11 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

It’s been an exciting week for us here at TechCrunch with the Hackathon, Disrupt SF and Apple’s product launch all taking place within a few days. Here are 11 of our best stories from the past week (9/6-9/12).

1. Apple had a number of new product releases this week. We introduced you to the Apple Watch, the company’s highly anticipated first foray into the world of wearable tech. We were blown away by the materials, design and interface, and gave you a hands on preview of the new device. Apple resurrected the scroll wheel with the release of the Apple Watch, and it will be interesting to see how the high-end market of the watch performs.

2. Darrell Etherington and Matthew Panzarino attended the Apple release event in Cupertino on Tuesday, and brought you real time updates on our live blog as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ were released. We gave you a hands on, in depth preview of the iPhone 6 and 6+. Matthew Panzarino poses the question of what will happen to existing iPhone models, now that the new models have been released. Read his piece called “What Is The Fate Of Apple’s iPhone 5C?” 

3. Apple revealed its mobile payments solution Apple Pay. As many expected, it featured NFC and Touch ID. We gave you a demo about how the service functions and some insight on what this could mean for the future of how we make purchases.

4. We learned more about the convergence of the sports and tech when industry leaders Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban took the stage at Disrupt SF. Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, discussed his visions of opportunity that exists for Detroit. Later on, Mark Cuban talked about his drive to fund companies and how his competitive instincts extend into his business persona. Both NBA team owners had advice for Steve Ballmer.

5. Peter Thiel spoke with Alexia Tsotsis on stage at Disrupt, discussing the future of Silicon Valley. He even tweeted for the first time! In a backstage interview, Thiel gave insight into his investment strategies.

6. Ron Miller wrote a piece called “Forget The Apple Watch, Think Drones In The Enterprise” in which he discusses Aaron Levie and Mark Benioff’s perspectives about drones and wearables and their place in practical consumer use. Miller suggests that despite practical and regulatory issues, the potential for certain industries to use drones is growing – citing the views of our Disrupt panelists.

7. We announced the grand prize winner of the Disrupt SF 2014 Hackathon. Shower With Friends, a hardware hack that helps you manage your water consumption by monitoring your shower’s flow rate. Accompanying the hardware hack is a mobile app that lets you compete against your friends as to who can take the shortest shower. The winner of Disrupt SF 2014 is Alfred, the first service layer on the shared economy that manages your routine across multiple on-demand and local services (like Handybook, Instacart, and the local dry cleaner). Members build a subscription to make their routine automatic, letting Alfred coordinate services in their home.

8.  Square has raised another $100 million in capital. The company authorized 6.4 million Series E shares, according to the document, at a per-share price of $15.46. The new share price values Square at $6 billion, up from its recent $5 billion valuation that was set during a secondary offering of its shares earlier this year.

9. After more than a year of legal troubles, Snapchat has finally settled its lawsuit with ousted co-founder Reggie Brown. Jordan Crook gives you the details.

10. Google Hangouts received Voice integration and free VoIP.

11.  John Biggs gave you a spotlight on the Palate Smart Grill, a gadget that launched at this years’ Disrupt SF. The product will cook almost any food perfectly based on weight, composition, and desired done-ness and can be controlled via your mobile device. On stage at Disrupt, SwiftKey also showed off its iOS 8 keyboard for the first time.

Other big stories that were published this week include Twitter’s official announcement about the “Buy” button, PayPal’s Braintree embracing Bitcoin, an explanation of how the Feds found The Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht, and the launch of Kevin Rose’s Tiiny app.

For a full list of speakers at Disrupt SF 2014, check out this gallery. We also put together a gallery with some of the best quotes from Disrupt.