Apps

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China’s Kunlun completes full buyout of Grindr

 Nearly two years to the day of its majority investment in Grindr, China-based tech firm Kunlun Group has fully acquired the gay dating app. Grindr is among the, if not the, world’s most popular LBQT dating app with a claimed 3.3 million daily users. Kunlun, which is best known for games but is part of a consortium that acquired Opera’s browser business, bought 60 percent of the… Read More

Crunch Report | GoPro Cuts 200-300 Jobs

App revenue reached $60 billion in 2017, Travis Kalanick is selling 29 percent of his Uber shares and GoPro cuts 200-300 jobs. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

What were your best nine Instagram photos from 2017?

 You might have noticed a new end-of-year trend on Instagram the past few days. If so, you can thank 2017bestnine.com, a website that lets you automatically collect and collage your most-liked photos of 2017. Best Nine has been around for a while, so many of you may be familiar with the tool already. But for those of you who are new to that Best Nine game, here’s how it works. First of… Read More

These apps will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions

 Almost half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Far fewer stick to them.
“Losing weight” and “exercising more” are among the most popular goals. A sizeable percentage of Americans also aim to “be a better person.”
TechCrunch reviewed apps that are designed to help people stay on track with these plans. Here are a few that will help you remain… Read More

Crunch Report | Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down iPhones

Apple apologizes for slowing down iPhones, humans spent $200 million on apps this Christmas and Google retires the Pixel C tablet. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Coinbase hits top spot on Apple’s US App Store despite struggling to handle bitcoin demand

 Ignoring recent price rises for a second, if you can — there’s no greater sign of bitcoin fever than an app that lets you buy the cryptocurrency becoming the most downloaded app in the App Store. That’s exactly what happened on Thursday when Coinbase, the $1.6-billion-valued company behind what is arguably the world’s best-known exchange for converting fiat into… Read More

Periscope expands virtual tipping via Super Hearts beyond the U.S.

 Twitter’s big push to draw in more live video stars to its Periscope streaming service is now expanding beyond the U.S. The company announced today the Periscope Super Broadcaster program, which allows video stars to earn revenue from their streams through a virtual tipping mechanism, is now available in Canada, Ireland, and the U.K. Other countries will be added to the program soon,… Read More

Grab, the Uber rival in Southeast Asia, is now officially also a digital payments company

 Grab is best known for rivaling Uber in Southeast Asia, but today the company took a major step into becoming a fintech player, too.
That’s because the ride-sharing firm, which recently raised $2 billion from SoftBank and China’s Didi Chuxing, rolled out support for its GrabPay service among third-party merchants for the first time today.
Grab is present in seven markets across… Read More

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This AR app lets you ‘try before you buy’ plants for your home

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Having more plants in your home can absorb airborne pollutants and improve your air quality, which can in turn affect your general wellbeingNASA knows it, we all know it. But what’ll work in your space, aesthetically?

New Australian app Plant Life Balance uses AR to help you “try before you buy,” and create a tangible shopping list of plants to take to your local nursery.

You can assess your current “plant-life balance” (how many rooms you have, how many plants), then use AR to drop in over 90 plant recommendations, and get an analysis of their benefits. Read more…

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Kudos wants to be a gentle introduction to social media sharing for kids

 Just as pre-teens in the 1990s were warned away from dialing 1-900 numbers, kids now need to learn how to navigate social media responsibly. Kudos, an app for kids aged eight to 13 with around-the-clock moderation, positions itself as a safe introduction to social media that also teaches its young users, some of whom were born before the first iPhone was released, how to be “good… Read More

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Watch Google unveil the Pixel 2 live right here

 Google’s big event is today. And this time, it’s all about new devices — the company should unveil a handful of new hardware products. The event will start at 9 AM in San Francisco, 12 PM in New York, 5 PM in London, 6 PM in Paris. And we already know what to expect. The big elephant in the room is Google’s new flagship Android phone, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It… Read More

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‪Instagram now autoplays video sound once turned on until you close the app

Autoplay audio can be annoying or convenient depending on the situation. Luckily Instagram has found a happy medium between defaulting autoplay video sound on or off. This weekend TechCrunch spotted that some Instagram videos in the feed were autoplaying with audio. Now Instagram has confirmed to us “this new update rolled out recently” and here’s how it works for all… Read More

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Chatbot startup founder sees Southeast Asia potential despite slow start worldwide

