Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Insider Tech newsletter.
Programming note: Insider Tech is taking a break — so you won’t be hearing from me directly for a while. We’ll be in touch with updates soon. But in the meantime, we’ll still be sending our best tech stories to your inbox each week. And if you have a few minutes, please fill out this quick, four-question survey to help us improve our tech newsletters.
What went wrong with contact tracing apps?
Back in the Spring of 2020 when COVID-19 first began to spread, there was a lot of hope that smartphones could help slow the virus’ spread. Using bluetooth wireless signals, a person’s phone would keep track of all the other phones it crossed paths with — if anyone in the chain turned out to be infected, there would be an easy way to find and notify those at risk.
Google and Apple sprang to action, and built technology to make “exposure notification” a reality. Butas Rob Price reports in a special investigation, the apps have not become the virus fighting superweapons some had hoped for.
Read the full story:
A rare partnership between Google and Apple promised to slow COVID-19 – newly revealed data shows why it flopped in the US
Get ready for a busy September:
We’re about to enter the tech industry’s Fall product launch season, with Apple’s traditional iPhone unveiling at the top of list. It remains to be seen whether Apple eschews superstition and calls its new phone the iPhone 13 — but here are some of the new features expected in the next iPhones. And with Samsung pushing forward with its foldable phones, there’s speculation that Google could show off some folding prototypes when it gives an update on its hardware products.
Meanwhile, Alphabet’s self-driving car business, Waymo, has started offering rides to the public in San Francisco — an important milestone that should heat up the competition in the autonomous car field. And we’ll be hearing from Elon Musk at the Code conference in mid-September.
It’s going to be a busy month, and we’ll be covering all of it here at Insider.
Meanwhile, here’s some of the big stories and development from the past week:
3 things in Big Tech:
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s top technical guru, a former auto mechanic who lived for years on a boat, is coming ashore to help steer the company’s future
Google’s payments team is seeing an exodus of executives and employees. Some say they’re frustrated with the slow pace of progress.
What Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to understand about remote work
3 things VC/startup-land:
A startup supported by Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler lets employees anonymously report harassment. Check out the pitch deck it used to raise $9.6 million.
Yale’s new 37-year-old chief investor of its $31 billion endowment tells us how he selects VCs
About 40 VCs passed on funding Maven Clinic before a group of female investors at firms like Sequoia and Lux Capital helped the women’s health startup become a unicorn
3 things in Enterprise tech:
Cisco’s next threats: Analysts say a new crop of tech is eroding Cisco’s dominance
The end of the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI deal is the clearest sign yet that the next big thing in cloud computing is already here
Salesforce sees more customers buy its whole platform, not just a few apps. That’s key as it turns Slack into its secret weapon against Microsoft’s Office dominance.
Not necessarily in tech:
Unrest at the big house: federal prison workers are fed up, burned out, and heading for the exits
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for updates about tech news in your inbox!