will partner with Renault
-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the largest auto alliance in the world by vehicle sales, to put Android-based infotainment systems into millions of cars, the companies told Wall Street Journal
. The alliance’s next-generation infotainment system and dashboard displays will use Android and launch in 2021.
Drivers will be able to access Google’s maps, app store and voice assistant from their vehicle’s dashboards. The new partnership is a giant step forward for Google’s ambitions to get its operating system into more cars (the alliance sold a combined 5.5 million vehicles
in the first half of this year, putting it ahead of Volkswagen and Toyota Motor).
The alliance’s executives told WSJ that they decided on the partnership because many of their customers are accustomed to using Google Maps and other apps and prefer sticking with them instead of using software developed by automakers when they drive.
Auto executives have also
Continue reading "Google partners with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to put Android into millions of vehicles"
will now put live streams and broadcasts started by accounts you follow at the top of your timeline, making it easier to see what they’re doing in realtime.
In a tweet
, Twitter said that that the new feature will include breaking news, personalities and sports.
The social networking giant included the new feature in its iOS and Android
apps, updated this week. Among the updates, Twitter said it’s now also supporting audio-only live broadcasts
, as well as through its sister broadcast service Periscope.
Last month, Twitter discontinued its app for iOS 9 and lower versions
, which according to Apple’s own data
still harbors some 5 percent of all iPhone and iPad users.
Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch may earn affiliate commissions.
If you only have one smart home device, it’s likely something simple and fun like a voice-controlled speaker
or color-changing LED light bulb
. As you expand your smart home setup, you can begin to swap out gear that isn’t as flashy but you still use everyday.
Switching to connected locks, power outlets and smoke alarms are all simple installs that can improve your safety and comfort in your own home. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite essentials made smart for anyone looking to upgrade.
Smart lock: Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock 2nd Gen
Continue reading "Everyday home gear made smart"
If you’re looking for a smart display that’s powered by the Google
Assistant, you now have two choices: the Lenovo Smart Display and the JBL Link View
. Lenovo was first out of the gate with its surprisingly stylish gadget
, but it also left room for improvement. JBL, given its heritage as an audio company, is putting the emphasis on sound quality, with stereo speakers and a surprising amount of bass.
In terms of the overall design, the Link View isn’t going to win any prizes, but its pill shape definitely isn’t ugly either. JBL
makes the Link View in any color you like, as long as that’s black. It’ll likely fit in with your home decor, though.
The Link View has an 8-inch high-definition touchscreen that is more than crisp enough for the maps, photos and YouTube videos you’ll play on it. In using it for the last two weeks, the
Continue reading "JBL’s smart display combines Google smarts with good sound"
, a startup that helps SMEs and retailers manage payment and other business operations, has pulled in a $24 million Series B round for growth.
The investment is led by Sequoia India and Southeast Asia — which recently announced a new $695 million fund
— with participation from new backers SoftBank Ventures Korea, EDBI — the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board — and EV Growth, the later stage fund from Moka seed investor East Ventures. Existing investors Mandiri Capital, Convergence and Fenox also put into the round.
The deal takes Moka
to $27.9 million raised to date, according to data from Crunchbase
Moka was started four years ago primarily as a point-of-sale (POS) terminal with some basic business functionality. Today, it claims to work with 12,500 retailers in Indonesia and its services include sales reports, inventory management, table management, loyalty programs, and more. Its primary areas of
Continue reading "Indonesian fintech startup Moka raises $24M led by Sequoia India"
Comma.ai’s board, of which founder George Hotz
is the only member, is making changes at the autonomous driving startup: Hotz is no longer CEO of the company.
A new CEO, who Hotz declined to name, is expected to be announced Friday via the company’s Medium blog
. He confirmed that the CEO is indeed a human and a “very talented one,” Hotz told TechCrunch.
Hotz, who gained worldwide fame under the hacker alias “geohot” when he cracked the iPhone and PlayStation 3 as a teenager, isn’t leaving the company he founded. Instead, Hotz and two others are part of a new division called Comma.ai research that will focus on building out behavioral models that can drive cars.
Comma.ai found the “right product market fit” during his three-year tenure as CEO, Hotz said.
