Last year, Microsoft’s Project xCloud launched a preview of its ambitious game streaming service which aims to deliver games to any screen — console, PC or mobile. The service, however, has only been available on Android for mobile users until now. Today, that changes as Microsoft is bringing the Project xCloud preview to iOS devices by way of Apple’s TestFlight program.
Microsoft had been testing xCloud on iOS internally but had yet to open it up to the public. Unfortunately, the iOS test will be limited. As is standard with Apple’s TestFlight platform, the new build will be limited to only 10,000 testers.
That’s not likely to be enough places to meet demand, Microsoft admits and says first-come, first-serve invites will be distributed. To get around the restriction, Microsoft is preparing to boot out some early testers during the public beta to make room for new testers.
“Those who are accepted into the iOS TestFlight preview may not necessarily participate for the full duration of the preview,” the company explains via a blog post. “As noted earlier, there are limited spaces available, so for testing purposes, we may need to cycle through registrants in order to best utilize the available testing audience. This also means that even if you miss out on the initial allocation, you might receive an invitation to participate later in the preview,” it says.
The iOS preview will also be limited to only one game: “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.” In addition, this particular test won’t include the preview of Xbox Console Streaming as the Android test currently does.
To qualify, testers will need a Microsoft account associated with their Xbox Gamertag; an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13.0 or higher and Bluetooth v. 4.0; a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller; access to Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection that supports 10 Mbps-down bandwidth; and, optionally, a third-party controller mount for phone-based games (like this one).
The move to bring console-quality games to smartphones marks a change in the gaming strategy for Microsoft. The company understands that it can only sell so many consoles, for starters, but mobile phones are everywhere. Furthermore, people today want to play games on any available device – not just the big home TV screen. And for some users, mobile is their only screen.
Meanwhile, cross-platform gaming is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to titles like Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, PUBG and others, which proved that mobile experiences can match consoles.
Microsoft’s Project xCloud aims to make it easier for developers to build games that work everywhere. This is no small task, as it required Microsoft to architect a new customizable blade that hosts the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, as well as the associated infrastructure needed to support it. It also needs to ensure the technology can deliver games at console speeds with low latency, so mobile users don’t feel like they’re getting a second-rate experience.
Instructions on how to access the TestFlight here.
Content editor @ StartupHub.in. Mad about photography and startup ideas.
What are the key tools and software for product managers in 2020? Update your gear with this tailor-made guide and shine through your product management Software and tools!
Humble beginnings legends in tech have become legendary. A few geniuses, a garage and an ambitious vision: all that’s needed to kick-start a digital revolution.
Would you think this is the way most people do it?
Face it, not all of us are destined to change tech’s face. Or perhaps we are; but the majority of us work hard, one day at a time. And you will appreciate every possible help. A great team, better management and a fresh product make things easier. But you can’t choose them for real. Most of the time, you’ll enter current projects with their difficulties and issues.
However, using the best software and tools for product management are things you can choose from. Find out which tools and software for product management can help you achieve PM excellence in 2020.
Considerations of before selecting for product management software and tools
Let’s just be transparent first of all. Essential to the budget. Product managers range from remote workers doing support work for various small businesses; to PM bosses in huge tech firms with branches all over the world. Clearly the budgeting will be different in both situations. You also need to be mindful of traditions: you may be at a big business, but perhaps management is used to using “freemium” solutions instead of charging for full services.
Now, as we’re talking costs; make sure you have top-notch protocols on defence. How much data do you want to share with third parties? A security risk is something that you simply won’t be able to handle when things escalate. Another important economic issue is whether the tasks you want to conduct with the product will be performed in your offices or in a third-party setting. In reality, who is your audience: outsiders; colleagues? What kind of team is it that will use these tools?
Such issues matter, as software for product management also has different levels of “users.” Those levels may determine access to different areas: Managers may only be concerned with some. Until choosing one form of product management method or another, keep Hierarchies in mind.
Finally: It’s about integrity. Have a debate with your squad. What is their level of competency? Do they understand interfaces which are “user-unfriendly”? Or would they prefer a slickly crafted programme? Talk to them, get opinions and make sure the team can use whatever you choose.
Once these issues have been resolved, go through the list and select the product management tool and program that best suits your needs.
Best Product Management Software and Tools Available For All Needs
This is an important exercise in Product Management. While PMs are known to be adaptable, mapping the route illuminates the kind of stakeholder negotiating skills and data-led planning that make brand management so successful.
