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YouTube Gets a Facelift; Apps Abandoning Apple Watch? -- Tech Roundup


By Bret Kenwell, The Street

Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube property has been around longer than some of its users, turning 12 on Monday. (Has it already been that long?!)

To help celebrate, the platform rolled out a resign of its desktop site, "which now takes advantage of Google's design language, Material Design, to make the site cleaner, simpler and more consistent with the YouTube app across devices," according to TechCrunch.

[post_ads]The new platform comes with a slew of updates. For starters, the YouTube site has been rebuilt using Polymer, Google's open source JavaScript library.

Visually speaking, YouTube will improve search, channel pages and theater mode for watching videos.

One of the more interesting features is "dark mode," which users can change easily under the settings on the upper right hand side of the screen. Basically, though, instead of a white background, YouTube lets user use a black background.

Aside from the customization aspect, some users prefer the darker background due to less eye strain. Additionally, users can now dismiss the navigation bar on the left side of the screen.
So what does this all boil down to? Again borrowing the words from TechCrunch, a simpler and cleaner platform.

Shares of Alphabet closed at $937.09 Tuesday, up 0.5%.

Meanwhile, over on Real Money, Cramer says alternatives to stocks -- things like bonds, gold and real estate -- seem very expensive compared to owning stocks. Get his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.

Are big companies bailing on the Apple (AAPL) Watch? From some of the latest reports, it sure seems that way.

Companies ranging from eBay (EBAY) , Amazon (AMZN) and Google Maps have apparently pulled support for their Apple Watch apps. That is to say, the companies are abandoning them. Google did say it would be back with a new app in the future, but didn't specify a date.

So what is this supposed to mean? Of the smartwatch category, Apple is clearly the most successful so far. But with big-name tech companies pulling out, it seems like support could be waning.
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Or at least, that's what it seems like at first glance. Instead, this trend may mean nothing more than those apps simply aren't popular. Clearly Apple Watch sales aren't tanking (although it's hardly the lifeline that some investors were hoping for).

With that said, emails, texts, phone calls and notifications seem to be more important to Apple Watch users than making purchases on Amazon.

Could it be as simple as that? Perhaps so. And without much popularity to support some of these apps -- despite how popular the companies' platform is in the non-watch world -- doesn't mean that other features and functions are failing.

It could simply be a game of preferences. It wouldn't be surprising to see these names back on the Apple Watch sometime in the future.

Shares of Apple closed at $147.51 Tuesday, up 0.6%.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) continues to make changes under CEO Chuck Robbins, who wants to turn Cisco into a more growth-oriented company.The company's latest move comes in the form of an acquisition, as it scoops up Viptela for $610 million. Viptela is a San Jose-based network company. According to the press release:

In other words, the company is looking for Viptela to help build out and build on its current offering of cloud-based solutions. Given how many customers are using the cloud now and how many continue to migrate there, Cisco knows it needs to beef up its portfolio.

Viptela is its step toward improving those solutions.

Cisco closed at $34.24 Tuesday, up 0.8%.

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