 Chatbots may have underwhelmed thus far, but the impact of the technology still has bags of potential in international markets where mobile messaging has been mainstream for years. That’s the view of one startup that’s working to bring the benefit of bots to the mainstream in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and the largest economy in the growing region… Read More

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Acasa is building a platform for ‘Generation Rent’ to manage their homes

 London-based startup Acasa has come a long way since late 2015. The company, then called Splittable, offered a way to manage and share household expenses with multiple house members. However, the bigger vision was to build a platform for ‘Generation Rent’ that makes moving from one houseshare to another as easy as logging in and out of the Acasa app. Read More

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Travis Kalanick reportedly sought to reassert control at Uber after ouster

 Just under two months after resigning from Uber, former CEO Travis Kalanick has reportedly asked some former colleagues if they would support him in a potential shareholder battle, according to a new report by The Information. You’ll periodically find these kinds of proxy fights happening at public companies, but after his ouster, it appears that Kalanick still may want to try to gain… Read More

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Half of businesses on Instagram use Stories as it turns 1

 Instagram Stories has blossomed from a Snapchat clone into an integral part of the world’s largest dedicated visual communication app in the first year since its launch. Half of the businesses on Instagram produced a story in the last month, and its boosted the app’s average usage to 32 minutes per day for those under 25, and 24 minutes per day for those 25 and up. If… Read More

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Trainline now gives you real-time train information in France

 Trainline’s European service (formerly known as Captain Train) is becoming your one-stop shop for French trains. The company has partnered with SNCF to get real-time data about trains, delays and your current location. You had to use SNCF’s official app before to get this kind of information. If you’ve used Trainline to book a ticket before, you know that the app can alert you… Read More

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Google Maps now lets users add wheelchair accessibility details for locations

 Back in December, Google finally added accessibility details to Maps. It was a long awaited addition, but an extremely welcome one for the more than three million people in the U.S. who require wheelchair accessibility. As we noted at the time, however, the available information still left a lot to be desired. Maps has currently collected accessibility data for almost seven million places,… Read More

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Instagram should let users save and share their photo preferences

 While the world waits for Instagram to launch a location-sharing feature à la Snapchat, it’s worth wondering about the potential arrival of something far more simple and obvious: user-preset filters.
Instagram now allows you to prioritize your favorite filters at the beginning of the list and leave the ones that you don’t use often at the end. However, each user has their own… Read More

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Crunch Report | Facebook Helps You Find Wi-Fi

Crunch Report June 30 Today’s Stories

Facebook is rolling out its ‘Find Wi-Fi’ feature worldwide
Delivery Hero’s valuation surpasses $5B following successful IPO
Chat app Kakao raises $437M for its Korean ride-hailing service
Cabin secures $3.3M for its ‘moving hotel’

Credits
Written and Hosted by: Anthony Ha
Filmed by: Matthew Mauro
Edited by: Chris Gates
Notes:
Tito… Read More

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Indian messaging app Hike may launch live-streaming following recent acquisition

 Hike, the billion-dollar messaging app chasing WhatsApp in India, may be preparing to enter the live-streaming space following a recent acquisition. The company, which is backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent, has acquired India-based live-streaming app Pulse and at least two of its founding team, according to a report from Inc42. Hike declined to respond to our request for comment but,… Read More

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Houzz raises a huge $400M round at a $4B valuation

 If you ask investors in Silicon Valley about Houzz — an app where you browse ridiculously nice homes and check out interesting interior design ideas — they’ll probably quietly mutter that they’re just growing their business. We really don’t hear about Houzz’s business that often. Except now the company says it has raised $400 million led by Iconiq Capital,… Read More

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Crunch Report | Apple Rolls Out Early Version Of Its Safe Driving Feature

Crunch Report June 22 Today’s Stories  Do Not Disturb While Driving feature rolls out in Apple’s newest iOS 11 beta Sean Parker has left Spotify’s board; Padmasree Warrior, Thomas Staggs join in lead up to IPO Trump might kill next month’s new startup visa before it takes effect Facebook is testing a feature to prevent profile pictures being abused by other users Tantan, China’s… Read More

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Hike beats WhatsApp to launching messenger app payments in India

 India-focused mobile messaging service Hike landed funding from Tencent last year, and today it took a major step to emulating the Chinese firm’s WeChat app with the introduction of mobile payments. The launch of Hike Pay not only shows an ambition to build a messaging platform, it also means Hike has beaten WhatsApp, the chat app that dominates India, to the punch. Facebook-owned… Read More