A Product Manager will have both a positive and a negative view. That is, they will know when to delete something that isn’t working. This is a very valuable skill: if you’re working alone, you’re saving time and money; if you’re working in a company like Google, you’re saving a lot of time and money.
That backlog on the rise, right? If you want to keep it down you need a good tool which shows you exactly what you need to do to get back on track, both visually and in terms of data.
Any of the product management tools suggested above for task administration work. Keep in mind, though, that certain tools align with specific methodologies. For example, if you aren’t dealing with small, Agile teams; they might not be helpful to your team. Restyaboard represents a perfect example. You may need to train the teams so they can work at full speed!
This methodology is used across many disciplines and tools belonging to other fields may be used by Product Managers. Tools like Restyaboard and Binfire are perfect enough for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Restyaboard offers a lot of features for larger operations, and Planbox integrates spaces for various teams to operate on the cloud. In short, it’s all about the goals. Would you like to invest in a richer, more dynamic framework for product management? And will you use that freemium software to support your Sprint along with more conventional text, data and presentation tools?
A Product Manager without data is nothing. Your insight could even be based on decades of experience, but you are going nowhere without reliable analytics. On the surface, like a standard spreadsheet, Product Management tools like Airtable work. In addition, it can extend to become a fully-fledged database.
Google Analytics is a free and basic tool for tracking your metrics online, but if you want to go into more detail we recommend Mixpanel, where you can track user interactions and even run A / B testing. Salesforce also offers the adept user potent CRM tools.
All in all, if you put any effort into Product Management data analytics, a decent Excel or Google Sheet can be of great help.
You need to hear the noise out there in this day and age.
First, you need tools to get customer feedback, understand and react. Zendesk is one of the most common out there; Freshdesk (with brand customization) and Userengage (adding CRM) are alternatives. Sadly, there are no good free options: customer management is still very much a premium service.
You will then need software to collect information about your goods. SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, Survey Anyplace and Typeform are useful for prompt customer requests. UXCam is an interesting view of how consumers use their products.
Restyaboard is a business-rich, open-source application designed to track and visualize the project’s progress. Using a simple and familiar task-based card format, users can combine Trello, Asana, Github, Kantree.io, Pipefy, Taiga, Taskwarrior, and Wekan boards into a single glass table.
Collect user reviews directly from within your app with Instabug, without affecting the app experience of your users. Send tailored surveys to different groups of users, and gain clear insights.
MailChimp and Customer.io finally provide powerful tools to get in contact with your customers via email. MadMimi works if your ambitions are more modest; if you want to cover all corners Intercom is just fine.
Listening to your users is fundamental. Otherwise, you are developing your product in the dark!
This list is not exhaustive. Yet its category division should make you think about your needs. What are your weaknesses? Think of them as the positions you can move from and boost the operations of your product management. You can do wonders for efficiency, connectivity, and performance by adding a new tool to your arsenal.
Switching and trying between different tools does not cause any harm. Never believe it’s too hard to change: we’re in the transformation market, after all! Obviously, if you need a better approach to all of this, you might need to look into Consumer Thinking. And freshen up your methodologies.
Tiger Global invests BYJU’s $200 million; the value jumps to $8 billion
The investment will increase the valuation of India’s third-largest startup by around 45% to around $8 billion.
The company is on track to double its revenue in the current financial year to about ₹3,000 crores, Raveendran says.
Tiger Global Fund, based in New York, will invest $200 million in Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, the learning technology firm owned and operated by Byju’s learning app, the startup said on Thursday. The investment will raise the valuation of India’s third-largest startup by about 45 percent to about $8 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The latest investment from Tiger Global is stand-alone financing, unlike previous rounds when multiple investors bought into Byju’s together. Its last funding round saw an infusion of $150 million led by the Qatar Investment Authority in July last year, the above-mentioned person said on anonymity condition.
Byju’s has raised approximately $995 million from investors like Naspers, Tencent, Verlinvest, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Aarin Capital since its founding in 2011.
“We are delighted to partner with a powerful Tiger Global Management investor. They share our sense of purpose and this partnership will accelerate our long-term dream of making an impact by changing the way students learn,” said in a statement founder & CEO Byju Raveendran.
Tiger Global is one of the most active investors in consumer internet space and has supported around 14 companies in India till date.
The investment firm has also begun to focus on the Business-to-Business (B2B) segment and has recently invested $90 million in Ninjacart’s agri-tech startup. It has also invested in companies like NestAway, Grofers, and Razorpay payment company.
