Apps

  • Facebook tests turning comment reels into message threads

    Facebook tests turning comment reels into message threads

    Comments on Facebook posts can get quite chatty, so Facebook is trying a new way to help you keep up. Some users now see comment reels appearing as persistently visible chat windows that pop up on their desktop versions of the site, just like traditional message threads.  TechCrunch reader Russell Smith sent us this screenshot. Facebook confirmed to us this is a new feature test on desktop for… Read More

  • Hyper News’ offline video app lets you catch up on the headlines during your commute

    Hyper News’ offline video app lets you catch up on the headlines during your commute

    A new video app from Hyper wants to help you catch up on the latest news during your commute. What’s interesting about Hyper News, compared with apps from traditional news publishers, is that it has been specifically designed so you can watch its videos even when there is no internet connection available. This makes it ideal for people who travel on the subway to work, or for… Read More

  • Hope is an app for millennial women to keep their BFFs close — but not too close

    Hope is an app for millennial women to keep their BFFs close — but not too close

    There are plenty of apps out there that purport to keep you ‘safe’. Apps that immediately phone your main contacts when you are threatened or attacked. Apps that allow you to share your location with key contacts. But for modern women, especially in big urban cities like New York or London who would really rather not share literally all that stuff and perhaps find it all a bit… Read More

  • Google now lets developers write apps for the Assistant on Google Home

    Google now lets developers write apps for the Assistant on Google Home

    Google today announced that all developers (and not just those in its private preview program), can start bringing their applications and services to the Google Assistant, starting with what the company calls “conversation actions” on Google Home. This allows developers to create back-and-forth conversations with users through the Assistant and users can simply start these… Read More

  • Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana gets a revamp on Android and iOS

    Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana gets a revamp on Android and iOS

    In the battle of the virtual assistants, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana, the latter hasn’t had much success off the Windows 10 platform — its iOS app is ranked No. 1,295 on the top charts, for example. In an effort to give its assistant broader appeal, Microsoft is today announcing a redesign of its smartphone application, which is now focused on… Read More

  • Google’s Daydream VR just got some new games: Here’s how they rank

    Google’s Daydream VR just got some new games: Here’s how they rank

    The primary weakness of Google’s Daydream VR is still a lack of content, but the young platform got a bunch of new software today, including a sizeable list of new games. I tried out a bunch, and here’s a look at what I thought of a few and which ones might help further popularize Android’s built-in VR environment. 1. Gunjack: End of Shift This sci-fi shooter is a follow-up… Read More

  • Secret founder returns to anonymous publishing with launch of IO

    Secret founder returns to anonymous publishing with launch of IO

    Secret co-founder David Byttow said his shuttered startup would make a return of sorts, tweeting as much in November. Byttow launched the revived anonymous publishing app as IO on Thursday morning, with a different approach that has more in common with Medium than mobile social apps like Twitter (and with Bold, the startup he launched as a long-form content publishing platform for enterprise… Read More

  • Pokémon Go is officially teaming with Starbucks for 7,800 new Gyms and PokéStops

    Pokémon Go is officially teaming with Starbucks for 7,800 new Gyms and PokéStops

    Pokémon Go’s next big sponsor partner in the U.S. is Starbucks, which is going to host new gyms and PokéStops at 7,800 company-run Starbucks stores in the U.S. In addition to the new in-game locales, Starbucks is also making a Pokémon Go edition Frappuccino to celebrate the tie-up. What does Pokémon Go taste like in sugared coffee drink form? I have no idea, but I will definitely… Read More

  • Super Mario Run first month revenue projected at over $70M

    Super Mario Run first month revenue projected at over $70M

    Nintendo is putting Super Mario Run out for everyone on December 15, which is just one short week away. The new mobile game is the iconic plumber’s first official outing on iOS or Android, and it’s likely to be a big win for Nintendo, even as a free release with in-app purchase as its primary sales model. Played might not pay anything up front for Super Mario Run and some initial… Read More

