Jay Donovan

Jay writes for TechCrunch and has been covering startups for the blog as a long-time freelancer since 2009. You can reach him at jay at techcrunch dot com.

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  • Roland Introduces V-Drums Friend Jam

    Roland, makers of all things MIDI and beyond, have a new product out called V-Drums® Friend Jam. The software lets you connect your Roland V-Drums (electronic, MIDI drums) to your Mac or PC with a MIDI interface (not included) and, in the words of the press release, “allows V-Drums users across the globe to interact with each other while improving their drumming skills with play-along… Read More

  • iPhly Radio Control For iPhone

    Ari Krupnik’s Kickstarter concept is about to take flight (oooof – can you believe I dropped that one). He just needs to round up another $5700 or so to bring the iPhly Radio Control to life. This hardware device works with his accompanying iPhone app – already live in the iTunes app store – to bring natural hand motion controls to your RC plane or car. Read More

  • Video: Alex Skolnick Demos AmpKit For iPad

    Those of you who have witnessed some of my “Panel Dome” basement guitar demos will be relieved to see an actual guitarist demo AmpKit’s software. It was a treat to hang out with Skolnick, who plays lead guitar for metal shredders Testament as well as the jazzy Alex Skolnick Trio, and hear him play. In this final segment of my SXSW 2011 coverage, Alex took a few moments to… Read More

  • Rock Star On The Outside…Gadget Junkie On The Inside: An Interview With Richard Patrick From FILTER (NSFW Language)

    Late at night, in the bowels of the Austin Music Hall, toward the end of the SXSW Music Festival 2011, I sat in a small nondescript room with Richard Patrick, the lead singer and leader of the rock band FILTER. While the noise-canceling on my makeshift camera rig and mic may have been kind enough to convince you otherwise, trust me…there was a piercing rock performance happening on the… Read More

  • Meridian For iPhone: In-store, turn-by-turn maps to merchandise

    Before you download Meridian for iPhone, you should know that it probably isn’t going to work in your town just yet, unless of course the town you live in is Portland OR. However, I still recommend trying out this new-fangled search app  for a few reasons: 1. It’s free. 2. They’ve set up one of their store locations to work even if you are not in Portland so you can get the… Read More

  • CrunchGear: "Gadget-Talk" With Marc Friedman From THE SLIP

    Bar/None recording artists The Slip (as well as their many side projects) frequently travel nationally and internationally. Therefore Marc Friedman, the band’s multi-instrumentalist with whom I shared an airplane row for the flight out of SXSW, was the perfect musician-on-the-go to investigate for possible “gadget addictions”. An admitted “late bloomer” to the… Read More

  • Sony To Challenge MacBook Air With A Couple Of Ultralight VAIOs?

    One existing as an ultralight laptop with the ability to dock to a larger station for desktop replacement peripherals and the other as an 11.6 inch netbook running Chrome—rumors are out that Sony is planning to unleash these two ultra-portable VAIOs on the market in the near future. The former, known as the “Hybrid PC”, has specs like: a Core i7, an SSD, HDMI 1.4, WiDi and… Read More

  • CrunchGear Interview: "Gadget-Talk" With Cody Votolato From The Band TELEKINESIS

    While the SXSW Interactive Conference concluded days ago and is likely only a faint, buzzed memory in the minds of its tech-savvy attendees, the Music side of SXSW just closed shop today. I made it almost all the way through the epic music showcase, leaving within a few hours of  the brutal, bitter end but not before speaking with several musicians about the ways that mobile devices have… Read More

  • Video: Q&A With Red Laser's Rob Veres and PayPal's Laura Chambers

    Here in Austin, Texas the Interactive portion of SXSW, with the exception of the trade show, has come to an end. The conference rages on though as the music portion is really just getting underway. I can hear the music pumping outside my hotel room as I write this. But before the interactive side completed yesterday, I attended a fairly interesting panel called “What’s In Your… Read More

