Sarah Perez

Sarah currently works as a writer for TechCrunch, after having previously spent over three years at ReadWriteWeb. Prior to becoming a professional blogger, Sarah worked in I.T. across a number of industries, including banking, retail and software.

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  • Microsoft tries its hand at a news bot with Rowe

    Microsoft tries its hand at a news bot with Rowe

    Like everyone else these days, Microsoft sure loves its bots. Now, the company has rolled out its own news-finding bot called “Rowe,” who lives inside the latest version of Microsoft’s Bing-powered personalized news reading app, News Pro. Rowe is an experiment with helping you keep up with the news that matches your current interests. You can ask the bot to show you news… Read More

  • Fast-growing online dollar store Hollar launches its own private label goods

    Fast-growing online dollar store Hollar launches its own private label goods

    Amid the shift of commerce to online stores like Amazon, one huge segment of the industry has been overlooked: dollar stores. Many assumed that’s because with retail price points that low, there’s little room for profitability – after all, if dollar stores could be a successful online business, wouldn’t they already be hugely popular? Actually, they might be heading… Read More

  • Twitter moves away from 140 characters, ditches confusing and restrictive rules

    Twitter moves away from 140 characters, ditches confusing and restrictive rules

    Partially confirming earlier reports, Twitter announced this morning plans that will begin to distance it from its strict adherence to the rule that tweets can only contain 140 characters. The company says that, among other changes designed to welcome new users to its service, it will no longer count media attachments and @names in replies toward your 140 allowed characters. However, links… Read More

  • Amazon no longer offers price match refunds on anything but TVs

    Amazon no longer offers price match refunds on anything but TVs

    Amazon has quietly ended its price protection policy on all products except for televisions. The change to the company’s policy comes at a time when a handful of startups have launched to help consumers automate the process of requesting refunds when prices change on online sites, including Amazon and dozens of other e-commerce stores. For example, newcomer Earny recently debuted… Read More

  • Instagram’s code hints at option to pay to boost posts

    Instagram’s code hints at option to pay to boost posts

    We’ve known for some time that Instagram will soon be introducing business profiles, analytics and features intended to improve the ad-buying experience on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing network. Now, a number of other undocumented, non-public features have been uncovered, following a decompiling of the latest Instagram application, including one that hints that Instagram plans to offer… Read More

  • Google plans to bring password-free logins to Android apps by year-end

    Google plans to bring password-free logins to Android apps by year-end

    Google’s plan to eliminate passwords in favor of systems that take into account a combination of signals – like your typing patterns, your walking patterns, your current location, and more – will be available to Android developers by year-end, assuming all goes well in testing this year. In an under-the-radar announcement Friday afternoon at the Google I/O developer… Read More

  • New subscription service Circle Go lets parents manage kids’ devices outside the home

    New subscription service Circle Go lets parents manage kids’ devices outside the home

    The company behind a device that helps parents enforce their home’s internet rules and restrictions, Circle with Disney, launched last winter in partnership with Disney for its included media content, will now allow parents to manage children’s devices outside the home. The company announced this morning the launch of a subscription-based companion service called Circle Go… Read More

  • Google and Levi’s team up on a “connected” jacket that lets you answer calls, use maps and more

    Google and Levi’s team up on a “connected” jacket that lets you answer calls, use maps and more

    At Google’s I/O conference today, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) research unit offered an update on its interactive textiles project unveiled last year, Project Jacquard. ATAP’s Ivan Poupyrev announced that the company was collaborating with iconic clothing company, Levi’s, to launch a “connected” smart jacket aimed at urban cyclists… Read More

  • Microsoft brings Skype to businesses’ iOS and Android apps

    Microsoft brings Skype to businesses’ iOS and Android apps

    Microsoft is further opening up Skype to businesses. On Thursday, the company launched its Skype for Business SDK – tools which allow iOS and Android developers to integrate Skype’s messaging, audio and voice capabilities into their own mobile applications. The idea is to allow Skype to power the communications experience inside applications, so developers can focus on building… Read More

  • Houzz wins “Best App” at the inaugural Google Play Awards

    Houzz wins “Best App” at the inaugural Google Play Awards

    Interior design and decorating resource Houzz is the overall best Android app of the year, according to Google, which this evening announced the results of the first-ever Google Play Awards at its developer conference, Google I/O. While in previous years, the company had rounded up large numbers of apps for “Best of” lists, the new Google Play Awards instead follows… Read More

