Building Apps Help Make the Office Return a Touch-Free Experience

Mobile apps for office buildings have become popular as employers try to entice staff back on site by making work-related tasks convenient and safe.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-return-to-office, #mobile-applications, #privacy, #real-estate-commercial, #transwestern-development-co, #workplace-environment

China’s Olympics App for Athletes Has Security Flaws, Study Says

Researchers said the app, which will store sensitive health data on participants at the Winter Games, has serious encryption vulnerabilities.

#china, #citizen-lab, #computer-security, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #mobile-applications, #olympic-games-2022, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government

L.A.P.D. Officers Who Ignored Robbery to Play Pokémon Go Lose Appeal

Two Los Angeles police officers were fired after an investigation found they had pretended not to hear a radio call for help as they played the augmented-reality game.

#augmented-reality-computers, #los-angeles-calif, #mobile-applications, #pokemon-fictional-characters, #pokemon-go-video-game, #police-department-los-angeles-calif

Snow Closed the Highways. GPS Mapped a Harrowing Detour in the Sierra Nevada.

Public safety officials warned that alternate routes offered by apps like Google Maps and Waze don’t always take into account hazards to drivers.

#automobile-safety-features-and-defects, #automobiles, #california, #computers-and-the-internet, #geography, #global-positioning-system, #google-inc, #google-maps, #maps, #mobile-applications, #navigation, #nevada, #plumas-county-calif, #reno-nev, #roads-and-traffic, #sierra-nevada-region-us, #snow-and-snowstorms, #transportation-department-calif, #truckee-calif, #washoe-county-nev, #waze-mobile

New Travel Apps to Help You Plan Your Next Getaway 2022

Yes, there’s turmoil in the travel world right now, but many people are still eager to linger over plans for future journeys. These new online tools will help.

#mobile-applications, #travel-and-vacations

Big Tech Journeys Into the Virtual Reality Reaches of the Metaverse

Tech’s biggest companies are joining game makers and start-ups in pursuit of an immersive digital world that some have been working on for years.

#apple-inc, #augmented-reality-computers, #computer-and-video-games, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #google-inc, #intel-corporation, #meta-platforms-inc, #mobile-applications, #privacy, #virtual-reality-computers, #wearable-computing, #zuckerberg-mark-e

28 Row, a New App for College Women and Influencers

A new social app called 28 Row aims to connect college-age women, both for business opportunities and emotional support.

#28-row-mobile-app, #colleges-and-universities, #mobile-applications, #social-media, #women-and-girls

Why Uber Won’t Call the Police

Ride-sharing rests on a promise of safety. What if one side isn’t keeping up their end of the bargain?

#car-services-and-livery-cabs, #customer-relations, #labor-and-jobs, #mobile-applications, #social-media, #suits-and-litigation-civil

How the Copycats Came for Clubhouse

The company showed that people would flock to an audio-only social media app. Can it fend off the imitators?

#agrawal-parag, #clubhouse-mobile-app, #computers-and-the-internet, #instagram-inc, #mobile-applications, #snap-inc, #social-media, #start-ups, #twitter

How the Copy Cats Came for Clubhouse

The company showed that people would flock to an audio-only social media app. Can it fend off the imitators?

#agrawal-parag, #clubhouse-mobile-app, #computers-and-the-internet, #instagram-inc, #mobile-applications, #snap-inc, #social-media, #start-ups, #twitter

Navigational Apps for the Blind Could Have a Broader Appeal

A proliferation of new apps designed to help blind and low vision people could prove useful for everyone.

#blindness, #future-of-transportation, #maps, #mobile-applications, #walking

Who’s Behind Web3?

I suffered slings and arrows for daring to question the next iteration of the web.

#computers-and-the-internet, #internal-sub-only-nl, #mobile-applications, #nonfungible-tokens-nfts, #social-media

Lawmakers Urge Instagram’s Adam Mosseri to Better Protect Children

Adam Mosseri, the company’s leader, was asked to appear before a Senate panel after internal research leaked that said the app had a toxic effect on some teenagers.

#children-and-childhood, #instagram-inc, #meta-platforms-inc, #mobile-applications, #mosseri-adam, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #teenagers-and-adolescence, #united-states-politics-and-government

The Era of the Celebrity Meal

Fast-food chains are hungry for celebrity partners to drive sales and appeal to younger consumers. The method is working.

