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Tuesday, 10 May 2022

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Good morning!

Apple is not ready to share its Apple Pay feature which enables tap-to-pay across its products with the market just yet.

Even as the company loosens up from pressure from both App Store developers and government regulators that have seen it permit third-party web browser or email apps as their system default, for Apple, Apple Pay will be the last straw.

Below are the tech stories and news you need to know to start your day, carefully curated by Technext.
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Summary of the news

  • Uber CEO told staff that the company will cut down on costs, including hiring
  • Facebook said it will scrap ‘nearby friends’ and other location-based features
  • Apple is keeping Its tap-to-pay feature exclusively for Apple products to protect its revenue
  • Tesla said it will cover travel costs for health care for staff
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Uber CEO tells staff company will cut down on costs, treat hiring as a ‘privilege’

Technext Round1
Uber will cut back on spending and focus on becoming a leaner business to address a “seismic shift” in investor sentiment, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in an email CNBC reports.

“After earnings, I spent several days meeting investors in New York and Boston,” Khosrowshahi said in the email, which was sent out late Sunday. “It’s clear that the market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly.”

Tech stocks have plunged sharply from the highs of the coronavirus pandemic, as investors fret over the prospect of an end to the era of cheap money that defined a historic bull market. The Nasdaq Composite recorded its fifth consecutive week of declines last week, its longest weekly losing streak since 2012.

To address the shift in economic sentiment, the ride-hailing firm will slash spending on marketing and incentives and treat hiring as a “privilege,” Khosrowshahi said.

“We have to make sure our unit economics work before we go big,” the Uber boss wrote. “The least efficient marketing and incentive spend will be pulled back.”
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Facebook to scrap ‘nearby friends’ and other location-based features

Amazon
Some of the most popular social media platforms, such as Twitter and WhatsApp, have released new in-app features for their users in the past month. But, Facebook has announced that it would be discontinuing Nearby Friends, among other features, by the end of the month, Technext reports.

The Meta messaging platform’s Nearby Friends feature allows users share their current location with other Facebook friends.

It was released in 2014 for Android and iOS users. The function of the tool initially caused privacy concerns among some users, but has stayed on the Facebook App until now.

Facebook did not say why these features including Location History, Background Location, and Weather Alert will be phased out.
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Apple keeps its tap-to-pay feature to itself to protect revenue

Apple
Apple’s latest antitrust battle is all about Apple Pay and how the company reserves the tap-to-pay feature for its own service.

After facing mounting antitrust scrutiny in recent years—from both App Store developers and government regulators—Apple Inc. has started to loosen up, Bloomberg reports.

Two years ago, the company began letting users choose third-party web browser or email apps as their system default. That means when you click a link in Messages, you can have those launch in Chrome instead of Safari. Or when you want to click an email address, you can have the new message window open up in Microsoft Outlook instead of Apple Mail.

Apple went a bit further last year, allowing users to choose alternative music apps—like Spotify or Pandora—for use in Siri. This year, Apple even took the dramatic step of letting third-party subscription apps point users to the web to complete payments, bypassing its up-to-30% App Store fees.
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Tesla covers travel costs for health care including, reportedly, abortions

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Tesla will cover travel and lodging costs for employees to receive health-care services not offered in the states they reside, CNBC reports.

The policy, which Tesla said has been in place since 2021, was made public in its impact report for last year released Friday. Though the report does not mention the word “abortion,” the wording of the policy seems to include such a procedure.

According to the report, Tesla has offered since last year, “An expanded Safety Net program and health insurance offering that includes travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state.”

The news comes as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, protecting a right to abortion across the U.S., after Politico published a draft opinion by the majority that would reverse the decades-old ruling if it were to become final.

Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, it will be up to individual states to determine abortion access. Many states have already begun restricting access to abortions and some states have so-called trigger laws that would further restrict access should Roe v. Wade be struck down.
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