  • Mobile free roaming space sim ‘Galaxy on Fire 3 – Manticore’ is out now

    Mobile free roaming space sim ‘Galaxy on Fire 3 – Manticore’ is out now

    Perhaps you’re like me and you wasted (or spent wisely) hours and hours of your youth playing Escape Velocity and its various sequels on an early Mac. If you are in that group, than the Galaxy on Fire series is probably no stranger, either. And if neither of these games sounds familiar, then I’ve got good news – there’s still time, and the new Galaxy on Fire 3… Read More

  • Uber spells out what could cause riders to lose access in new policy

    Uber spells out what could cause riders to lose access in new policy

    Uber updated its Community Guidelines Thursday, and now the term “community” is more accurately applied, because for the first time, the ride-hailing company is publishing a policy outlining why riders can lose their access to the service – previously, this was only spelled out for the driver side of the equation. To be clear, Uber always had rules in place for riders… Read More

  • Waggle raises $2.3 million because the internet doesn’t have enough funny animal videos

    Waggle raises $2.3 million because the internet doesn’t have enough funny animal videos

    A startup called Waggle raised $2.3 million in seed funding to become the go-to destination for animal lovers and pet parents online, and for sharing all the cute pups and madcap kitteh adventures they have to offer. The New York City-based startup was incubated at Broadway Video Ventures, the venture arm of the production company behind premium comedy shows like 30 Rock, Portlandia… Read More

  • Breather raises $40 million for stylish workspaces on-demand

    Breather raises $40 million for stylish workspaces on-demand

    A mobile app that lets users find and book stylish workspaces on-demand, Breather, raised a Series C round of $40 million. The funding brings Breather’s total capital raised to $73 million. Menlo Ventures led the round joined by Valar Ventures, RRE Ventures, Slow Ventures and Real Ventures. Menlo Ventures’ Managing Director Venky Ganesan told TechCrunch, in an e-mail, that… Read More

  • Starbucks adds a virtual barrista, sous vide eggs and a Tencent partnership to its menu

    Starbucks adds a virtual barrista, sous vide eggs and a Tencent partnership to its menu

    At the Starbucks Biennial Investor Conference today, the coffee and retail giant revealed some plans for 2017, including new foods comings to its cafes, and features heading to its incredibly popular mobile app. Notably absent among its announcements were any media and entertainment-related plans. In terms of its tech, Starbucks announced artificial intelligence-enabled features will soon… Read More

  • Alto’s next mobile gaming adventure is an Odyssey

    Alto’s next mobile gaming adventure is an Odyssey

    Alto’s Adventure is still one of my favorite games to pick up and play on the commute, on the airplane or basically anywhere I have both my iPhone and a few minutes to spare. The endless snowboarding adventure is one part mobile game and one part “in the zone” chill-out experience. But now there’s going to be a follow-up, and it’ll be more than an adventure… Read More

  • Tread connects car nuts via plate numbers

    Tread connects car nuts via plate numbers

    It is not uncommon in the automotive enthusiast community to admire another’s ride. The best most people could do was give a thumbs-up as they passed or leave a note on a parked car’s windshield. But no more; this is 2016. Today Tread launches, an app that connects enthusiasts using their license plate numbers. There are many questions a person might have about the wisdom of an… Read More

  • Niantic confirms new Pokémon are coming

    Niantic confirms new Pokémon are coming

    Niantic, the creator of the massively popular smartphone game, Pokémon Go, has confirmed that new Pokémon characters will be unveiled this Monday. “Keep an eye out on our social media channels on December 12th for details about the first addition of more Pokémon into Pokémon GO,” said the company statement.   The augmented reality game, which allows people to catch Pokémon in… Read More

  • Sequoia-backed video chat app Tribe spammed its customers’ address books

    Sequoia-backed video chat app Tribe spammed its customers’ address books

    Can mobile app startups please stop building SMS invite systems into their apps already? The latest example of a venture-backed startup getting dinged by customers for having spammed their entire address book without permission is Sequoia portfolio company Tribe. The video chat app hit the App Store last year, and had been well-received until now. With a number of clever twists on standard… Read More

  • November 2016 was the best month ever for App Store sales

    November 2016 was the best month ever for App Store sales

    Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller announced today that the App Store had hit a new milestone. According to a statement he posted to Twitter, the App Store had a record-breaking month in terms of sales this November. Sales and download numbers were not provided, however, which makes it more difficult to put this announcement into perspective compared with prior… Read More

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