  • Video: Loopt's Sam Altman Gives “One Year Update” At SXSW 2011

    While there may not have been a cohesive theme to this year’s SXSW Interactive Conference in the way Location Based Services seemed to dominate SXSWi 2010, it’s important to note that many of these location-oriented apps and services are still around and flourishing. I took the opportunity to reach out to Sam Altman, founder of Loopt, and pick his brain about how things have… Read More

  • Video: Q&A With Yobongo's Caleb Elston At SXSW 2011

    A while back, MG told you about Caleb Elston’s new location-based chat app and service called Yobongo which lets you chat with people in your general vicinity. Creepy for some, cool for others, it nevertheless is a new way to communicate with people you may or may not know. I caught up with Caleb at SXSW and he was able to give a few more details about the “Affinity… Read More

  • Another Group Messaging App At SXSW 2011 – Grouped{in}

    Group Text/Messaging is all the rage at SXSW 2011. One app in the genre that’s making its debut this week is Appconomy’s Grouped{in}. Just getting its app store approval on Friday, Grouped{in} surfaces with many features of similar apps like Beluga and GroupMe (group messaging, conference call, etc), however according to Appconomy’s President Brian Magierski, it has at least… Read More

  • Video: Foursquare's Naveen Selvadurai Gives "One Year Update" At SXSW 2011

    At last year’s SXSW I caught a moment of Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai’s time to briefly chat about the company and their plans for the upcoming year. We were able to speak again this year and Naveen gave me the update on what has changed for the company since our last conversation. The short answer is that both the company and user-base have grown significantly. When I… Read More

  • Video: Peter Vesterbacka Gives The Angry Birds Update. A Franchise Is Flourishing!

    I ran into Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka again at SXSW 2011 and he was kind enough to give me the update since I saw him last at the Mobile World Congress. Dude is everywhere…and busy. Here’s the short version, but watch the video below to get the info straight from the Mighty Eagle himself! Reached 100 million downloads Angry Birds Rio arrives March 22 Raised 42 million in Series… Read More

  • SXSW 2011: Initial Thoughts?

    Rolling into Austin, TX yesterday on a warm, sunny afternoon for SXSW 2011 was a nice change of pace for me considering that the typical mid-March day in the Midwest is cold and rainy. Fortunately, multiple preparatory tasks, like badge collection, registration and the like did not prevent me from wandering around the conference and city. Read More

  • Video: Hands-on with IK Multimedia's iRig Mic and VocaLive App

    IK Multimedia’s VocaLive app for recording live audio hits the iTunes App Store sometime today. Coupled with the soon-to-ship iRig Mic, the two make a formidable pair for creating many kinds of audio recordings: vocal performance, field recordings, etc. Video below. Read More

  • Gowalla 3 Launches For Android Today

    Adding existing features like third-party check-in and better photo support, the Austin based company updates the Android version of their location software today. Gowalla co-founder and CEO Josh Williams told me in a quick phone call that he feels like “we’ve created a better experience for our Android app than we even have for the iPhone version.” Strategically, supporting… Read More

  • Gadg-Art: Love It, But Don't Really Use It.

    It looks like a tiny bugle. Maybe a new way to measure shots for a drink? Maybe a Cracker Jack toy? A fancy oil funnel? A tiny phonograph horn designed by Eero Saarinen? A mod megaphone? An egg separator? A microscope?  A straw for Tony Montana-style mountains of blow? A wicked monocle?  Read More

  • Video: Metaio Shows How New Mobile Hardware Benefits AR Performance

    Shortly before the Mobile World Congress 2011, German Augmented Reality (AR) company Metaio launched a short Printer Demo to show some of the more practical uses for AR technology, namely instructional demonstrations. At the event itself, the team took a moment to show me a different demo illustrating how new hardware and chipsets provided by their partnership with ST Ericsson, will… Read More

  • Video: Interview with Opera's Jon Von Tetzchner

    Back in the day, before the iPhone, before Android, before Webkit, before Skyfire, when we suffered through mobile web experiences using Pocket IE or worse yet maybe a preinstalled Motorola WAP 2.0 browser (dark times my friends), there was a bright and shining star that would aid those in need. That star was Opera. Its two flagship mobile browsers—Opera Mobile and Opera Mini—were… Read More