“We have very good growth numbers, now it’s time to get the slope on growth even
Continue reading "Comma.ai’s George Hotz ousts George Hotz as CEO"
‘s mission is to bring more transparency to the software development process. The tool, which is now live for iOS
, with web and Android versions planned for the near future, connects to GitHub to give you actionable insights about the state of your projects and manage your projects and issues. Support for Atlassian’s Jira is also in the works.
The new company was founded by former Apple
engineering manager and Docker EVP of product development Marc Verstaen
and former CodinGame CEO John Lafleur
. Unsurprisingly, this new tool is all about fixing the issues these two have seen in their daily lives as developers.
“I’ve been doing software for 40 years,” Verstaen told me.” And every time is the same. You start with a small team and it’s fine. Then you grow and you don’t know what’s going on. It’s a black box.” While the rest of
Continue reading "Anaxi brings more visibility to the development process"
Circumventing the Google Play store wasn’t exactly a gamble for Epic, given the fact that Fortnite is essentially a license to print money. But even by its own standards, the game is posting some impressive numbers three weeks after hitting Android.
In a blog post this week, Epic noted that the wildly popular sandbox survival game hit 23 million players on Google’s mobile operating system, spread out across 15 million APK installs. Those numbers are arriving 21 days after the title launched on the OS.
This, like every other piece of Fortnite news, means big bucks for Epic. That’s especially the case here, however, given that the launch means the gaming company is cutting Google’s 30 percent take out of the equation.
Along with the numbers, Epic also highlighted some of its efforts to tackle potential malware threats — an added issue given that the game isn’t distributed through Google’s
Continue reading "Fortnite hits 15 million installs on Android"
There are a number of different ways to unlock an Android smartphone or tablet. In fact, you probably have a favorite one you’ve been using for as long as you’ve owned your device. We’re all creatures of habit, but you might want to consider other unlocking methods that might be more secure, convenient, or expedient.
Nigerian digital payments startup Paga is gearing up for an international expansion with $10 million in funding let by the Global Innovation Fund.
The company is planning to release its payments product in Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines—CEO Tayo Oviosu told TechCrunch at Disrupt San Francisco.
Paga looks to go head to head with regional and global payment players, such as PayPal, Alipay, and Safaricom’s M-Pesa, according to Oviosu.
“We are not only in a position to compete with them, we’re going beyond them,” he said of Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile money product. “Our goal is to
Continue reading "With a $10 million round, Nigeria’s Paga plans global expansion"
Rugged smartphones, the kind of devices that business can give to their employees who work in harsh environments, are a bit of a specialty market. Few consumers, after all, choose their smartphones based on how well they survive six-foot drops. But there is definitely a market there, and IDC
currently expects that the market for Android
-based rugged devices will grow at 23 percent annually over the next five years.
It’s maybe no surprise that Google is now expanding its Android Enterprise Recommended
program to include rugged devices, too. Chances are you’ve never heard of many of the manufacturers in this first batch (or thought of them as smartphone manufacturers): Zebra, Honeywell, Sonim, Point Mobile, Datalogic. Panasonic, which has a long history of building rugged devices, will also soon become part of this program.
The minimum requirements
for these devices are pretty straightforward: they have to support Android 7+, offer
Continue reading "Google adds a bunch of rugged devices to its Android Enterprise Recommended program"
The Google Assistant
just got more useful for multilingual families. Starting today
, you’ll be able to set up two languages in the Google Home app and the Assistant on your phone and Google
Home will then happily react to your commands in both English and Spanish, for example.
Today’s announcement doesn’t exactly come as a surprise, given that Google announced at its I/O developer conference earlier this year
that it was working on this feature. It’s nice to see that this year, Google is rolling out its I/O announcements well before next year’s event. That hasn’t always been the case in the past.
Currently, the Assistant is only bilingual and it still has a few languages to learn. But for the time being, you’ll be able to set up any language pair that includes English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. More pairs are coming in the future and
Continue reading "The Google Assistant is now bilingual "
, Google’s smartphone operating system that was once called Android Wear
, is getting a new look today. Google says the overall idea here is to give you quicker access to information and more proactive help. In line with the Google
Fit redesign, Wear OS now also provides you with the same kind of health coaching as the Android app.
