Mobile

The apps, platforms and businesses redefining how we use computers

  • Operator fuses bots with humans to build cyborg shopping experts

    Operator fuses bots with humans to build cyborg shopping experts

    Big purchases are scary to make online without anyone there to quell your fears and answer questions. Operator’s app wants to give you the same peace of mind, not with mechanical chat bot responses, but through real humans with knowledge about whatever you’re buying. Today Operator 2.0 launches with a new Discovery tab where curators assemble recommendations about their… Read More

  • Yik Yak yearns to be local, not just anonymous

    Yik Yak yearns to be local, not just anonymous

    Anonymity has proven a dangerous path for startups like Secret, so Yik Yak is pushing a soft pivot towards connection with people close by. You can still share anonymous quips on the sagging college app, but now it’s forcing you to add a handle and photo. Then it wants you to post status updates about what you’re doing that day, and browse and contact nearby Yakkers. Changing course… Read More

  • Facebook fights Messenger spam with Asimov’s three rules of bots

    Facebook fights Messenger spam with Asimov’s three rules of bots

    The big risk of Facebook launching the Messenger platform was that spammy bots could drown out your friends. Now Facebook is formalizing rules to prevent that because before, there were none. Messenger API experiences may only respond to users who initiate conversations. They can only reply within 24 hours, and once more after that for reengagement. Subscription Messaging that requires an… Read More

  • UnionPay’s mobile payments land in North America with Canada debut

    UnionPay’s mobile payments land in North America with Canada debut

    China’s UnionPay is bringing its mobile payment system to North America, starting with a launch today in Canada. The UnionPay International subsidiary of China’s interbank network in China, which creates a unified debit and credit card payment network for the country’s banks. UnionPay is actually the third-largest payment network in the world, behind Visa and MasterCard, owing… Read More

  • Peer-to-peer payment app Cookies launches in Germany

    Peer-to-peer payment app Cookies launches in Germany

    If you’re reading this article and live in the U.S., you might not realize that Venmo, Square Cash, Facebook Messenger payments and other similar services only work in the U.S. In many countries, such as Germany, most people still have to rely on wire transfers and IBANs to send money to their friends. German startup Cookies wants to make peer-to-peer payments as easy as 1-2-3. It is… Read More

  • Google launches Duo video-calling app, a dull cross-OS FaceTime rival

    Google launches Duo video-calling app, a dull cross-OS FaceTime rival

    Can Google spring back from its social failures with a bare-bones video-calling app that unites iOS and Android users? Today it’s launching Duo, which lets you video call people one-on-one via their phone number. The problem is they’ll have to download the app but won’t get any bells and whistles or the ability to connect with Google Chat, Hangouts, Spaces, the upcoming… Read More

  • Pokémon Go cracks down on cheaters with lifetime bans

    Pokémon Go cracks down on cheaters with lifetime bans

    Pokémon Go cheaters will now be permanently banned from playing the popular game, according to updated wording in the game’s terms of service. Niantic Labs, the game’s developer, writes that accounts can be banned for cheating, including by “falsifying your location, using emulators, modified or unofficial software and/or accessing Pokémon GO clients or backends in an… Read More

  • Blab shuts down, founders promise new app on the way

    Blab shuts down, founders promise new app on the way

    Livestreaming app Blab, which amassed 3.9 million users in just one year, shut down this weekend, its CEO Shaan Puri announced with a post on Medium late Friday. The app, which competed with Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live, IBM-owned UStream.tv and other media companies in the livestreaming game, was created at Monkey Inferno, a tech incubator self-funded by the founders of Bebo… Read More

  • A brief history of Niantic Labs, the makers of Pokémon Go

    Niantic Labs, a small gaming company previously owned by Google, has gone from a somewhat obscure gaming shop to one of the most prominent developers overnight. The company launched Pokémon Go in July 2016, the first very long-awaited smartphone version of a Pokémon game. After holding out for nearly a decade, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have finally unleashed one of its most… Read More

  • Music video app Triller becomes a social network

    Music video app Triller becomes a social network

    Mobile app Triller isn’t just a simple way to make music videos anymore — it recently added social features that allow users to follow other users and explore their videos. I should probably back up a second and explain what Triller is. It’s an iPhone and Android app that allows you to create a video by taking a snippet of your favorite song, adding a video filter and… Read More

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