Minecraft Earth is live, so get tapping

Microsoft’s big experiment in real-world augmented reality gaming, Minecraft Earth, is live now for players in North America, the U.K., and a number of other areas. The pocket-size AR game lets you collect blocks and critters wherever you go, undertake little adventures with friends, and of course build sweet castles. I played an early version of Minecraft Earth earlier this …

Instagram Stories launches TikTok clone Reels in Brazil

Instagram is launching a video-music remix feature to finally fight back against Chinese social rival TikTok. Instagram Reels lets you make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories, with the potential to go viral on a new Top Reels section of Explore. Just like TikTok, users can soundtrack their Reels with a huge catalog of music, …

Facebook finally lets you banish nav bar tabs & red dots

Are those red notification dots on your Facebook home screen driving you crazy? Sick of Facebook Marketplace wasting your screen space? Now you can control what appears in the Facebook app’s navigation bar thanks to a new option called Shortcuts Bar Settings. Over the weekend TechCrunch spotted the option to remove certain tabs like Marketplace, Watch, Groups, Events, and Dating …

Instagram to test hiding Like counts in US, which could hurt influencers

“We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health” says Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri. To that end, next week Instagram will expand its test of hiding Like counts from everyone but a post’s creator to some users in the United States. But there are major questions about whether the change will hurt influencers. Mosseri …

Popular Android phones can be tricked into snooping on their owners

Security researchers have found several popular Android phones can be tricked into snooping on their owners by exploiting a weakness that gives accessories access to the phone’s underlying baseband software. Attackers can use that access to trick vulnerable phones into giving up their unique identifiers, such as their IMEI and IMSI numbers, downgrade a target’s connection in order to intercept …

Spotify’s podcasting app Anchor now helps you make trailers

Spotify’s simple podcasting suite, Anchor, is today introducing a new feature designed to help creators promote their podcast: trailers. On the Anchor app for iOS and Android, podcasters will now be able to create a dedicated trailer for their podcast that combines an introduction and some background music, then turns it into an animated video that can be shared across …

With $6.5M in funding, Aircam offers a fast, easy way to share photos at events

Aircam is a new startup that allows anyone to get instant access to pictures taken by professional photographers at weddings, parties and other events. The company was founded by brothers Evan and Ryan Rifkin, who previously co-founded Burstly, the company behind mobile app-testing service TestFlight (which was acquired by Apple). In addition to officially launching Aircam today, they’re also announcing …

Tinder’s interactive video series ‘Swipe Night’ is going international next year

Tinder’s big experiment with interactive content — the recently launched in-app series called Swipe Night — was a success. According to Tinder parent company Match during its Q3 earnings this week, “millions” of Tinder users tuned into to watch the show’s episodes during its run in October, and this drove double-digit increases in both matches and messages. As a result, Match confirmed its plans …

FCC approves T-Mobile/Sprint merger despite serious concerns

The FCC has given its stamp of approval to T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed merger, saying the deal will “enhance competition” and hasten 5G deployment. Those opposed say the merger defies common sense, creating a triumvirate of mobile giants that will “divide up the market, increase prices, and compete only for the most lucrative customers.” The two mobile companies have been …

AT&T will pay $60 million over fake unlimited data ‘bait and switch scam’

AT&T is being punished at last for its shady claims of plans with “unlimited data” but were in reality nothing of the kind: The company has agreed to a $60 million settlement with the FTC, which has pursued the case for years. Some 3.5 affected customers can expect partial refunds — little more than pocket money, but it’s something. The …

Huawei calls hackers to Munich for secret bug bounty meeting

Chinese tech giant Huawei has asked some of the world’s best phone hackers to a secret meeting in Munich later this month as the company tries to curry favor with global governments, TechCrunch has learned. Sources with knowledge of the November 16 meeting said Huawei will privately present its new bug bounty program, which would allow researchers to get financial …

Daily Crunch: Adobe launches Photoshop for iPad

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Adobe Photoshop arrives on the iPad Adobe has released Photoshop for the iPad, making good on an announcement that it made last October. The tablet version …

TikTok expands its influence to third-party apps with new developer program & SDK

TikTok is looking to expand its influence by integrating with popular third-party video creation and editing apps. The company today announced a new TikTok for Developers program which will introduce tools for third-party app developers, including those that allow them to access TikTok’s creative offerings as well as push content from their apps to TikTok directly. The first of these …

Adobe’s Photoshop Camera is an AI-powered photo editor for your phone

Instagram and Snapchat have changed the way people look at photo editing. What was once a task limited to those with wildly expensive tools and years of training has become accessible to anyone with a smartphone. These apps and their filters aren’t going to replace Photoshop for the pros… but for people just looking to upload a quick selfie to …