#advertising-and-marketing, #celebrities, #consumer-behavior, #fast-food-industry, #food, #mcdonalds-corporation, #mobile-applications, #restaurants, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #united-states

How Tech is Helping Poor People Get Government Aid

Even as the government expanded aid programs, many people faced barriers to using them. That problem is now being addressed with apps and streamlined websites.

#chen-jimmy, #civilla, #code-for-america, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #food-stamps, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #poverty, #propel-inc, #states-us, #stimulus-economic, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #welfare-us

Instagram Parental Controls Are Set Arrive in March

Adam Mosseri, the head of the company, is expected to face questions from lawmakers this week about whether social media harms children.

#children-and-childhood, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #haugen-frances, #instagram-inc, #meta-platforms-inc, #mobile-applications, #mosseri-adam, #social-media, #united-states-politics-and-government

How TikTok Keeps You Watching

It’s the most successful video app in the world. Our columnist has obtained an internal company document that offers a new level of detail about how the algorithm works.

#artificial-intelligence, #beijing-bytedance-technology-co-ltd, #china, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #douyin-bytedance, #mobile-applications, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming

Is an All-Encompassing Mobility App Making a Comeback?

Versions of “mobility as a service,” or MaaS, apps exist, but companies and cities will need to come together for the idea to gain momentum.

#future-of-transportation, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #transit-systems, #transportation

How to Store Your Covid Vaccine Card or Test Results on Your Phone

To plan for safe travels and gatherings this holiday season, here are some simple ways to take your Covid-related health data with you.

#android-operating-system, #apple-inc, #bar-codes, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #google-inc, #iphone, #mobile-applications, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #smartphones, #states-us, #travel-and-vacations, #vaccination-and-immunization, #vaccination-proof-and-immunization-records

Jack Dorsey’s Twitter Departure Hints at Big Tech’s Restlessness

Jack Dorsey, who is stepping down after six years as Twitter’s chief executive, is one of the tech leaders who seem to have grown tired of managing their empires.

#bitcoin-currency, #computers-and-the-internet, #dorsey-jack, #meta-platforms-inc, #mobile-applications, #social-media, #start-ups, #twitter

The Car Key of the Future (Is Still in Your Pocket)

They’re in fobs or on phones, and digital or “smart,” and they can do far more than just open doors and start the engine.

#automobiles, #locks-and-keys, #mobile-applications

Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s Head, Agrees to Testify Before Congress

This will be the first time Adam Mosseri, a trusted lieutenant to Mark Zuckerberg, will appear before lawmakers under oath.

#blumenthal-richard, #children-and-childhood, #davis-antigone, #facebook-inc, #haugen-frances, #instagram-inc, #instant-messaging, #meta-platforms-inc, #mobile-applications, #mosseri-adam, #senate, #social-media, #united-states-politics-and-government, #youth, #zuckerberg-mark-e

The Best Tech Gifts That Aren’t Gadgets

Supply-chain disruptions may make it tough to buy devices, but the most thoughtful presents were never tangible to begin with.

#computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #e-learning, #gifts, #mobile-applications, #quarantine-life-and-culture

Facebook Faces New Antitrust Lawsuit

The suit, filed by the now defunct photo start-up Phhhoto, accused the social network of stalling on a deal and then putting it out of business.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #instagram-inc, #meta-platforms-inc, #mobile-applications, #reback-gary-l, #social-media, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #zuckerberg-mark-e

The Metaverse Is Mark Zuckerberg’s Escape Hatch

If his new strategy works — a big if — it could help address several of Facebook’s biggest problems.

#computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #meta, #metaverse, #mobile-applications, #online-advertising, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #social-media, #virtual-reality-computers, #zuckerberg-mark-e

Facebook Changes Corporate Name to Meta

The social network, under fire for spreading misinformation and other issues, said the change was part of its bet on a next digital frontier called the “metaverse.”

#computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #instagram-inc, #mobile-applications, #names-organizational, #rumors-and-misinformation, #social-media, #whistle-blowers, #zuckerberg-mark-e

Facebook Profits Jump 17 Percent

The results in the latest quarter are a sign of the company’s financial strength as it faces a public relations crisis.

#company-reports, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #haugen-frances, #instagram-inc, #instant-messaging, #mobile-applications, #new-york-times, #social-media, #stocks-and-bonds, #wall-street-journal, #whatsapp-inc, #zuckerberg-mark-e

Google Pixel 6 Review: Playing Catch-Up With the iPhone

With long battery life and nice cameras, the new Google devices excel at what popular phones have done for years. Is that enough?

