TIME Autos

Ford’s Zipcar-Killer Is Launching in This City

Ford Brings Dynamic Car-Sharing Experiment to London; First Serv
Ford Ford Brings Dynamic Car-Sharing Experiment to London

It's an on-demand rental service called "GoDrive"

Ford is going head-to-head with Zipcar as it launches its new GoDrive car rental service in London.

The app-based service will allow users to pick up one of Ford’s 50 vehicles on-demand and drop it off at one of a number of hubs across central London. When a users books a car through the service, they automatically book a parking spot at one the 20 available locations, making one-way trips stress-free.

The service uses a pay-per-minute pricing approach that covers all fees, including congestion fees, insurance and fuel. A pilot program launched earlier this year with 100 members. Ford is now extending GoDrive’s reach to 2,000 members.

The global car-sharing industry is expected to exceed $6 billion by 2020, and the U.K. car-sharing sector alone is expected to grow 23% from 2013 to 2015, according to PwC research. But even as the industry booms, car-sharers are looking for more flexibility.

“Our research tells us that car clubs currently are perceived as inflexible when it comes to booking, time slots and return locations,”said Alicia Agius, project lead, GoDrive, Ford of Europe. “Features such as one-way journeys and pay-as-you-go extend the number of opportunities that drivers would want to car-share and could prove a game-changer.”

GoDrive is Ford’s move to take on car-sharing kings like Zipcar as well as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft which are trying to become realistic replacements for car ownership, especially in major metropolitan areas. The service is also an opportunity for Ford to show off its electric vehicles. Half of the GoDrive fleet will consist of zero-emission Focus electric models.

The London launch is still in beta phase, and the automaker plans to tweak its service as it learns more about its members. Ford is also exploring car-sharing experiments in Germany, India and the U.S.

MONEY

Facebook’s New Tool Will Help Keep Your Account Secure

527558155
traffic_analyzer—Getty Images

Introducing "Security Checkup"

Keeping your Facebook account safe just got a whole lot easier.

Starting today, the social networking giant will start introducing a new feature called Security Checkup. The new tool, which will roll out gradually, will guide users through a number of steps meant to improve account security.

Those steps include upgrading passwords, turning on login alerts, and the ability to log out of any active Facebook session—like one you accidentally left open on a public computer or your friend’s phone.

The entire process closely resembles the company’s current Privacy Checkup, which lumps current Facebook features into an easier-to-use interface. Facebook says the Security Checkup, which is supposed to be an improvement, is still in the testing phase. The company plans to make the feature available to more people based on user feedback.

Facebook

 

 

TIME Apple

Apple Exec: The Car Is the ‘Ultimate Mobile Device’

Amid rumors of an Apple Car

Apple Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams hinted on Wednesday the company is interested in doing more with cars.

At the Code Conference in California, an Apple shareholder asked Williams if Apple has its sights set on the auto industry. “The car is the ultimate mobile device, isn’t it?” said Williams, according to Business Insider. “We explore all kinds of categories. We’ll certainly continue to look at those, and evaluate where we can make a huge difference.”

Williams’ response comes amid rumors that Apple may want to take on Tesla with an electric car of its own. The efforts are supposedly nicknamed Project Titan.

Still, Apple has other car plans in the works, too: Its new CarPlay software replaces vehicles’ infotainment systems with an iPhone-style interface.

Williams also spoke on Wednesday about third-party apps coming to the Apple Watch this fall.

TIME Apple

This TV Broadcaster May Put its Shows on Apple’s Rumored Cable Killer

Sheldon faces a personal crisis after deciding he's wasting his time with string theory, onThe Big Bang Theory on April 10, 2013.
Sonja Flemming—CBS/Getty Images Sheldon faces a personal crisis after deciding he's wasting his time with string theory, onThe Big Bang Theory on April 10, 2013.

Apple's upcoming TV service could include major networks like CBS

Television broadcaster CBS will likely sign onto Apple’s rumored streaming TV service, giving viewers access to marquee shows like Big Bang Theory and NCIS.

Speaking on-stage at the Code tech conference near Los Angeles, CBS CEO Les Moonves said that his network will “probably” sign a deal with Apple to be part of the service. Apple is said to be preparing a streaming TV service that will bundle shows and channels that people normally get through cable providers.