Mario Kart Tour will test real-time multiplayer in December

The mobile version of Nintendo’s iconic racing franchise, Mario Kart Tour, will soon support multiplayer races, bringing the game closer to its competitive roots. A limited multiplayer beta test is planned for December, just in time for holiday laziness, but only for paying subscribers — the rest of us will have to wait. Mario Kart has had a focus on …

Google Maps Incognito mode starts rolling out for Android users

We’ve known for a while now that Google was bringing the “Incognito mode” concept to Maps, allowing you to run searches and find routes without them automatically being tied to your account history. If you’ve been digging around trying to find the option without any luck, you weren’t just missing it. Though first mentioned back in May at Google I/O, …

8th Wall’s new Cloud Editor helps customers quickly build mobile AR experiences

The world of phone-based AR has involved a lot of promises, but the future that’s developed has so far been more iterative and less platform shift-y. For startups exclusively focused on mobile AR, there’s been some soul-searching to find ways to bring more lightweight experiences to life that don’t require as much friction or commitment from users. 8th Wall is …

For the first time in two years, the smartphone market shows signs of life

All is not lost for smartphone manufacturers. On the heels of two years’ of global stagnation, the category is finally showing some signs of life. Much of the bounce back comes as manufacturers are working to correct for dulled consumer interest. I wouldn’t put too much weight in the numbers right now, as they’re little more than an uptick. Numbers …

Apple Card users can now finance iPhone purchases for 24 months, interest-free

It’s not quite an “Apple Prime” subscription, but it’s compelling. Apple on Wednesday introduced a new program that will allow Apple Card users to finance their iPhone purchases for 24 months, without paying interest. The program aims to appeal to consumers who frequently upgrade their iPhone to the latest model, but often turn to their carrier to finance those purchases. …

Facebook shares rise on strong Q3, users up 2% to 2.45B

Despite ongoing public relations crises, Facebook kept growing in Q3 2019, demonstrating that media backlash does not necessarily equate to poor business performance. Facebook reached 2.45 billion monthly users, up 1.65 percent from 2.41 billion in Q2 2019 when it grew 1.6 percent, and it now has 1.62 billion daily active users, up 2 percent from 1.587 billion last quarter …

Spotify launches a dedicated Kids app for Premium Family subscribers

In a move to boost family subscriptions to its app, Spotify this morning announced the launch of a dedicated Kids application which allows children three and up to listen to their own music, both online and offline, as well as explore playlists and recommendations picked by experts, and more. The music selection is also filtered so songs won’t have explicit …

Samsung teases a clamshell foldable form factor

Last year at its developer conference, Samsung showed off an early glimpse of its upcoming foldable. In hindsight, the Galaxy Fold’s roll out could have gone more smoothly, but sometimes first gen products go that way, I suppose. At very least, it’s clear that the company won’t let a rocky start stand between it and broader foldable phone ambitions. On …

LA-based gaming studio Scopely raises $200M at a $1.7B valuation

The Los Angeles-based mobile game development studio Scopely has become America’s newest unicorn thanks to a $200 million financing, which values the company at a whopping $1.7 billion. Scopely said it would use the capital to continue its strategy of developing and acquiring new games as it looks to continue its run of six consecutive mobile games that will gross …

Facebook staff demand Zuckerberg limit lies in politcal ads

Submit campaign ads to fact checking, limit microtargeting, cap spending, observe silence periods, or at least warn users. These are the solutions Facebook employees put forward in an open letter pleading with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company leadership to address misinformation in political ads. The letter, obtained by the New York Times’ Mike Isaac, insists that “Free speech and paid …

Apple releases iOS 13.2 with Deep Fusion

Apple has released iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 for the iPhone and iPad. This update features the usual bug fixes and security improvements. But Apple is also adding a handful of new features to its operating system. First, iOS 13.2 brings a ton of new emojis. The company now officially supports Unicode 12.0. You can now create all possible combinations …

GameClub offers mobile gaming’s greatest hits for $5 per month

Apple Arcade introduced the idea of all-you-can-eat subscription-based mobile gaming to the mainstream. Google Play Pass soon followed as a way to subscribe to a sizable collection of both apps and games on Android devices. Today, a startup called GameClub is launching in the U.S. to offer an alternative. For $4.99 per month, mobile consumers will be able to access …

Here’s what the Pixel 4’s radar chip looks like

I’ve been tearing my gadgets apart for as long as I can remember. Consoles, phones, printers, whatever — I’ve always needed to see what makes it all work. Sometimes they even work when I put them back together. As soon as Google announced that the new Pixel 4 had friggin’ radar built-in for detecting hand gestures, I needed to see …