Weekly Round Up #33: Facebook’s M, Moments app, Cortana for Android and #StrongerthantheRand

Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days.

This week on BurnCast, Stuart Thoma and Andy Walker discuss Facebook’s M, a digital personal assistant for Messenger, Cortana for Android, Moments, a photo sharing app by Facebook, and the hashtag #Strongerthantherand.

This week, Facebook announced the arrival of M, a personal assistant that is within Messenger. There is not doubt that Facebook is set on building Messenger into a messaging app that does more than send and receive messages. In doing this however, it runs the risk of complicating it. With the arrival of M, the team wonders if this has not begun to help and questions what M’s function within Messenger actually is.

Cortana, though not available world wide, is proving to be quite competent as a personal assistant. And now it is coming to Android, with less features and in direct competition with Google Now.

The news does beg the question: why would I leave Google Now where I can get much more than Cortana can give me. It is clear that Cortana’s success on Android is not simply its presence and reputation but beating Google Now.

We all share photos on Facebook. Often photos are far more liked when announcing an engagement, a party, a vacation than a mere status update. Facebook realised this a long time ago thus the acquisition of Instagram and now the launch of Moments app.

Moments allows friends to sync photos fo each other so that they all have access to photos of that vacationing or hiking trip. No longer will one have to hound friends to email the photos, they can simply share them. The team discusses how this appears a great idea, more than M is.

One would think that Twitter could not give a care for economics and global financial meltdown but the hashtag #StrongerthantheRand proved that Twitter is not a dark hole at the end of the universe. Trending for two days in a row, the hashtag unleashed some of the most hilarious tweets. The team looks at some of these.

Have a listen:

If you want some more context, take a look at the stories below and join in the discussions:

#StrongerthantheRand: 19 tweets that accurately describe South Africa’s falling currency

Facebook launches M, its AI powered personal assistant within Messenger

Facebook Moments lets you give, receive photos privately

Microsoft’s Cortana now available on Android in public beta



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