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Meet Binky, the anti-social media simulator

 Something happened to social media recently. I don’t know exactly when things changed, but almost overnight, randomly scrolling through feeds became a lot less enjoyable. Flame-wars, bad news, fake news, worse news and anxiety-fueling comment sections meant that social media is no longer the escapism it once was. Along comes Binky counter all of that, creating the ultimate anti-social… Read More

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Cornershop, a grocery-delivery app in Chile and Mexico, raises $21M

 The whole on-demand space has faced a lot of scrutiny in the past few years as questions about whether they are viable businesses balloon and the periodic down round leaks out. Then Instacart raised a massive round at a $3.4 billion valuation, and while the terms aren’t exactly clear, the funding environment for that space may be softening a bit. That’s offered an opportunity for… Read More

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AAA officially launches its car sharing startup Gig with a giant, sober dance party in Oakland

 Gig, a new car-sharing app created by the emergency roadside assistance service AAA rolled out to the Bay Area today. The startup comes out of A3 Ventures, AAA’s venture arm and the new one-way car sharing service is now active in Oakland and Berkeley, California. Gig is similar to other temporary car share services like Enterprise CarShare or Zipcar. But unlike the traditional car… Read More

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Tempow turns your dumb Bluetooth speakers into a connected sound system

 Meet Tempow, a French startup that can make your Bluetooth speakers more versatile. The company has been working on a new implementation of the Bluetooth protocol in order to let you play music from your phone on multiple speakers and headphones at once. Bluetooth speakers have become a common gift and a hit item in consumer electronics stores. Most people now have multiple Bluetooth speakers… Read More

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Instagram on Android gets offline mode

 80% of Instagram’s users 600 million users are outside the US, so it needed a way to provide a better experience for users with limited network connectivity or no data plan.
Today at F8, Instagram announced it’s built support for using most of its features without Internet access. Much of this functionality is now available on Android, which is the preferred device type in the… Read More

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Twitter launches a ‘lite’ mobile web app that’s optimized for emerging markets

 Twitter has taken the wraps off a new data-optimized version of its service that it hopes will be a hit among emerging. It’s called Twitter Lite and, unlike similar ‘Lite’ apps from Facebook and others, it is browser-based — living at mobile.twitter.com. It is essentially a data-optimized version of the regular Twitter service that, the company said, loads fast and… Read More

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New Clerky tools help startups hire and raise funds without running into legal problems

 Clerky may not be a household name like TurboTax today, but the company’s business formation software has been called a “secret weapon” by startup founders in Silicon Valley for years. Many Y Combinator cofounders use it to get their companies started on paper. And now, Clerky is launching two new tools called Hiring and Fundraising to help startups move beyond… Read More

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Super Mario Run hits Android, rolls out version two on iOS

 Super Mario Run hit Android a day early. Originally expected today, March 23, per Nintendo’s earlier announcement, the game arrived on the Google Play Store yesterday instead, along with an update on iOS. The iOS exclusive ran for three months, and brought the app over 78 million downloads, the gaming company said during its earnings in January. Of those players, more than five… Read More

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Instagram grows to 1M active advertisers, plans to add more data and direct booking

 Instagram’s advertiser base has doubled again.
The Facebook-owned photo and video app is announcing that it now has 1 million monthly active advertisers, compared to 500,000 in September and 200,000 just over a year ago.
Some of that growth can be attributed to the simple fact that a lot of people use Instagram — 150 million every day, as of January. But James Quarles, who… Read More

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Photo-blending app Dubble is back from the dead

 Dubble is officially (re)launching today, in v2, after a year-long hiatus off the app store while the team re-engineered the backend and applied some gloss and community-requested features on the front. We ask co-founder Adam Scott how and why the team has put in so much effort to give a niche photo-blending app a second chance at turning into a self-sustaining community. Read More

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Prominent Twitter accounts compromised after third-party app Twitter Counter hacked

 A number of prominent Twitter accounts were hacked to tweet Nazi messages after Twitter Counter, a popular tool for analyzing Twitter followers, was hacked. Official Twitter accounts belonging to Amnesty International, Forbes and other prominent organizations, not to mention many regular users, were accessed to post swastikas and other Nazi-related messages in a move thought to be… Read More

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Kidizen raises $3.2M for a kids’ clothes resale app with a social twist

