Mobile

Smartphone sales expected to get a slight bump in 2020

Last year saw global smartphone sales decline for the first time since analysts started tracking such things. In Gartner’s case, that comprises a full 11 years, as figures dropped 2% for 2019. Follo

Flipboard expands into local news

Flipboard, the personalized news aggregation app used by 145 million users per month, is today launching a new feature aimed at bringing local news coverage to 23 cities across the U.S. and Canada, in

This Week in Apps: Apple antitrust issues come to Congress, subscription apps boom, Tencent takes on TikTok

Welcome back to ThisWeek in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever wit

Vine reboot Byte officially launches

Two years after Vine’s co-founder Dom Hofmann announced he was building a successor to the short-form video app, today Byte makes its debut on iOS and Android. Byte lets you shoot or upload and

The Pentagon pushes back on Huawei ban in bid for ‘balance’

Huawei may have just found itself an ally in the most unexpected of places. According to a new report out of The Wall Street Journal, both the Defense and Treasury Departments are pushing back on a Co

Aki acquires Eyeview’s ad personalization tech

Video advertising company Eyeview shut down in December, but its technology will live on thanks to an acquisition by Aki Technologies. Aki CEO Scott Swanson told me that he’s anticipating seriou

NBC partners with Snapchat on four daily shows for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Snapchat and NBC Olympics are again teaming up to produce customized Olympics content for users in the U.S. — this time, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer. The companies had previously wor

Yo Facebook & Instagram, stop showing Stories reruns

If I watch a Story cross-posted from Instagram to Facebook on either of the apps, it should appear as “watched” at the back of the Stories row on the other app. Why waste my time showing m

Octi launches a social network built around augmented reality

Octi has created a new social network that uses augmented reality to connect the act of seeing your friends in real life with viewing digital content, like their favorite YouTube videos and Spotify so

2020 will be a moment of truth for foldable devices

Phones were not the centerpiece at the recently wrapped Consumer Electronics Show; I’ll probably repeat this point a few more times over the course of this piece, just so we’re clear. This is due,

Huawei’s answer to life after Google Maps? TomTom

Losing access to Google software and services understandably threw Huawei for a loop. The Chinese hardware giant has clearly been working on a contingency plan to deal with the loss of access to thing

AppsFlyer raises $210M for ad attribution and more

AppsFlyer has raised a massive Series D of $210 million, led by General Atlantic. Founded in 2011, the company is best known for mobile ad attribution — allowing advertisers to see which campaigns a

Samsung invests $500M to set up a smartphone display plant in India

Samsung, which once led India’s smartphone market, is investing $500 million in its India operations to set up a manufacturing plant on the outskirts of New Delhi to produce displays. The company di

TechCrunch’s Top 10 investigative reports from 2019

Facebook spying on teens, Twitter accounts hijacked by terrorists, and sexual abuse imagery found on Bing and Giphy were amongst the ugly truths revealed by TechCrunch’s investigating reporting

Instagram drops IGTV button, but only 1% downloaded the app

At most, 7 million of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users have downloaded its standalone IGTV app in the 18 months since launch. And now, Instagram’s main app is removing the annoying orange

Marijuana delivery giant Eaze may go up in smoke

The first cannabis startup to raise big money in Silicon Valley is in danger of burning out. TechCrunch has learned that pot delivery middleman Eaze has seen unannounced layoffs, and its depleted cash

44% of TikTok’s all-time downloads were in 2019, but app hasn’t figured out monetization

Despite the U.S. government’s concerns over TikTok, which most recently led to the U.S. Navy banning service members’ use of the app, TikTok had a stellar 2019 in terms of both downloads a

Apple buys edge-based AI startup Xnor.ai for a reported $200M

Xnor.ai, spun off in 2017 from the nonprofit Allen Institute for AI, has reportedly been acquired by Apple for about $200 million. A source close to the company corroborated a report this morning from

Mobile payment app Lydia raises $45 million round led by Tencent

French startup Lydia is raising a $45 million Series B round (€40 million). Tencent is leading the round with existing investors CNP Assurances, XAnge and New Alpha also participating. If you live i

App stores saw record 204 billion app downloads in 2019, consumer spend of $120 billion

Consumers downloaded a record 204 billion apps in 2019, up 6% from 2018 and up 45% since 2016, and spent $120 billion on apps, subscriptions and other in-app spending in the past year. The average mob
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