“We’re very excited about it,” he said, adding that he met last week with Apple’s VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue. The conversations are still ongoing, however, and nothing’s set in stone yet.

While the service is still being developed and its release has reportedly been delayed, it could become a success. Television viewers are increasingly balking at shelling out big bucks for hundreds of channels — most of which they don’t watch — and that provide limited flexibility in how they can be viewed. Instead, many are turning to online video services like Hulu and HBO Go, which offer individual television shows on demand.

“Apple TV is trying to change the universe,” Moonves said. “I think the age of the 200 channel universe is slowly dying.”

“The good news for us, is any one of those groups will need CBS,” he said about the various competitors like Apple and Sling that are trying to create online television packages. Larger networks like CBS could benefit by getting a larger proportion of the revenue from these new services than they do from traditional cable television packages.

TIME Apple

Why the Apple Watch Will Get Way Better in the Fall

Customers look at Apple Watches on display at an Apple Inc. store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, April 10, 2015. From London to Beijing, Apple stores saw few customers lined up before opening Friday as pre-orders started. The first new gadget under Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is selling in eight countries and Hong Kong, with shipments scheduled to start April 24. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
David Paul Morris—© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP Customers look at Apple Watches on display at an Apple Inc. store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, April 10, 2015.

According to an Apple exec

A key Apple exec has made it clear that Apple’s newest product will get better once autumn rolls around.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, said at the Code Conference Wednesday that consumers should expect a surge of higher quality third-party apps for the Apple Watch in the fall, according to 9to5Mac. That’s because developers will have the opportunity to make apps that run natively on the Apple Watch.

Williams added there will be more games and other Apple Watch features coming out in preview mode in the fall as well.

Customer service will also be boosted in the coming months. “Later this year, we’ll have 45,000 people answering the phone to give AppleCare support during the holiday season,” said Williams, according to 9to5Mac.

TIME Gadgets

Pebble Time Is Long on Battery, Short on Features

Pebble Pebble Time

Pebble’s latest smartwatch offers a new look, a color screen, and an entirely new operating system, but is it enough to woo consumers?

Starting today, Pebble will begin shipping the Pebble Time to nearly 79,000 Kickstarter backers.

The smartwatch is the company’s third product, but arguably the most significant thus far. It comes weeks after Apple launched its own smartwatch, and as Google gets ready to announce enhancements for its Android Wear platform (including possible iOS compatibility) that runs on smartwatches.

The $199 Pebble Time features redesigned casing available in red, white, or black. The smartwatch has a new color e-paper display that livens up the previously black-and-white screen, and also includes improved battery life. After thoroughly testing the smartwatch, its battery life fell to 20 percent after five days, which aligns with the company’s promise that one charge could last up to seven days.

A new mechanism also makes it possible to quickly change watch straps without special tools (a time-consuming task required for both smart and traditional watches). Previous Pebble users will be happy to hear the eight-app limit is no more and users can install as many apps (or watch faces) as they like.

The new Pebble Time operating system is full of fun animations and playful icons for various apps and information. It ran smoothly, even before last-minute bugs were ironed out via updates, during the review period.

However, the new Timeline feature is arguably the most promising aspect of the smartwatch. With the push of an up or down button (found on the watch’s side), information is displayed in chronological order and divided into past, preset and future events.

For example, past events include calendars, sports scores, and check-in’s from social networking app Swarm, while the present displays current events and alerts. Meanwhile, a future agenda features weather forecasts, and alarms (just to name a few). Users can select an entry to view more detailed information, or return back to the watchface after catching a glimpse of the day’s summary.

Unlike other smartwatches, Pebble Time apps push information straight to the Timeline without sending an alert to your phone. The benefits of this functionality became apparent during my time using the ESPN Pebble Time app. Despite not having the sports app installed on my smartphone, sports scores and updates were placed into the device’s Timeline. Select a team or game you want to follow from the app on the watch, and the alerts will follow.

Pebble’s Timeline is one of those features where you begin using it, and it doesn’t quite make sense at first. But, its value starts to shine through as more information is populated. Being able to press a button and view bite-sized morsels of information is of tremendous use for smartwatch users.

