Watch Google Home, the Internet giant’s take on Amazon Echo, as it struggles to answer basic queries posed by Jefferson Graham on #TalkingTech

LOS ANGELES – A new look to the Uber app that taps into your contacts to potentially share rides, a deep dive into Google Home, the product that tries to take on Amazon’s Echo, but some say fails, subscription based organic dog food, video doorbells and online dollar stores.

The extended weekend edition of the Talking Tech podcast weighs in on the week’s tech’s headlines, and introduces you to some new and very interesting tech startups.

Our guests this week:

–Gabby Sloam, the co-founder of Myollie.com, offering subscription based organic dog food.

–Jamie Siminoff, the inventor of the Ring video doorbell.

–David Yeom, co-founder of Hollar.com, which offers low-cost dollar store like merchandise, at $2-$10 per item.

Let’s begin with the top headlines for the week:

–Uber updated its app this week, upfront pricing and arrival time predictions, and showing how much cheaper it would be if you were willing to share a ride, via Uber’s carpool option, UberPool.

The app adds calendar integration–tap it to pick up a ride request for that destination. Uber also taps into your contact list to send push notifications to friend, asks if he/she wants to share ride.

–Microsoft announced its version of Slack, the popular messaging system for organizations, by adding it to the Office Suite. Microsoft Teams won’t be fully available until the first quarter of 2017.

–Also this week, Apple responded to critics upset that new MacBook Pros won’t have the SD slot for memory cards anymore by saying that photographers can just transfer their photos and images wirelessley. I’d love to sit down with Phil Schiller from Apple and have him watch me try to move my average shoot of 1-5 GBs over the air and see how many days it would take to arrive!

–Google Home was released. The $129 product is the Internet giant’s answer to Amazon $179 Echo, a kitchen speaker that acts as your digital assistant to answer questions from the Google index, keep track of your activities and run your smart-home. While some critics (including our Ed Baig and the New York Times’ Brian X. Chen) liked it, others (like this reporter) called it an outright fail. As we’ve seen with Apple’s Siri, getting a voice-activated assistant ready for the public just ain’t easy. Listen as I struggle with Google Home, and then discuss my woes with Danny Sullivan, Greg Sterling and Matt McGee on the Marketing Land Live podcast.

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham and listen to the #TalkingTech podcast daily on Stitcher and iTunes. 

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