Appocalypse Tech News Monthly Roundup: Top 5 News Items for Jun 2017

Welcome to Appocalypse Tech News Monthly Roundup. In this feature, we recap the Top 5 Tech happenings for the month gone by as covered by our prying eyes. Here are the Top 5 News Items for the month of June 2017 in the world of tech.

Apple WWDC and a host of announcements

Apple held its annual worldwide developer’s conference at San Jose, California this month from June 5-9, announcing a slew of new features and, for the first time in a while, hardware upgrades. Among the list of announcements was a massively improved version of iOS titled (unsurprisingly) iOS 11 along with upgrades to watchOS, tvOS and macOS (called High Sierra), new Macs and a beastly iMac Pro, new iPad Pros with a solid industry-first 120 Hz Refresh Rate screen, and the HomePod – Apple’s late answer to Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa. As expected, there was no information on the upcoming iPhones which are expected to be launched this September.

OnePlus 5 Announcement and Launch

After months of speculation, rumors and (deliberate) leaks, the next OnePlus flagship finally saw the light with the OnePlus 5 arriving in what was easily the company’s most high-profile launch. With keynotes across New York, China and India with the latter seeing a live event, the OnePlus 5 was launched in two versions – the $480 one with 6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage and another $540 variant with 8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage. The phone has so far received mixed reviews with praise being showered for its budget-friendly package and yet, criticism being thrown in for the company having failed to innovate much from its predecessor.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s Resignation

What was initially supposed to be a leave of absence turned out to be a resignation. Out of nowhere, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick resigned after a board meeting conceding to the requests of shareholders to build a better Uber. Apparently the board saw an Uber 2.0 possible only without Travis around and although many were content with his resignation, there were some who wanted him back, hailing him as being the driving force behind Uber. For now, Travis is expected to remain on Uber’s board until it completely transitions to a new CEO. With no CEO, COO, CMO and CFO guiding Uber, plenty of self-driving jokes started doing the rounds of social media as well.

Facebook Chicago Community Special Event

Mark Zuckerberg held a special community-focused event at Chicago where he unveiled several new features to make community management a tad easier while also acknowledging the efforts poured in by Group Admins in running Facebook Groups alongside their busy lives. He also shared some important numbers, notably that around 100 million people are a part of meaningful Facebook communities, a figure he intends to take to 1 billion and that Facebook is nearing 2 billion users, a feat which it crossed later that month. Finally, Zuckerberg announced a new mission statement for Facebook: To give the people power to build a community to bring the world closer together.

Mark Zuckerberg at Chicago Summit

Mark Zuckerberg announced numerous improvements to Groups at Chicago Summit.

Ransomeware Returns

After a dreadful WannaCry pestered people in the month of May and forced some of them to pay, a new ransomware struck this month. A variant of Petya dubbed NotPetya, this new ransomware infected systems during boot, encrypting files and asking for $300 payment in bitcoins. While the attack was successful with the ransomware having infected some high profile systems in airports, banks and metro stations starting with Ukraine and later moving towards Russia, Europe, Spain and India, the hackers’ attempts at extortion seem to have failed with them having managed to collect only $7,500 so far. So far, no concrete solution has been found to the issue.

Notable Mention: Amazon Buys Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

While this is part tech, part retail, Amazon has seemingly agreed to purchase Whole Foods for a massive $13.7 billion, making it Amazon’s largest acquisition to date. The deal sent shockwaves through the retail sector with all stocks other than Amazon’s being down the day it was announced. While the acquisition will take a while to materialize, it is being talked about immensely as a largely strategic move by Amazon to bolster its offline presence and could give it the upper hand in its fight against Walmart and other offline stores as they struggle to ramp up their online presence (all attempts at which have been sub-par so far).

These are our Top 5 picks for Tech happenings last month. In the busy world of tech, we’re sure we missed many other items. What do you think? Would you have added any other piece of news on this list? Sound off with your comments below.