It’s imperative, however, for big name developers to take advantage of the new feature in order for Pebble to maximize the potential of its Timeline. ESPN is big, but not big enough on its own. The NYT Now app comes to mind as the perfect companion for a feature like this, as does Twitter.

The smartwatch lacks certain staples (such as voice notes, stocks apps, weather watchfaces and album art) found on other competitors’ devices, but future OS updates promise to fix that.

Regardless of its soon-to-be-fixed app setbacks the biggest obstacle facing Pebble is the shift in what smartwatches are capable of and what consumers now expect from them.

The one-way features Pebble was originally built-on have morphed into a two-way highway that has become the norm in the industry. Now information races between one’s smartwatch and smartphone just as often as it does going in the opposite direction. Raise your wrist to create a voice reminder on the Apple Watch with a “Hey Siri” command and watch it later sync across all of your Apple devices. It’s a similar feature that can also be achieved with “OK Google” if you’re an Android Wear user.

Unfortunately, the Pebble Time doesn’t allow you to create content, such as a reminder or compose a text message from scratch. The device basically acts as a smaller screen to view your notifications, and not much else.

Short of using your voice to reply to a message on an Android device, any interaction you have with the watch is strictly from a consumption standpoint, meaning sending any information to your phone from your smartwatch isn’t possible.

To its credit, Pebble has stated working on a method to allow iPhone users to reply to Gmail messages using dictation, but it’s not ready quite yet.

It should be possible for a developer—or Pebble itself—to create a smartstrap (you can read more about these straps in an earlier Logged In column) that contains a speaker. Using the Pebble Time’s microphone and a speaker located in the strap, users could then give commands to create alerts and send text messages. Alas, nothing like that exists right now; perhaps one day.

What the Pebble Time lacks in features, it makes up for in battery life. It still offers the core foundation of what a smartwatch once was, and for some, what it should be. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to an Android user, thanks to the added functionality and notification management. I would hesitate, however, to give the same recommendation to iOS users, unless battery life and a budget (Apple’s smartwatches are almost twice as costly) are of the utmost importance.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.

MONEY Walmart

This Is Walmart’s Amazon Prime Killer

A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Location Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's called "ShippingPass."

Walmart’s Amazon Prime competitor finally has name: ShippingPass.

TechCrunch reports the world’s largest retailer accidentally leaked that and other details when a test site for the service was accidentally made public yesterday, giving customers more insight into how Walmart plans to challenge Amazon’s online dominance.

As MONEY reported earlier, ShippingPass, previously codenamed “Tahoe,” will offer unlimited three-day delivery of eligible items purchased at walmart.com and cost $50 per year—half the price of Amazon Prime.

An FAQ posted on the testing site reveals the launch will be restricted to a limited number of areas at launch. Products eligible for ShippingPass delivery will be marked on Walmart’s website with special logo, much like how Amazon identifies items eligible for Prime shipping. According to the FAQ, three-day delivery will only be guaranteed if the order is placed by noon local time.

While not all items will be eligible for three-day shipping, the leaked site revealed some items with slower delivery times—four to six days—will also ship at no cost, and ShippingPass appears to have no minimum order. Walmart currently offers free standard shipping to all customers on orders that exceed $50.

TIME Smartphones

This Is What Teens Are Really Doing on Their Phones

New report reveals all

It’s amazing how glued snake people—er, millennials—are to their palm-sized, Internet-connected rectangles. But why?

Mary Meeker, the Morgan Stanley analyst turned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, today released her annual report on Internet trends. One section—slides 68 through 70, in particular—digs into the mobile habits of American youth, and it reveals some interesting statistics.

Fortune senior writer Leena Rao has a breakdown of the year’s biggest overall trends here. But for the millennial scrutinizer, here’s what the 2015 slideshow has to say:

First off, 87% of young adults—or those between the ages of 18 and 34—who own smartphones report never separating from their mobile devices: “My smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.” And four-out-of-five of them report that the first thing they do upon waking “is reach for my smartphone.” Good morning, screen-glow.

