How Apple aims to turn its entire ecosystem into a social network, put Siri on third-party devices, and enable more brand opportunities

All image credits: Apple

Editor’s note: This posted is an abridged edition of our Fast Forward newsletter. For the full version, please contact our VP of Client Services, Josh Mallalieu (josh@ipglab.com) to send a request.

  • New “Shared with You” and SharePlay features deconstruct content sharing and group activities anchored around FaceTime and iMessage
  • New privacy features double-down on Apple’s stance on user-empowerment
  • New features positioning Apple Wallet as an identity authentication hub
  • Siri on third-party devices and Matter interoperability standards help Apple extend smart home reach
  • New ways for brands to test different versions of apps and promote in-app events
  • Surprisingly light on AR…


Facebook enhances business messaging tools and rekindles platform ambitions with low-key virtual developer event

All image credit: Facebook

Editor’s note: This is an abridged edition of our Fast Forward newsletter. For the full version, please contact our VP of Client Services, Josh Mallalieu (josh@ipglab.com) to send a request.

The big tech conference season continues this week with Facebook’s annual F8 developer event. Compared to the Google and Snap events that took place two weeks ago, this virtual event was relatively low-key and understated both in terms of its production value and Facebook’s announcements. Aptly named “Facebook F8 Refresh,” this single-day event offered a refresher on Facebook’s developer tools and business-friendly features, with a particular focus on its messaging…


Here’s everything brands should know about Snap’s latest announcements and its platform ambition

All images credits: Snap Inc.

Editor’s note: This is an abridged edition of our Fast Forward newsletter. For the full version, please contact our VP of Client Services, Josh Mallalieu (josh@ipglab.com) to send a request.

Our coverage of the tech developer conference continues as the third annual Snap Partner Summit took the stage on Thursday. Although somewhat flying under the radar compared to its more high-profile competitors like Facebook and TikTok, Snapchat has been going strong over the past year, growing its global user base to 500 million monthly active users. At the top of its keynote, CEO Evan Spiegel proudly claimed that “nearly one…


Here is everything brands need to know from Google’s latest developer event

All image credits: Google

Editor’s note: This is an abridged edition of our Fast Forward newsletter. For the full version, please contact our VP of Client Services, Josh Mallalieu (josh@ipglab.com) to send a request.

Google kicked off the 2021 tech conference season on Tuesday with its opening keynote for its annual Google I/O developer event. Over the course of two hours, Google focused entirely on its software services, including new features coming to Google apps, Android 12, and a revamped Wear OS.

A common thread waving all the new services and features together is Google’s AI prowess as it weaves features powered by advanced…


The transformation of in-car media will happen in content format, consumption mode, and the vehicle interface

Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

Last week, we laid out a future-forward path towards the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concept and the roles that various mobility services will play in the process. But before we get to that MaaS future, a major transformation is already underway in the mobility experience, and that is the changes in in-vehicle media access and consumption.

Although no one today is buying a car primarily for the infotainment system, in the near future, as the dashboard interface becomes more integral to the in-car experience, it may start to move up on the list of consideration for car buyers. Already…


The “mobility as a service” future is still a long way away, but the fight for control over the customer relationship has already started.

Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash

The pandemic was a double-edged sword for the auto and mobility industry. On one hand, COVID-induced lockdowns and stay-at-home orders significantly reduced people’s vehicle usage and the need for mobility services; on the other hand, the car also become a personal sanctuary for many people, providing a safe way to get out of the house and safely access “made-for-car” services like curbside pickups and drive-in theaters. Not a small number of people also moved out of big cities and found themselves in need of a personal vehicle. …


The movie industry didn’t move online fast enough; now it’s trailing music and video games in cultural relevance

Photo by Geoffrey Moffett on Unsplash

The 2021 Oscars happened on Sunday. Did you bother to watch? Chances are you didn’t, considering that less than 10% of U.S. households cared enough to tune in. According to the final ratings reported by Nielsen, the ABC telecast only managed to score 10.4 million viewers and a meager 2.1 final ratings among the 18 to 49 demo, down 56% and 58%, respectively, compared to the 2020 Oscars.

Naturally, most people blamed this sharp decline on the pandemic, citing the fact that other awards shows aired in the past few months, including the Grammys and the Golden Globes, all suffered…


Podcast subscriptions, Apple Card Family, 5G-ready iPads, and more

Editor’s note: This is an abridged edition of our Fast Forward newsletter. For the full version, please contact our VP of Client Services, Josh Mallalieu (josh@ipglab.com) to send a request.

On Tuesday, Apple kicked off its first press event in 2021 with a slew of long-anticipated product announcements, including updates for iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV, and even the long-rumored item tracker AirTag. CEO Tim Cook opened the pre-taped event with a brief reiteration of Apple’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly design, before jumping into a tight hour-long show full of cool transitions and slick product demos. …


Taking stock of the video game industry in early 2021 and what it means for brands

Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

Video games have become an integral part of mainstream culture. Since the pandemic started, many of us have resorted to video games for comfort, distracting ourselves from the terrifying news and the lockdown boredom. As a result, video games and gaming-related content are commending more audience attention than ever. According to a recent report by YPulse, 94% of 13 to 39 year-olds in the U.S. are playing video games in some capacity.

Moreover, 2020’s most popular games, including Animal Crossing, Fall Guys, and Among Us, have become reliable virtual spaces that millions regularly turn to socialize with friends when we…


What the changing motivations behind traveling mean for the future of the travel industry

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

Why do people travel? A question commonly asked at airport customs, “for business or pleasure?” neatly sums up the two main reasons for travel. However, with the pandemic drastically accelerating the shift towards remote work and turning every meeting into a Zoom call, many companies are starting to question the necessity of business travel. Of course, business travel won’t completely go away — in places like Australia and East Asia, domestic business trips have already tipped back up — but it may never return to its pre-pandemic level due to the diminishing cost-efficiency of international business travel.

That leaves us…

Richard Yao

Manager of Strategy & Content, IPG Media Lab

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