 Kidizen, a marketplace for secondhand children’s apparel, has raised $3.2 million in Series A funding, the company announced today. The funding was led by Chicago-based Origin Ventures, who backed the startup following its over 100 percent year-over-year growth in 2016, which has allowed the business to reach over a quarter million registered users across the U.S. Also participating in… Read More

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Kidizen raises $3.2M for a kids’ clothes resale app with a social twist

 Kidizen, a marketplace for secondhand children’s apparel, has raised $3.2 million in Series A funding, the company announced today. The funding was led by Chicago-based Origin Ventures, who backed the startup following its over 100 percent year-over-year growth in 2016, which has allowed the business to reach over a quarter million registered users across the U.S. Also participating in… Read More

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Hugging Face wants to become your artificial BFF

 Meet Hugging Face, a new chatbot app for bored teenagers. The New York-based startup is creating a fun and emotional bot. Hugging Face will generate a digital friend so that you can text back and forth and trade selfies. Playing with Hugging Face was a lot more engaging than talking with a customer support bot. Like other companies, Hugging Face doesn’t want to be useful. It wants to… Read More

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Gobi raises $500K to take on Snapchat

 Norwegian startup Gobi raised $500,000 at a $15 million valuation to take on Snapchat with its “Stories” communication tool. The platform enables users to create public and private groups where users can share photos and videos that stay around for three days before vanishing into digital pixel-dust. Read More

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Snap has already tumbled 11% on day four

 Snap, the parent of Snapchat, had a great first two days on the stock market, only to be followed by two terrible ones. Shares quickly tumbled to beneath $22, an over 11% drop in morning trading. This means that most investors are already losing money on the social media company. Snap opened Thursday at $24 per share. It is still above its $17 IPO price, but that’s mainly relevant for… Read More

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Facebook tests reactions and Dislike button (!) on messages

messenger-reactions Facebook finally has a Dislike button, but it’s not where you’d expect. How do you reply to a specific message in a rapid-fire chat thread? Facebook wants you to attach emojis to your friends’ messages the same way you do with News Feed posts.     TechCrunch reader Hoan Do sent us a tip that Facebook Messenger is showing some users a Reactions option. When you… Read More

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Uber plans to turn its app into a ‘content marketplace’ during rides

uber-exper Uber can’t seem to avoid headlines for the wrong reasons right now, as it gets slammed for its toxic work culture, its connections to a polarizing U.S. President, and its CEO’s attitude to Uber drivers. 
But despite all that, the transportation company — currently valued as high as $68 billion — continues to grow and is expanding its business into ever more areas. Read More

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Uber loses legal challenge against English tests for London drivers

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03:  The Uber app logo is displayed on an iPhone on August 3, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) The bad news just keeps piling up for Uber. The ride-hailing giant has lost a court battle against London’s transport regulators which have been seeking to raise the level of English spoken by private hire vehicles on safety grounds, requiring that all drivers pass an English proficiency test this year. Read More

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Did Snapchat leave money on the table?

snapchat-money2 Snapchat priced its IPO at $17 per share on Wednesday, raising $3.4 billion. Then it opened Thursday at $24 per share and closed at $24.48. That’s a 44% gain for the select investors who bought into the IPO.  And that gain looks great…for new investors. But it also means that Snapchat could have sold its shares for a higher price! If Snapchat priced its shares just a little higher… Read More

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Spotify reaches 50 million paying users

spotify black history month Thank you to our 50 million subscribers. #Spotify50 pic.twitter.com/eXkOV71bwu — Spotify (@Spotify) March 2, 2017 Spotify has reached a new milestone after it crossed 50 million paying users. The service is currently available in over 60 markets, with a total catalog of more than 30 million songs on off. The streaming firm clocked 40 million ‘Premium’ subscribers in… Read More

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Google Assistant hits more Android devices today

google-assistant Your Android phone is about to get an upgrade. Google today is making good on its promise to bring its Siri alternative known as Google Assistant to more Android devices, starting today. The company announced at Mobile World Congress over the weekend that its Assistant would soon launch in the U.S., followed by English-language launches in Australia, Canada and the U.K., as well… Read More

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Blackstorm Labs looks to bring the co-op experience to a Facebook Messenger game

blackstorm boss raids Co-founder Ernestine Fu hopes that Blackstorm Labs, the makers of a bullet hell-ish fantasy shooter called EverWing, has figured out how to tap into that real-time co-operative experience that you might find in a massive online game like World of Warcraft within Facebook Messenger.
The company is calling the experience Boss Raids. EverWing runs on HTML5 within Facebook Messenger, where… Read More

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