Sarah Perez

This Week in Apps: Parler deplatformed, alt apps rise, looking back at 2020 trends

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using […]

Thimble teaches kids STEM skills with robotics kits combined with live Zoom classes

Parents with kids stuck learning at home during the pandemic have had to look for alternative activities to promote the hands-on learning experiences kids are missing out on due to attending class virtually. The New York-based educational technology startup Thimble aims to help address this problem by offering a subscription service for STEM-based projects that […]

Samsung unveils its newest Tile competitor, the Galaxy SmartTag

Alongside its other announcements at Samsung’s event today, the company introduced its new Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth locator, a lost item beacon for Samsung owners and a competitor with Tile. Like Tile and Apple’s forthcoming AirTags, the beacon can be attached to keys, a bag, a pet’s collar or anything else you want to track. Initially, […]

Zocdoc founder returns with Shadow, an app that finds lost dogs

Every year, around 10 million pets go missing in the U.S., and millions of those end up in shelters where they aren’t always reunited with their owners, due to their lack of identification or a microchip. A new mobile app, Shadow, aims to tackle this problem by leveraging a combination of a volunteer network and […]

TikTok update will change privacy settings and defaults for users under 18

TikTok announced today it’s making changes to its app to make the experience safer for younger users. The company will now set the accounts for users ages 13 to 15 to private by default, as well as tighten other controls for all users under 18, in terms of how they can interact with other users […]

App stores saw record 218 billion downloads in 2020, consumer spend of $143 billion

Mobile adoption continued to grow in 2020, in part due to the market forces of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to App Annie’s annual “State of Mobile” industry report, mobile app downloads grew by 7% year-over-year to a record 218 billion in 2020. Meanwhile, consumer spending grew by 20% to also hit a new milestone of […]

Walmart partners with smart box maker HomeValet for grocery delivery pilot

Walmart announced today it will soon begin to pilot a new solution that could eventually allow the retailer to deliver groceries to customers’ homes 24 hours per day. The company is partnering with HomeValet, the maker of a temperature-controlled smart box that’s placed outside the home. Customers’ groceries can be delivered, contact-free, to the secure […]

PopSockets announces its MagSafe-compatible iPhone 12 accessories

In October, TechCrunch broke the news that PopSockets was developing its own line of MagSafe-compatible products that will support the new wireless charging capabilities of the iPhone 12 devices. Today, at the (virtual) 2021 Consumer Electronics Show, the company formally introduced its upcoming products for the first time. The new line will include three MagSafe-compatible […]

Hulu discounts its on-demand service to $1.99 per month for students

Looking to gain traction with a younger user base, Hulu this morning announced it’s dropping the price of its on-demand streaming service to $1.99 per month for students over 18 who are attending a U.S. college or university. This represents an over 65% discount off Hulu’s ad-supported subscription, which typically sells for $5.99 per month, […]

This Week in Apps: Social apps react to riots, Parler gets booted, FTC threatens regulation

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in global consumer spend in 2019. Consumer spend also hit a record $112 billion across […]

TikTok bans videos of Trump inciting mob, blocks #stormthecapital and other hashtags

For obvious reasons, Trump doesn’t have a TikTok account. But the President’s speeches that helped incite the mob who yesterday stormed the U.S. Capitol will have no home on TikTok’s platform. The company confirmed to TechCrunch its content policy around the Capitol riots will see it removing videos of Trump’s speeches to supporters. It will […]

FTC settles with mobile ad company Tapjoy over deceptive practices

Mobile advertising company Tapjoy has settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it was misleading consumers about the in-app rewards they could earn in mobile games. According to the FTC, Tapjoy deceived consumers who participated in various activities — like purchasing a product, signing up for a free trial, providing their personal […]