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Google and Walmart’s PhonePe establish dominance in India’s mobile payments market as WhatsApp Pay struggles to launch

by Manish Singh / about 1 hour

In India, it’s Google and Walmart-owned PhonePe that are racing neck-and-neck to be the top player in the mobile payments market, while Facebook remains mired in a regulatory maze for WhatsApp Pay’s rollout. In May, more than 75 million users transacted on Google Pay app, ahead of Walmart -owned PhonePe’s 60 million users, and SoftBank […]

How to attract more than 10 million TikTok followers in 5 months

by Walter Thompson / about 9 hours

Gaining millions of followers on social media is really hard for people and brands. It’s time-consuming, it requires sacrifice and it sucks in the beginning.

NYC’s push for citywide contactless transit payment is delayed by COVID-19

by Brian Heater / about 10 hours

Last May, New York City’s Metro Transit Authority opened out the first contactless payment systems at select subway station turnstiles. The systemwide rollout was set to be completed at all subway stops and buses this October. Like so many things in this life, however, COVID-19 put a damper on those plans. OMNY — One Metro […]

Endlesss, the iOS music making app from Tim Exile, takes to Kickstarter for desktop version

by Steve O'Hear / about 12 hours

In entrepreneurship, timing is everything. Launch too early and the market or underlying tech may not be ready to support your idea. Launch too late and the opportunity may have already been conceded to competitors. For Endlesss, the music-making app from Tim Exile, the timing feels just right. Launched on March 31st, just as the […]

Watchful is a mobile product intelligence startup that surfaces unreleased features

by Romain Dillet / about 13 hours

Meet Watchful, a Tel Aviv-based startup coming out of stealth that wants to help you learn more about what your competitors are doing when it comes to mobile app development. The company tries to identify features that are being tested before getting rolled out to everyone, giving you an advantage if you’re competing with those […]

Lili raises $10M for its freelancer banking app

by Anthony Ha / about 14 hours

Lili, a startup building banking products to meet the needs of freelance workers, is announcing that it has raised $10 million in seed funding. The startup takes its name from its founders, CEO Lilac Bar David and CTO Liran Zelkha, who previously founded Israeli challenger bank Pepper. Bar David told me that while many neobanks have […]

Facebook strikes global licensing deal with Indian music label Saregama

by Manish Singh / about 21 hours

Facebook said on Wednesday it has entered into a global deal with Saregama, one of India’s oldest music labels, to license its music for video and other social experiences across its eponymous service and Instagram. The partnership, which comes weeks after Swedish music giant Spotify also signed a deal with Saregama, will allow users to […]

Facebook and PayPal invest in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant GoJek

by Manish Singh / 1 day

Facebook and PayPal have made investments in GoJek, joining Google and Tencent among other high-profile technology firms that have backed the five-year-old Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm that also offers food delivery and mobile payments. Facebook, for which it is the first investment in an Indonesia-based firm, and PayPal did not disclose the size of their […]

Google pulls ‘Remove China Apps’ from Play Store

by Manish Singh / 1 day

Remove China Apps, an app that gained popularity in India in recent weeks and did exactly what its name suggests, has been pulled from the Play Store. The top trending app in India, which was downloaded more than 5 million times since late May and enabled users to detect and easily delete apps developed by […]

Peloton’s fitness app finally lands on Apple TV

by Lucas Matney / 1 day

Since announcing in March that they were extending for a short time the free trial of their digital subscription from 30 to 90 days, Peloton has been rolling out more support for TV screens, adding Android TV back in April and announcing today that they’ve launched an official Apple TV app. Shelter-in-place and the associated […]

Zigazoo launches to be a ‘TikTok’ for kids, surpasses 100,000 uploads and downloads

by Natasha Mascarenhas / 1 day

Like many parents, Zigazoo founder Zak Ringelstein worries about his children’s screen time. His worries only grew when COVID-19 led to school shutdowns and kids came home to a world of remote learning. Now, as lockdowns extend, Ringelstein is learning to embrace screen time as a way to sneak education and entertainment into his kids’ […]

Podcast app Majelan pivots to premium audio content around personal growth

by Romain Dillet / 1 day

French startup Majelan is pivoting a year after launching a podcast player and service. The company, created by former Radio France CEO Mathieu Gallet and Arthur Perticoz, is ditching the podcast aggregation side of its business and focusing on premium audio content going forward. Like many podcast startups, Majelan has faced some criticisms shortly after […]

Apple further expands into original podcasts with launch of ‘The Zane Lowe Interview Series’

by Sarah Perez / 1 day

Apple has quietly expanded its original podcast efforts with Friday’s launch of The Zane Lowe Interview Series, available on Apple Music and via RSS. Though technically not Apple’s first-ever podcast, the new series is the first series aimed at Apple’s consumers that focuses exclusively on entertainment content. The episodes in the series will feature Apple’s […]

Is Zoom the next Android, or the next BlackBerry?

by Walter Thompson / 2 days

As someone who was at both BlackBerry and Android during their heydays, my biggest learning takeaway is that product experience trumps everything else.

