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Hashtag Trending – Gmail’s getting a facelift; Facebook collects data on non-users; HomePod a bust?

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Google’s email platform is getting a facelift; Mark Zuckerberg acknowledges that Facebook collects data on non-users; and Bloomberg reports that the HomePod isn’t selling as well as Apple hoped.

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First, on LinkedIn: Google will be updating its Gmail suite in the near future. That’s according to an email recently sent to G Suite administrators, published by The Verge, and confirmed by Google after it went viral. According to said email, the new design will feature a “fresh, clean look,” and new options such as “smart” replies, the ability to snooze emails, and offline support. Asked when it will be released, the search giant could only tell the Verge that “we need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so… archive this for now, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to hit send.”

Next, on Reddit: Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before U.S. lawmakers has confirmed another long-rumoured practice at Facebook – that it keeps track of internet users who don’t sign up for the network. On Wednesday, Zuckerberg told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that, quote, “In general we collect data on people who are not signed up for Facebook for security purposes,” adding that “We need to know when somebody is trying to repeatedly access our services.” The official questioning Zuckerberg said the company needs to develop a way for internet users to find out what Facebook knows about them without actually signing up.

Finally, on Facebook, a report from Bloomberg indicates that Apple’s smart speaker, the HomePod, isn’t selling as well as it hoped. According to Bloomberg, the HomePod represented only 10 per cent of the smart speaker market during its first 10 weeks of sales, compared to Amazon Echo’s 73 per cent Google Home’s 14 per cent, leading Apple to lower its own sales forecasts in late March. Apple, of course, declined to comment on the report, but Bloomberg found more than enough reasons to cite for the HomePod’s lack of success, including a $350 USD price tag, lack of app support, and inability to pair speakers for stereo sound, a problem Apple has promised to correct later this year.