#android-operating-system, #apple-inc, #artificial-intelligence, #batteries, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #google-inc, #innovation, #iphone, #japanese-language, #mobile-applications, #photography, #smartphones, #software, #translation-and-interpreters

Facebook Debates What to Do With Its Like and Share Buttons

Likes and shares made the social media site what it is. Now, company documents show, it’s struggling to deal with their effects.

#anxiety-and-stress, #computers-and-the-internet, #conspiracy-theories, #corporate-social-responsibility, #facebook-inc, #friendship, #hate-speech, #haugen-frances, #instagram-inc, #mobile-applications, #online-advertising, #research, #rumors-and-misinformation, #social-media, #whistle-blowers, #zuckerberg-mark-e

How Trump Is Using a SPAC to Bankroll a New Social Media Company

A merger with a so-called blank check company is poised to give the former president access to hundreds of millions of dollars.

#computers-and-the-internet, #digital-world-acquisition, #facebook-inc, #hedge-funds, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #mobile-applications, #saba-capital-management, #social-media, #special-purpose-acquisition-companies-spac, #trump-media-and-technology-group, #trump-donald-j, #twitter, #weinstein-boaz-r

Blacktag, a New Streaming Service, Has Big Plans

A new streaming platform wants to be a destination for Black audiences around the world.

#black-people, #blacktag-inc, #mobile-applications, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #web-original-programming

Instagram Struggles With Fears of Losing Its ‘Pipeline’: Young Users

The app, hailed as Facebook’s growth engine, has privately wrestled with retaining and engaging teenagers, according to internal documents.

#advertising-and-marketing, #children-and-childhood, #computers-and-the-internet, #corporate-social-responsibility, #facebook-inc, #instagram-inc, #mobile-applications, #mosseri-adam, #online-advertising, #snap-inc, #social-media, #teenagers-and-adolescence, #tiktok-bytedance, #youth, #zuckerberg-mark-e

Apple Appeals App Store Ruling in Fight With Epic Games

At the heart of the legal battle is the power Apple wields over its lucrative App Store.

#apple-inc, #computer-and-video-games, #decisions-and-verdicts, #epic-games, #gonzalez-rogers-yvonne-1965, #mobile-applications

As International Travel Returns, Confusion Over Coronavirus Vaccines Reigns

Fragmented rules about which vaccines will be accepted and what documentation is needed, as well as a lack of compatibility between vaccine apps, have left many travelers frustrated.

#biontech-se, #china-national-pharmaceutical-group-corp-sinopharm, #content-type-service, #european-medicines-agency, #mobile-applications, #travel-and-vacations, #travel-warnings, #vaccination-and-immunization, #vaccination-proof-and-immunization-records, #world-health-organization

Attack on Teacher May Have Been Inspired by TikTok Challenge, Police Say

Larrianna Jackson, 18, a student at Covington High School in Louisiana, is a facing a felony battery charge after she repeatedly punched a teacher, the authorities say.

#abuse-of-the-disabled, #assaults, #covington-la, #education-k-12, #louisiana, #mobile-applications, #school-discipline-students, #social-media, #st-tammany-parish-la, #tiktok-bytedance, #vandalism, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming

Facebook’s Apps Went Down. The World Saw How Much It Runs on Them.

The outage disrupted the digital lives of small-business owners, politicians, aid workers and others. But for some, it was a welcome reprieve.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #bogota-colombia, #brazil, #colombia, #computer-network-outages, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #instagram-inc, #instant-messaging, #latin-america, #manitoba-canada, #mexico, #mexico-city-mexico, #mobile-applications, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #rio-de-janeiro-brazil, #social-media, #whatsapp-inc

Facebook Apps Went Down for Hours Worldwide

When apps used by billions of people worldwide blinked out, lives were disrupted, businesses were cut off from customers — and some Facebook employees were locked out of their offices.

#computer-network-outages, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #instagram-inc, #instant-messaging, #mobile-applications, #social-media, #whatsapp-inc

Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew

A trove of leaked documents, published by The Wall Street Journal, hints at a company whose best days are behind it.

#computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #instagram-inc, #mobile-applications, #news-and-news-media, #social-media, #teenagers-and-adolescence, #wall-street-journal

Whistle-Blower Says Facebook ‘Chooses Profits Over Safety’

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, revealed that she had provided internal company documents to journalists and others.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #computers-and-the-internet, #corporate-social-responsibility, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #letters, #mobile-applications, #politics-and-government, #social-media

Facebook Struggles to Quell Uproar Over Instagram’s Effect on Teens

The social network has been all hands on deck as it grapples with revelations that it knew the harmful effects its Instagram photo-sharing app was having on teenagers.

