A look at the Android Market (aka Google Play) on its 10th Anniversary

Google Play has generated more than twice the downloads of the iOS App Store, reaching a 70% share of worldwide downloads in 2017, according to a new report from App Annie, released in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Android Market, now called Google Play. The report also examined the state of Google Play’s marketplace and the habits of …

Microsoft’s new expense tracker Spend hits the App Store

The team behind mileage-tracking app MileIQ, a company Microsoft acquired a few years ago, is out with a new application. This time, the focus isn’t on tracking miles, but rather expenses. The new app, simply called “Spend,” arrived on the App Store on Thursday, offering automatic expense tracking for work reimbursement purposes or for taxes. Spend doesn’t appear to be …

Embracing multimodality, Uber pioneers ride recommendations

For the first time, Uber will make contextual, personalized suggestions about the best way to get from point A to point B. The startup offers more than just cars now, and it’s starting to understand the tradeoffs between price, speed, convenience, and comfort amidst its multi-modal fleet. Most noticeably, you’ll now see JUMP bikes get premier billing right alongside Uber’s …

Spotify’s Premium app gets a big makeover

Spotify has given its app a big makeover, with a focus on making the experience better for its paying subscribers. The company has simplified the app’s navigation by reducing the numbers of buttons and has revamped its Search page, which now incorporates elements previously found in “Browse,” like favorite genres or music to match a mood. And it’s given its …

Why IGTV should go premium

It’s been four months since Facebook launched IGTV, with the goal of creating a destination for longer-form Instagram videos. Is it shaping up to be a high-profile flop, or could this be the company’s next multi-billion dollar business? IGTV, which features videos up to 60 minutes versus Instagram’s normal 60-second limit, hasn’t made much of a splash yet. Since there …

Sidestepping App Stores, Facebook Lite and Groups get Instant Games

HTML5 almost ruined Facebook when baking in the mobile web standard to speed up development slowed down the performance of the social network’s main iOS and Android apps. It eventually ditched HTML5, rebuilt the apps natively, and Facebook became one of the most powerful players in mobile. Now Facebook is giving HTML5 another shot as a way to expand its …

N26 faces criticism regarding its identification processes

Fintech startup N26 is growing quite rapidly. Building a startup is hard, but building a startup that manages your bank account is even harder given the increased scrutiny. German weekly magazine Wirtschaftswoche published an article that questioned N26’s identification processes. According to Wirtschaftswoche, it’s quite easy to create an account with a fake ID document. “One or two people got …

Memory raises $5M to bring AI to time tracking

Memory, a startup out of Norway and maker of time tracking app Timely, has raised $5 million in further funding. Leading the round is Concentric, and Investinor, with participation from existing investor SNÖ Ventures. The company had previously raised $1 million in 2016 from 500 Startups, and SNÖ. Founded by Mathias Mikkelsen, a designer by background and who I understand …

Google tweaks Android licensing terms in Europe to allow Google app unbundling — for a fee

Google has announced changes to the licensing model for its Android mobile operating system in Europe,  including introducing a fee for licensing some of its own brand apps, saying it’s doing so to comply with a major European antitrust ruling this summer. In July the region’s antitrust regulators hit Google with a recordbreaking $5BN fine for violations pertaining to Android, finding …

Macaw will curate Twitter for you, help expand your network

Twitter today inserts activity-based tweets into your timeline, alerting you to things like the popular tweets liked by people you follow, or those Twitter accounts that a lot of people in your network have just started to follow. These alerts can be useful, but their timing is sporadic and they can be easily missed. Plus, if you turn off Twitter’s …

Pokémon GO update bringing ‘mon from the Sinnoh region is live

If you’ve been laying off the Pokémon Go for a while due to a lack of new monsters, prepare to be glued to your phone again. Niantic is now adding pokémon from the rugged Sinnoh region that first appeared in 2007’s Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum games. Of course, it’s not so simple as a dump of a hundred new ‘mon …

Hinge is first dating app to actually measure real world success

Dating app Hinge is today launching a new feature aimed at improving its recommendations, based on whether or not matches had successful real-world dates. The feature may also help to address one of the major problems with today’s dating apps: that no one knows how well they actually work. After all, it’s one thing to get matches and have conversations, …

Winamp returns in 2019 to whip the llama’s ass harder than ever

The charmingly outdated media player Winamp is being reinvented as a platform-agnostic audio mobile app that brings together all your music, podcasts and streaming services to a single location. It’s an ambitious relaunch, but the company behind it says it’s still all about the millions-strong global Winamp community — and as proof, the original desktop app is getting an official …

Make your own phone with MakerPhone (some soldering required)

There’s no shortage of interesting electronics kits out there to occupy an idle Sunday, but with this one you get a phone out of the bargain. The MakerPhone is a kit looking for funds on Kickstarter that lets you assemble a working mobile phone from a number of boards and pieces, and the end result looks about as wild as …

U.S. lawmakers warn Canada to keep Huawei out of its 5G plans

In a letter addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio make a very public case that Canada should leave Chinese tech and telecom giant Huawei out of its plans to build a next-generation mobile network. “While Canada has strong telecommunication security safeguards in place, we have serious concerns that such safeguards are inadequate given …