In practice, this means you can now swipe through multiple notifications at once, for example. Previously, you had to go from one notifications card to the next, which sound minor but was indeed a bit of a hassle. Like before, you bring up the new notifications feed by swiping up. If you want to reply or take any other action, you tap the notification to bring up those options.
Wear OS is also getting a bit of a Google Now replacement. Simply swipe right and the Google Assistant
Continue reading "Google’s Wear OS gets a new look"
Your mobile boarding pass should always be a tap or two away from your home screen. You’ve got a link to it in your email or your texts, or you’re sure you put it into Apple Wallet. But should
isn’t always good enough when you get up to the TSA desk and the airport’s wifi is flaking out. Always take a screenshot.
Another analyst has Huawei overtaking Apple
in the global smartphone rankings for the second quarter this year. The latest figures from Gartner
put Huawei ahead on sales to end users in Q2.
Overall, Gartner says sales of smartphones to end users grew 2% in the quarter, to reach 374 million units.
The analyst pegs the Chinese smartphone maker with a 13.3% marketshare, saying it sold ~49.8M devices in the quarter, up from 9.8% in the year before quarter — ahead of Apple,
which it calculates took an 11.9% marketshare (down from 12.1% in Q2 2017), selling ~44.7M iPhones.
According to Gartner’s figures, Samsung also lost share year-over-year — declining 12.7% in the quarter.
The Galaxy smartphone maker retained its no.1 spot in the rankings, with 19.3% in Q2 (vs 22.6% in the equivalent quarter last year) and ~72.3M devices
Continue reading "Huawei bags Apple’s 2nd place spot in global smartphone sales: Gartner"
has clapped back in tremendous fashion at Epic Games, which earlier this month decided to make the phenomenally popular Fortnite available for Android via its own website instead of Google’s Play Store
. Unfortunately, the installer had a phenomenally dangerous security flaw in it that would allow a malicious actor to essentially install any software they wanted. Google wasted exactly zero time pointing out this egregious mistake.
By way of a short explanation why this was even happening, Epic explained when it announced its plan that it would be good to have “competition among software sources on Android,”
and that the best would “succeed based on merit.” Everyone of course understood that what he meant
was that Epic didn’t want to share the revenue from its cash cow with Google, which takes 30 percent of in-app purchases.
Many warned that this was a security risk for several reasons, for
Continue reading "Fortnite’s Android installer shipped with an Epic security flaw"
59 startups took the stage at Y Combinator’s Demo Day 2
and among the highlights were a company that helps developers manage in-app subscriptions; a service that lets you create animojis from real photos; and a surplus medical equipment reselling platform. Oh… and there was also a company that’s developed an entirely new kind of life form using e coli bacteria. So yeah, that’s happening.
Based on some investor buzz and what caught TechCrunch’s eye, these are our picks from the second day of Y Combinator’s
You can find the full list of companies that presented on Day 1 here
, and our top picks from Day 1 here.
With a founding team including some of the leading luminaries in the field of biologically inspired engineering (including George Church, Pamela Silver, and Jeffrey Way from Harvard’s Wyss Institute) 64-x
is engineering organisms to function in otherwise inaccessible
Continue reading "The top 10 startups from Y Combinator’s Demo Day S’18 Day 2"
India-based lending platform Capital Float
has been busy raising capital, having closed an Amazon-led $22 million extension
to its $45 million Series C
last year — now it’s putting some of that capital work after it acquired personal finance service Walnut.
The acquisition is $30 million spread across cash and stock, the companies said, and it’ll boost five-year-old Capital Float’s move into the consumer space. The company has to date focused on serving SME and business customers, but last year it began to offer financial services to consumers.
Walnut helps consumers manage their finances and track spending, and it claims seven million downloads on Android
. It also includes a feature — Walnut Prime — that offers an instant credit line. Already, it said, it has handed out nearly $15 million in consumer loans.
“Walnut Prime is a product of deep interest to us, and it will essentially become a new addition
Continue reading "Amazon-backed lending platform Capital Float buys consumer finance startup Walnut"