Hashtag Trending Sept. 15 – Apple’s ad placements; AT&T’s new 5G network only available for new phones; Twilio cuts staff

Apple plans for new ad placements in its App Store, AT&T’s new mid-band 5G network will only be available for new phones, and Twilio makes cuts to its staff. 

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, September 15, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara. 

Apple has plans to release new ad “placements” as early as the holiday season, according to a message sent to developers earlier this week, inviting them to an online session to encourage them to buy ads. Apple is expanding its advertising inventory, which is focused on its App Store, CNBC reported. Over the past few years, the company’s advertising inventory has been limited to one unit in the Search tab on the App Store and one on the search results page. However, with new opportunities coming to Apple’s Search Ads, developers will soon be able to promote their apps across the App Store for more engagement with customers. The message to developers didn’t exactly specify where the new ad placements will be offered, but in July Apple announced it was planning to expand its menu. The expansion featured an ad unit on the “Today” tab, which is the front page of the App Store as well as an additional sponsored unit on app product pages under the banner “You Might Also Like.”

AT&T’s new mid-band 5G network will only be available for new phones like the iPhone 14. Older devices like the iPhone 13 and Galaxy S21 won’t get the previously promised mid-band updates. The company spent a lot of money earlier this year to get this new mid-band spectrum, which operates around 3.45GHz. This block of the airwaves used to be reserved for use by the military, but it was released for commercial use and auctioned by the FCC in January. AT&T spent $9.1 billion on licenses. Last month, when AT&T announced its plans to roll out 3.45GHz, it noted that older 5G devices, such as the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, Galaxy S21, and Pixel 6 would be able to take advantage of the new spectrum following an update. Now, AT&T is backtracking on its previous statement. AT&T’s updated mid-band compatibility list is much more narrow, according to an article by Extreme Tech. Only users of newer phones like the iPhone 14 or any model of the Galaxy S22 will get the best from AT&T’s upcoming 5G rollout. 

Yesterday, Twilio, a cloud communications platform, said it plans to cut its staff by nearly 11 per cent. Twilio is one of the latest to join tech companies in downsizing. Twilio had hired aggressively throughout the pandemic to cater to booming demand for cloud service providers from businesses looking to operate amid lockdowns. Employee count jumped to 7,867 by the end of 2021 from 4,629 in 2020. Tech companies such as Snap and Shopify have made similar moves recently as they attempt to control the impact of lower demand amid record-high inflation. 

A Chevy Corvette electric vehicle prototype made by Motorola in the 90’s was recently discovered at a salvage yard sale in Illinois. An article from The Drive revealed that Motorola built a full functional Chevy Corvette prototype. The car discovered in Illinois was an intact C4 Corvette with a battery-electric drivetrain, with official Motorola markings all over the car. Additionally, stacks of internal Motorola paperwork on the project were also discovered. The car itself doesn’t run but, according to the article, it seems to be powered by an unknown amount of deep-cycle batteries. The documents that came with the car place the development of the car in 1992 or 1993. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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