partnership in the same press document, stating that Instacart is proud and excited to work with Walgreens to provide the drugstore's products to its customers on the same day.
Instacart is a shopping app that offers delivery of grocery items on the same day as they are ordered. Its services are available in the U.S. and Canada. The same-day grocery app is available on iOS and Android.