Apple introduces a $99 MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12

The addition of MagSafe to the iPhone 12 line introduced all manner of fun avenues for accessory makers, but there’s a strong case (so to speak) to be made that a snap-on battery pack might be the most useful of all. A number of third-parties (notably Anker and Mophie) have introduced their own versions, and […]

This Week in Apps: Android ad prices jump, TikTok resumes, Google Play’s antitrust lawsuit

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 continues to grow, 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 apps on Android devices […]

Homebrew leads Z1’s effort to bring digital banking to Latin America’s teens

Z1, a Sao Paulo-based digital bank aimed at Latin American GenZers, has raised $2.5 million in a round led by U.S.-based Homebrew. A number of other investors also participated in the financing including Clocktower Ventures, Mantis – the VC firm owned by The Chainsmokers, Goodwater, Gaingels, Soma Capital and Rebel Fund. Notably, Mantis has also […]

Raylo nabs $11.5M to get more mobile users to lease and reuse

UK-based smartphone subscription startup Raylo has tucked $11.5 million in Series A funding into its top pocket, led by Octopus Ventures. The equity round follows a debt raise last year — and brings Raylo’s total raised since being founded back in 2019 to $40M (in equity and debt). Its roster of investors to date also […]

Hit iPhone controller Backbone One scores Xbox Game Pass partnership at xCloud’s iOS launch today

Backbone One, the killer iPhone game pad I profiled here late last year, has just scored the mother of all tie-ups for a gaming accessory. It’s getting bundled with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as it launches on iOS today alongside the xCloud game streaming service. As a part of the deal, Backbone is being bundled […]

Apple to drive China revenues with search ad launch

After launching five years ago in the United States, Apple’s search advertising service finally arrived in mainland China this week. The feature, called Apple Search Ads, lets developers bid on an advertising slot based on users’ keyword search in the App Store, similar to how Google search ads work. JPMorgan previously estimated the giant’s annual […]

Apple AirTags UX teardown: The trade-off between privacy and user experience

Apple’s location devices — called AirTags — have been out for more than a month now. The initial impressions were good, but as we concluded back in April: “It will be interesting to see these play out once AirTags are out getting lost in the wild.” That’s exactly what our resident UX analyst, Peter Ramsey, […]

7 new security features Apple quietly announced at WWDC

Apple went big on security and privacy during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote this week, showcasing features from on-device Siri audio processing to a new privacy dashboard for iOS that makes it easier than ever to see which apps are collecting your data and when. While typically vocal about security during the Memoji-filled, two-hour-long(!) […]

Shopify brings on team from augmented reality home design app Primer

In Friday acquisition news, Shopify shared today that they’ve acquired the team from augmented reality startup Primer, which makes an app that lets users visualize what tile, wallpaper or paint will look like on surfaces inside their home. In a blog post, co-founders Adam Debreczeni and Russ Maschmeyer write that Primer’s app and services will […]

Apple’s StoreKit 2 simplifies App Store subscriptions and refunds by making them accessible inside apps

If you’ve ever bought a subscription inside an iOS app and later decided you wanted to cancel, upgrade or downgrade, or ask for a refund, you may have had trouble figuring out how to go about making that request or change. Some people today still believe that they can stop their subscription charges simply by […]