Danggeun Market, the South Korean secondhand marketplace app, raises $33 million Series C

by Catherine Shu / 2 days

Danggeun Market, the startup behind Karrot, South Korea’s largest neighborhood marketplace and networking app, announced today that that it has raised a $33 million Series C. The round was led by Goodwater Capital and Altos Ventures. The funding brings Danggeun Market’s total raised so far to $40.5 million. Its list of investors also include Kakao […]

India’s richest man built a telecom operator everyone wants a piece of

by Manish Singh / 2 days

As investors’ appetites sour in the midst of a pandemic, a three-and-a-half-year-old Indian firm has secured $10.3 billion in a month from Facebook and four U.S.-headquartered private equity firms. The major deals for Reliance Jo Platforms have sparked a sudden interest among analysts, executives and readers at a time when many are skeptical of similar […]

Amid protests, US police scanner apps and others saw record downloads

by Sarah Perez / 2 days

Downloads of police scanner apps, tools for private communication and mobile safety apps hit record numbers this past weekend in the U.S., amid continued nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd, as well as the systemic problems of racial prejudice that plague the American justice system. According to new data from app store […]

Pax launches desktop app, bypassing Apple’s vaping ban

by Matt Burns / 2 days

Pax today is announcing a new app for its cannabis vaporizers. The service offers access to device controls, cannabis strain information and safety features. The company previously launched an Android and iPhone app with similar features, but Apple later removed the version on the App Store, stripping iPhone users of features and information. Pax is […]

Singapore’s micromobility startup Beam raises $26 million

by Manish Singh / 3 days

Beam, a Singapore-headquartered micromobility firm that offers shared e-scooters, has raised $26 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Sequoia India and Hana Ventures led the two-and-a-half-year-old startup’s Series A financing round, while several more investors from Asia Pacific region participated, […]

This Week in Apps: Facebook launches trio of app experiments, TikTok gets spammed, plus coronavirus impacts on app economy

by Sarah Perez / 4 days

We continue to look at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting the world of mobile apps, with fresh data from App Annie about trends playing out across app categories benefiting from the pandemic.

Google’s latest experiment encourages social distancing through AR

by Brian Heater / 6 days

Several months into this pandemic, you can no doubt already eyeball six feet/two meters with the best of them. But if you’re still having trouble — and happen to have an Android device handy — Google’s got you covered, I guess. The latest project out of the company’s Experiments With Google collection, Sodar is a […]

Facebook takes on Twitter with Venue, a ‘second screen’ companion for live events

by Sarah Perez / 6 days

Facebook’s R&D group, NPE Team, is launching a new app for engaging fellow fans around live events, Venue. This is the third new app to launch just this week from Facebook’s internal team focused on experimenting with new concepts in social networking. With Venue, the company aims to offer a digital companion for live events, […]

Uber UK launches Work Hub for drivers to find other gig jobs during COVID-19

by Natasha Lomas / 6 days

Uber UK has launched a Work Hub for drivers to view a selection of temporary work opportunities with other companies as a way to supplement pandemic-hit ride-hailing earnings during the coronavirus crisis. The Work Hub sits within the Uber driver app and displays offers of work from third party providers — including jobs that involve […]

Meditation and mindfulness apps continue their surge amid pandemic

by Sarah Perez / 6 days

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in downloads of mental wellness, and specifically, those focused on meditation, dealing with anxiety, and helping users fall asleep. According to a new report from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the world’s 10 largest English-language mental wellness apps in April saw a combined 2 million more […]

Appeals court rules in favor of Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter in anti-conservative bias suit

by Brian Heater / 7 days

The same day Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten to regulate or shut down social media sites, the U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C. dismissed a lawsuit accusing top tech companies of silencing conservative voices. Filed in 2018 by nonprofit Freedom Watch and right-wing gadfly Laura Loomer, the suit accused Apple, Facebook, Twitter and […]

Quibi inches toward usability by adding AirPlay streaming support

by Brian Heater / 7 days

When it launched in April, Quibi carried the express mission statement of offering short-form videos designed to watch on-the-fly. The service’s narrow focus rubbed a lot of potential subscribers the wrong way, with many requesting a more traditional method for watching the service’s series. Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg blames coronavirus for the streaming app’s challenges […]

ChatableApps launches its hearing assistance app

by Steve O'Hear / 8 days

ChatableApps is launching its hearing assistance app on iOS today, with a wider Android release to follow shortly. Backed by Mark Cuban, and based on the work of auditory neural signal processing researcher Dr. Andy Simpson, the app removes background noise in near real-time so that one-to-one conversations can be heard more clearly. And, unlike […]

Google removes millions of negative TikTok reviews amid backlash in India

by Manish Singh / 8 days

ByteDance’s TikTok app, which has gained hundreds of millions of users in India with its short-form videos, is facing criticism in its biggest overseas market after disturbing videos surfaced on the platform. Phrases such as BanTikTok, DeleteTikTok, and BlockTikTok have trended on Twitter in India in the past three weeks after numerous users expressed disgust […]

YouTube Kids app is now available for Apple TV

by Catherine Shu / 8 days

YouTube Kids, the video platform’s version of its service that lets families set age categories, viewing timers and other controls, is now available on Apple TV. Country availability is listed here, with more to be added later. YouTube says that safety controls still need to be set through the mobile version of the app. YouTube […]

Facebook launches CatchUp, an audio-only group calling app that shows who’s ready to chat now

by Sarah Perez / 8 days

Facebook’s internal R&D group, NPE Team, has today launched a new app called CatchUp that makes it easier for friends and family in the U.S. to coordinate phone calls or set up group calls with up to 8 people. While there are a number of group chat apps available to users today, what makes CatchUp […]