Zyl is now a nostalgia-powered photo app

AI-powered photo management app Zyl is going back to the drawing board with a streamlined, more efficient redesign. The app is now focused on one thing only — resurfacing your old memories. Taking photos on a smartphone is now a daily habit. But what about looking back at photos you took one year, three years or even eight years ago? …

Facebook’s gaming hub Fb.gg launches into beta on Android

This summer, Facebook launched Fb.gg, its online gaming hub and Twitch competitor, designed to attract game streamers and their fans to watch videos on Facebook instead of on rival sites. The destination shows videos based on which games and streaming celebrities users follow, plus Liked Pages and Groups, and other featured suggestions of what to watch. Now, Fb.gg is expanding …

With TodayTix Presents, TodayTix is starting to produce its own live shows

Mobile ticketing app TodayTix is getting into the show production business with the launch of a new program called TodayTix Presents. While TodayTix is sometimes described as the mobile version of the TKTS booth where you can pick up last-minute tickets to Broadway shows, CEO Brian Fenty said that he sees the service’s real competitors as “anything you can do …

Half of all iOS devices now run iOS 12

Half of all devices are now running the latest version of the iOS mobile operating system, iOS 12, according to figures shared by Apple. On devices introduced in the last four years, that number is as high as 53 percent. And iOS 12 adoption is taking place more quickly than the last release did, Apple also notes. As we previously …

Facebook mistakenly deleted some people’s Live videos

This time instead of exposing users’ data, a Facebook bug erased it. A previously undisclosed Facebook glitch caused it to delete some users’ Live videos if they tried to post them to their Story and the News Feed after finishing their broadcast. Facebook wouldn’t say how many users or livestreams were impacted, but told the bug was intermittent and affected …

Instagram tests tapping instead of scrolling through posts, first in Explore

The effortless way you fast forward through Stories could be coming to more of Instagram . A screenshot from user Suprateek Bose shows Instagram “Introducing a new way to move through posts — Tap through posts, just like you tap through stories.” Now Instagram confirms to TechCrunch that it’s testing tap to advance within Explore, and a spokesperson provided this …

Facebook rolls out 3D photos that use AI to simulate depth

What if you could peek behind what’s in your photos, like you’re moving your head to see what’s inside a window? That’s the futuristic promise of Facebook 3D photos. After announcing the feature at F8 in May, Facebook is now rolling out 3D photos to add make-believe depth to your iPhone portrait mode shots. Shoot one, tap the new 3D photos …

Apple needs a feature like Google’s Call Screen

Google just one-upped Apple in a significant way by addressing a problem that’s plaguing U.S. cellphone owners: spam calls. The company’s new Pixel 3 flagship Android smartphone is first to introduce a new call screening feature that leverages the built-in Google Assistant. The screening service transcribes the caller’s request in real-time, allowing you to decide whether or not to pick …

Robinhood cuts trading fees, grows profits with in-house clearing

As zero-commission stock trading app Robinhood starts preparing to IPO, an engineering investment two years in the making could accelerate its quest for profitability. Most stock broker services have to pay an external clearing house to reconcile trades between buyers and sellers. Now with 6 million accounts, that added up to a huge cost for Robinhood since it doesn’t demand a …

Google files appeal against Europe’s $5BN antitrust fine for Android

Google has lodged its legal appeal against the European Commission’s €4.34 billion (~$5BN) antitrust ruling against its Android mobile OS, according to Reuters — the first step in a process that could keep its lawyers busy for years to come. “We have now filed our appeal of the EC’s Android decision at the General Court of the EU,” it told the news …

Google ups the Pixel 3’s camera game with Top Shot, group selfies and more

With the Pixel 2, Google introduced one of the best smartphone cameras ever made. It’s fitting, then, that the Pixel 3 builds on an already pretty perfect camera, adding some bells and whistles sure to please mobile photographers rather than messing with a good thing. On paper, the Pixel 3’s camera doesn’t look much different than its recent forebear. But, because …

Google Lens comes to the Pixel 3 camera, can identify products

Google Lens, the technology that combines the smartphone camera’s ability to see the world around you with A.I. technology, is coming to the Pixel 3 camera, Google announced this morning. That means you’ll be able to point your phone’s camera at something – like a movie poster to get local theater listings, or even look up at actor’s bio, or …

Google unveils the Pixel 3 XL, with a 6.3-inch screen and an $899 price tag

As part of this morning’s official unveiling of the Pixel 3, Google also announced its larger sibling, the Pixel 3 XL. The news wasn’t a surprise, given the photos that leaked months ago (something that Google itself acknowledged by kicking off the event with a little montage of videos responding to early details). And Engadget’s Richard Lai had already gotten …

Google’s Pixel phones will soon get mobile Smart Compose in Gmail

Google today announced that its Pixel phones will soon get support for Smart Compose in Gmail. Smart Compose automatically finishes your sentences for you as you type, based on what Google knows about how you and others write similar sentences. Smart Compose can also auto-complete addresses for you. Google first launched this feature with its redesigned Gmail for the web, …