Nearly as many, 78%, spend more than two hours per day using their smartphones. And three-out-of-five believe that mobile devices will somehow vaguely rule every aspect of the future: “In the next five years, I believe everything will be done on mobile devices.”

So what do teens care about now on their phones? For those who average roughly 16 years, about one third report prioritizing Instagram as the most important social network. That’s about the same as the share that reported Facebook [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”] was the most important in Spring 2013. Today, Facebook’s share of perceived importance has halved among that demographic.

While Zuck’s friend-zone still has the most penetration of any social network—about three-quarters of 12- to 24-year-olds use it—that share is in decline. It dropped from to 74% this year from 80% last year.

Other networks that lost some share include Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Vine stayed steady at 30% in terms of usage among socially networked 12- to 24-year-olds. And those networks on the rise? Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. (WhatsApp lacks 2014 data, but clocked in at 11% this year.)

Instagram appears to be the king, for now. (Never mind that it’s a Facebook fiefdom.) Which explains why so many—44% of 18- to 24-year-olds, that is—report report using their smartphone camera at least once per day. And an overwhelming majority—about three-quarters of 18- to 34-year-olds—report that they use their cameras to post pictures to social media.

So that’s how teens are mostly using their phones. To take pictures of the world around them, and to inject those photos into and across the screens that consume their mornings, their days, their nights, and a good portion of their present lives. Not to mention the entirety their future lives, as many of them report anticipating.

Unfortunately, the report does not break its numbers out into share of selfies.

TIME Web

Here’s How Much Youtube Is Worth

Viral videos are big money

An analyst at Bank of America thinks your favorite place for cat videos is worth big money.

Analyst Justin Post wrote a note this week saying that YouTube, the popular video streaming site bought by Google in 2006, is worth about $70 billion on its own. That’s a higher value than all but 66 of the companies listed on the S&P 500, according to Bloomberg.

Post also thinks that YouTube could still grow, with a valuation of up to $90 billion possible—which would leave only 55 S&P 500 companies beating it.

The 2006 deal was for $1.65 billion.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Autos

Everything You Need to Know About Android Auto

Android Auto
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T at the 107th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on FEBRUARY 13, 2015.

Reviewers say it trounces old-school in-car navigation systems

Google’s operating system for cars has finally arrived. Android Auto, which lets drivers control popular smartphone apps through their car’s dashboard interface, is now available in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata and will be rolled out to additional vehicles in the future.

Here are the key insights from reviewers at The Verge and the Wall Street Journal who have taken Android Auto for a test drive.

Android Auto truly replaces your phone

While driving, Google wants you to put your phone away completely and rely on Android Auto to make phone calls, get directions, queue up music and even send texts. Drivers are locked out of their smartphones while the device is connected to Android Auto. Apps like Maps are as fully-featured through the car as they are on a smartphone (though you can’t look up walking or transit directions).

You’ll be doing a lot of talking

In order to increase driver safety, Android Auto encourages people to use voice commands instead of having drivers type information. You can simply speak to ask Android Auto for directions or to place a call. The app itself is pretty talky as well. For instance, it will read aloud text messages you receive and also read back texts that you dictate before you send them off to friends.

Music is at your fingertips

Listening to music is one of the most common activities in the car, and it’s a key part of Anroid Auto. Currently compatible services include Google Play Music, Spotify and iHeartRadio (Pandora isn’t currently supported). Users can use voice search to find songs or artists, though reviewers said the feature worked much better with Google Play Music than with third-party apps. There’s also a quirk that limits how far drivers can scroll through a playlist in order to prevent long periods of distraction from the road, so it would be hard to comb through a whole music library using the app.

Your car is now your personal assistant

In addition to expected features like navigation and music playback, Android Auto makes use of Google’s digital assistant Google Now to offer context-sensitive suggestions for getting through your day. The app may present navigation directions to your office when you get in the car in the morning, for example, or present the route home when you boot up the car in the evening.

Overall, reviewers tended to agree that Android Auto is a big step up from the clunky navigation systems that have become standard in many new cars. With Apple’s CarPlay also planned to roll out to more vehicles soon, expect the smartphone to soon become a standard tool for in-car navigation and communication.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com