Raveendran, a former school teacher, was one of the early entrants when he started the company into the online learning space in India. Byju’s learning apps offer kindergarten-wide programs for high school students.
The company’s apps target students for a variety of programs including competitive exams such as the Common Aptitude Test and the Indian Administrative Services entrance. The cost of such online courses ranges from ₹5,000 to ₹100,000.
Its registered users have risen to 42 million, while it has another 3 million paid subscribers, a level that, according to industry officials, will allow the company and its subsidiaries to break into profits early
Byju’s says that in the financial year ended March it turned profitable, with revenue tripling year-on-year to a crore of ₹1,480. However, the company still recorded a net loss of some ₹15 crores in FY19, including its subsidiaries, compared to a loss of some ₹37 crores in the previous fiscal year.
Founder Raveendran said the company is on track to double its revenue in the current financial year to about ₹3,000 crores and is working on Indian language programs to make it accessible to learners in smaller towns. Additionally, in the coming months, the startup will launch’ Byju’s Online Tutoring.’
The company faces a number of challenges despite its positive track record, an analyst said.
“The biggest issue facing Byju’s is customer acquisition and customer retention,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, analyst and chief executive officer at Greyhound Research.
“While there may be an increasing number of registered users, the percentage of renewals is significant. Most learners have a tendency to drop out,” said Gogia.
“Secondly, the content assumes a certain knowledge standard, so it is necessary to improve the applicability of the content,” added Gogia. “For example, the level of all students in the sixth grade may not be the same, but the content is standard.”
Byju’s need to enhance student engagement as it “has not figured out individual learning paths,” the analyst said.
Scott Schlifer, Tiger Global’s partner, said the firm is optimistic about the company as it “has emerged as the leader in the Indian education technology sector” and is “pioneering technology that shapes the future of learning for millions of school students in India.”
According to the government-backed India Brand Equity Foundation, India’s online learning market is expected to double to $5.7 billion by 2020.
New Delhi: United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer is likely to visit India within the next two weeks as the two sides work towards resolving their bilateral trade issues. Sources said a limited scope trade deal is on the menu for his visit.
This will be the second high-level visit of an American trade official this month. US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross met commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on October 3.
“The USTR will visit India soon but the dates are yet to be firmed up,” said one official aware of the development. This would be current USTR’s first visit to India.
India and the US have ruled out any structural reason or major issue holding back a bilateral trade deal, which was expected to be announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump last month. While the two sides have been entangled in a series of trade issues, restoration of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), price controls on medical devices, duty cuts on Harley Davidson bikes and market access to American agricultural commodities were discussed to be part of the limited scope trade deal.
Lighthizer’s visit is crucial as the office of the US trade representative had previously linked market access in the two areas of dairy and medical devices to the continuation of GSP and also sought data-related relaxations, including in India’s eCommerce policy.
Apple just released its Q3 earnings and it had a solid June quarter, outperforming analyst expectations. The company reported $53.8 billion in revenue and $2.19 earnings per share. The company’s stock popped 4% on the news.
Apple’s June quarter revenue showcases just how much revenue growth has been slowing for the company. The Q3 2019 revenue of $53.8 billion just peeks above the Q3 2018 revenue of $53.3 billion, growing just 1%.
Across categories, iPhone revenue had the biggest year-over-year dip, going from $29.5 billion in last year’s Q3 to just $26 billion this most recent quarter.
“While this is down 12% from last year’s June quarter, it is a significant improvement to the 17% year-over-year decline in Q2,” CEO Tim Cook said in the company’s earnings call.
The year-over-year decline in iPhone sales was made up for in a boost in all of the company’s other product categories, including a major bump in wearables sales, which crossed $5.5 billion in Q3. The Wearables, Home & Other division includes Watch, AirPods, Beats, HomePod, Apple TV and a lot of dongles.
The company hasn’t been sharing device numbers for the last several quarters and has instead focused solely on revenues, a sign of both the stagnating iPhone sales and the spike in the iPhone’s average selling price. The story for the last several quarters that Cook and Co. have been selling is the spike in Services revenue. This quarter, Services didn’t grow quite as much as analysts hoped, but it still reached $11.5 billion.
Regionally, the company saw slight gains across a few of its geographic markets, though it saw year-over-year declines in Greater China and Europe revenues.
One of the company’s biggest headlines this quarter came last week when the company announced it was purchasing “most of” Intel’s modem business for $1 billion. There aren’t likely to be too many near-term effects of this deal, though Apple aiming to own more of its supply chain has certainly been a decades-long effort for the company.