#children-and-childhood, #computers-and-the-internet, #corporate-social-responsibility, #facebook-inc, #instagram-inc, #mobile-applications, #mosseri-adam, #research, #sandberg-sheryl-k, #social-media, #teenagers-and-adolescence, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wall-street-journal, #whistle-blowers, #zuckerberg-mark-e

How to Find ‘Stalkerware’ on Your Devices

These spyware apps record your conversations, location and everything you type, all while camouflaged as a calculator or calendar.

#android-operating-system, #apple-inc, #calculators, #computer-security, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #domestic-violence, #google-inc, #iphone, #mobile-applications, #privacy, #smartphones, #software, #stalking-crime

TikTok Wants More Ad Dollars, and It Has a New Plan to Get Them

In a quest for more revenue, the app known for short videos is trying to make it easier to match its stars with brands.

#advertising-and-marketing, #applebees-international, #beijing-bytedance-technology-co-ltd, #mobile-applications, #online-advertising, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming

N.Y.C. Food Delivery Workers Would See Better Pay Under New Bills

A package of legislation from the City Council will set minimum pay and working conditions, placing New York at the forefront of regulating a multibillion-dollar industry.

#city-council-nyc, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #food, #grubhub-inc, #law-and-legislation, #living-wage, #mobile-applications, #new-york-city, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #uber-eats, #wages-and-salaries, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Upgrading? Here’s What You Can Do With an Old Mobile Device.

Before you retire that smartphone or tablet to the bottom of a drawer, there are ways to get more life out of it around the house.

#android-operating-system, #iphone, #mobile-applications, #smartphones

Google and Apple Remove App Aimed at Spurring Protest Voting in Russia

The app, from the Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, vanished from online stores as polls opened in the parliamentary election it was designed to sway.

#apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #elections, #google-inc, #mobile-applications, #navalny-aleksei-a, #political-prisoners, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #united-russia

The Battle for Digital Privacy Is Reshaping the Internet

As Apple and Google enact privacy changes, businesses are grappling with the fallout, Madison Avenue is fighting back and Facebook has cried foul.

#advertising-and-marketing, #apple-inc, #chrome-browser, #computers-and-the-internet, #cook-timothy-d, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #facebook-inc, #google-inc, #innovation, #iphone, #mobile-applications, #online-advertising, #pichai-sundar, #privacy, #small-business, #software, #web-browsers, #zuckerberg-mark-e

What the Privacy Battle Upending the Internet Means for You

Get ready for more random ads online, higher prices and subscriptions galore. But your privacy concerns may still not fade.

#advertising-and-marketing, #apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #google-inc, #iphone, #mobile-applications, #online-advertising, #privacy, #software, #web-browsers

Could Navalny’s ‘Smart Voting’ Strategy Shake Up Russia’s Election?

Five of the opposition leader’s exiled allies are engineering an election campaign that they hope will put dozens of Kremlin opponents into Parliament.

#elections, #mobile-applications, #navalny-aleksei-a, #political-prisoners, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #smart-voting, #united-russia, #voting-and-voters

Clubhouse hires a head of news from NPR to build out publisher relationships

Clubhouse has hired a veteran editor from NPR to lead news publishing for the app. Nina Gregory will serve as Clubhouse’s Head of News and Media Publishers, working as a liaison between news publishers and the Clubhouse’s ecosystem of audio-based communities.

Gregory led NPR’s Arts Desk for the last seven years, shaping the news outlet’s culture and entertainment coverage. “As an audio journalist, [Clubhouse] aligned with what I’ve always believed is the best medium for news,” Gregory told CNN. “You don’t need to know how to read to be able to hear radio news. You don’t need to have an expensive subscription. You don’t need cable.”

Helping publishers and other brands get plugged in is one path toward maturation for Clubhouse. Online media properties from USA Today to TechCrunch have built a presence on the app, which exploded in growth as the pandemic limited in-person social interactions. But with competition from more entrenched competitors looming, Clubhouse may need to get creative to stay in the game.

Clubhouse’s quick ascent saw Twitter, Spotify, Facebook and other established tech companies scramble to integrate live audio rooms into their own products. Twitter quickly launched Spaces, while Spotify launched a standalone Clubhouse clone known as Greenroom. Facebook first announced its own live audio rooms in April, opening them to U.S. users two months later.