  • Android apps can now react to your environment

    Android apps can now react to your environment

    What if the apps on your phone knew where you were, what you were doing, what’s nearby, and even what the weather was like outside, and then combined this information to react intelligently to your current situation? Would that be creepy or amazing? We will soon find out, it seems. At this week’s Google I/O conference, the company introduced new tools for app developers that… Read More

  • Google Family Library goes live this summer, will allow families to share Google Play purchases

    Google Family Library goes live this summer, will allow families to share Google Play purchases

    Apple device owners in the same family can share content like music, videos, e-books and apps through iCloud’s Family Sharing. Now, it appears that Android owners will have a similar option. Just ahead of Google’s keynote at its I/O developer conference yesterday, the company updated developer documentation with new details about a feature called Family Library, which will allow up… Read More

  • Adobe debuts Spark, a suite of mobile and web tools that lets anyone create visual content

    Adobe debuts Spark, a suite of mobile and web tools that lets anyone create visual content

    Adobe this morning launched a new suite of apps called Adobe Spark, which allow both web and mobile users to create and share visual content – like posts for social media, graphics, web stories, and animated videos. On mobile, the Spark collection is effectively an upgrade and rebranding of a trio of apps Adobe already operated – its Adobe Post app becomes Spark Post; Adobe… Read More

  • Google takes a new approach to native apps with Instant Apps for Android

    Google takes a new approach to native apps with Instant Apps for Android

    Mobile apps often provide a better user experience than browser-based web apps, but you first have to find them, download them, and then try not to forget you installed them. Now, Google wants us to rethink what mobile apps are and how we interact with them. Instant Apps, a new Android feature Google announced at its I/O developer conference today but plans to roll out very slowly, wants… Read More

  • Google Play installs reached 65 billion last year

    Google Play installs reached 65 billion last year

    How big is the Android app ecosystem? Google gave an update on this today at its Google I/O Developer conference, when VP of Engineering Dave Burke announced 65 billion installs from Google Play over the past year. “There were 65 billion installs in the last year alone. And I’m just in constantly in awe of all the amazing apps and services that’s fueling this,”… Read More

  • Google unveils its Amazon Echo competitor, a smart speaker called Google Home

    Google unveils its Amazon Echo competitor, a smart speaker called Google Home

    At its annual I/O developer conference, Google today unveiled a new hardware device and competitor to Amazon Echo, a portable speaker powered by voice assistance technology called Google Home. The device was widely rumored to have been in development under the codename “Chirp,” and the final product name was recently confirmed by The New York Times. Google Home Features Like… Read More

  • Netflix launches its own speed test website, Fast.com

    Netflix launches its own speed test website, Fast.com

    Netflix wants you to know how fast your internet connection is, and has today launched a new website, Fast.com, that will give you that information. Basically, it’s a simplified speed test website that only focuses on download speed – as this is the metric that determines your video quality. The goal with the site is to help you figure out who’s to blame when you have a… Read More

  • Swiftkey’s newest keyword app, Swiftmoji, suggests emoji as you type

    Swiftkey’s newest keyword app, Swiftmoji, suggests emoji as you type

    SwiftKey, the smart keyboard app maker acquired by Microsoft for $250 million earlier this year, is now testing its next product, a predictive keyboard app called Swiftmoji. As you may have guessed by the name, this new app focuses on helping you quickly find and type the appropriate emoji to complement your text-based conversations. The app has just launched into a private beta test on… Read More

  • 117 million LinkedIn emails and passwords from a 2012 hack just got posted online

    117 million LinkedIn emails and passwords from a 2012 hack just got posted online

    A LinkedIn hack from back in 2012 is still causing problems for its users. The company announced this morning that another data set from the hack, which contains over 100 million LinkedIn members’ emails and passwords, has now been released. In response to this new data dump, LinkedIn says it’s working to validate the accounts and contact affected users so they can reset their… Read More

  • Facebook blocked in Vietnam over the weekend due to citizen protests

    Facebook blocked in Vietnam over the weekend due to citizen protests

    Facebook appears to have been blocked in Vietnam as a part of a government-imposed crackdown on social media, amid public protests over an environmental disaster attributed to toxic discharges from a steel complex built by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics. Dissidents are blaming wastewater from the steel plant for a mass fish death at aquatic farms and in waters off the country’s… Read More

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