Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
1. Google officially unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system. Android 8.0 is called “Oreo,” and it will begin rolling out to Google’s own Pixel and Nexus devices in the coming days and weeks, with more devices to follow.
2. Google is reportedly planning to launch a new Pixel-branded Chromebook laptop later this year. The device should be announced alongside the new Pixel phones, as well as a new, smaller version of the Home smart speaker.
3. A group of hackers claimed to have entered Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN). The group, named “OurMine,” was able to briefly overtake the company’s PlayStation-related Twitter accounts, and claimed to have stolen information from PSN users.
4. Microsoft announced that its voice-recognition technology has become better than humans at transcribing conversations. The company achieved a 6.3% error rate back in September, and has now come down below 5.1% — the error rate of a group of people.
5. Tesla has become the fourth-largest automaker by value in the world. With its $US58.8 billion (£45.6 billion) valuation, it sits above both General Motors and Ford in the United States, while only Toyota, Volkswagen, and Daimler are bigger internationally.
6. HTC is permanently cutting the price of its virtual reality (VR) headset, the Vive, to $US599 in the US and £599 in the UK. The move is a strategic one, and comes after Facebook’s decision to bring down the price of its own VR headset, the Oculus Rift, to $US499 (£387).
7. Spotify executives have reportedly met with US regulators to discuss its upcoming direct listing. It’s bypassing a typical IPO and the SEC is looking into the unusual plan.
8. Facebook will launch a dedicated “Safety Check” tab in its app over the coming weeks. It will show a continuous stream of bad events happening in the world — from terrorist attacks to extreme weather situations — and show whether your friends are marked as safe.
9. Intel updated its Core lineup of processors to the 8th generation. The new chips are still based on the architecture of Kaby Lake, the 7th generation, but boast a 40% speed improvement over the previous models.
10. WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out a new feature to its Snapchat-like “Status.” Much like on Facebook, the new update will allow users to create status updates with text on a coloured background, choose between different fonts, and even add links.