The kind of viral attention that Clubhouse enjoyed over the last year is almost impossible to maintain, but the company has added features, introduced an Android app and opened its doors to everyone. Clubhouse might not be able to top its February peak, but the app still notched 7.7 million global monthly downloads after expanding to Android this summer, and continues to build out its vision for audio-first social networking.

#broadcasting, #clubhouse, #mobile-applications, #npr, #social, #social-audio, #spotify, #tc, #usa-today

News aggregator SmartNews raises $230 million, valuing its business at $2 billion

SmartNews, a Tokyo-headquartered news aggregation website and app that’s grown in popularity despite hefty competition from built-in aggregators like Apple News, today announced it has closed on $230 million in Series F funding. The round brings SmartNews’ total raise to date to over $400 million and values the business at $2 billion — or as the company touts in its press release, a “double unicorn.” (Ha!)

The funding included new U.S. investors Princeville Capital and Woodline Partners, as well as JIC Venture Growth Investments, Green Co-Invest Investment, and Yamauchi-No.10 Family Office in Japan. Existing investors participating in this round included ACA Investments and SMBC Venture Capital.

Founded in 2012 in Japan, the company launched to the U.S. in 2014 and expanded its local news footprint early last year. While the app’s content team includes former journalists, machine learning is used to pick which articles are shown to readers to personalize their experience. However, one of the app’s key differentiators is how it works to pop users’ “filter bubbles” through its “News From All Sides” feature, which allows its users to access news from across a range of political perspectives.

It has also developed new products, like its Covid-19 vaccine dashboard and U.S. election dashboard, that provide critical information at a glance. With the additional funds, the company says it plans to develop more features for its U.S. audience — one of its largest, in addition to Japan —  that will focus on consumer health and safety. These will roll out in the next few months and will include features for tracking wildfires and crime and safety reports. It also recently launched a hurricane tracker.

The aggregator’s business model is largely focused on advertising, as the company has said before that 85-80% of Americans aren’t paying to subscribe to news. But SmartNews’ belief is that these news consumers still have a right to access quality information.

In total, SmartNews has relationships with over 3,000 global publishing partners whose content is available through its service on the web and mobile devices.

To generate revenue, the company sells inline ads and video ads, where revenue is shared with publishers. Over 75% of its publishing partners also take advantage of its “SmartView” feature. This is the app’s quick-reading mode, and alternative to something like Google AMP. Here, users can quickly load an article to read, even if they’re offline. The company promises publishers that these mobile-friendly stories, which are marked with a lightning bolt icon in the app, deliver higher engagement — and its algorithm rewards that type of content, bringing them more readers. Among SmartView partners are well-known brands like USA Today, ABC, HuffPost, and others. Currently, over 70% of all SmartNews’ pageviews are coming from SmartView first.

SmartNews’ app has proven to be very sticky, in terms of attracting and keeping users’ attention. The company tells us, citing App Annie July 2021 data, that it sees an average time spent per user per month on U.S. mobile devices that’s higher than Google News or Apple News combined.

Image Credits: App Annie data provided by SmartNews

The company declined to share its monthly active users (MAUs), but had said in 2019 it had grown to 20 million in the U.S. and Japan. Today, it says its U.S. MAUs doubled over the last year.

According to data provided to us by Apptopia, the SmartNews app has seen around 85 million downloads since its October 2014 launch, and 14 million of those took place in the past 365 days. Japan is the largest market for installs, accounting for 59% of lifetime downloads, the firm noted.

“This latest round of funding further affirms the strength of our mission, and fuels our drive to expand our presence and launch features that specifically appeal to users and publishers in the United States,” said SmartNews co-founder and CEO Ken Zuzuki. “Our investors both in the U.S. and globally acknowledge the tremendous growth potential and value of SmartNews’s efforts to democratize access to information and create an ecosystem that benefits consumers, publishers, and advertisers,” he added.

The company says the new funds will be used to invest in further U.S. growth and expanding the company’s team. Since its last fundraise in 2019, where it became a unicorn, the company more than doubled its headcount to approximately 500 people globally. it now plans to double its headcount of 100 in the U.S., with additions across engineering, product, and leadership roles.

The Wall Street Journal reports SmartNews is exploring an IPO, but the company declined to comment on this.

The SmartNews app is available on iOS and Android across more than 150 countries worldwide.

#aca-investments, #aggregation, #ai, #android, #apple-news, #apps, #funding, #google, #google-news, #japan, #machine-learning, #media, #mobile, #mobile-applications, #mobile-devices, #mobile-software, #new-aggregator, #news, #news-aggregation, #news-reading, #recent-funding, #smartnews, #software, #startups, #tokyo, #united-states