Everyone you know is a Disney princess, which means AR is queen

This weekend, all of your friends morphed one by one into animated, Pixar-inspired characters. This isn’t a fever dream, and you’re not alone. On Thursday, Snapchat released a Cartoon 3D Style Lens, which uses AR to make you look like a background character from “Frozen.” On Snapchat, over 215 million users have engaged with the […]

Yana’s mental health tool for Spanish speakers nears 5 million users

Andrea Campos has struggled with depression since she was eight years old. Over the years, she’s tried all sorts of therapies — from behavioral to pharmacotherapy. In 2017, when Campos was in her early 20s, she learned to program and created a system to help manage her mental health. It started as a personal project, […]

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 […]

Productivity startup Time is Ltd. raises $5.6M to be the ‘Google Analytics for company time’

Productivity analytics startup Time is Ltd. wants to be the Google Analytics for company time. Or perhaps a sort of “Apple Screen Time” for companies. Whatever the case, the founders reckon that if you can map how time is spent in a company, enormous productivity gains can be unlocked and money better spent. It’s now […]

Messenger adds Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments in the US

This spring, Facebook confirmed it was testing Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments inside its app in the U.S. Today, the company announced those codes are now launching publicly to all U.S. users, allowing anyone to send or request money through Facebook Pay — even if they’re not Facebook friends. The QR codes work similarly […]

Facebook buys studio behind Roblox-like Crayta gaming platform

Facebook has been making plenty of one-off virtual reality studio acquisitions lately, but today the company announced that they’re buying something with wider ambitions — a Roblox-like game creation platform. Facebook shared that they’re buying Unit 2 Games, which builds a platform called Crayta. Like some other platforms out there, it builds on top of […]

Google hires former SiriusXM CPO/CTO to lead its Maps team

Almost exactly a year ago, Google announced a couple of leadership changes that saw Prabhakar Raghavan, who joined the company back in 2012, take over the lead of Search, Assistant and Maps. Now, sources familiar with the hiring tell us, the company has hired Christopher Phillips, who was previously the chief product and technology officer […]

Facebook’s Spark AR platform expands to video calling with Multipeer API

At today’s F8 developer conference, Facebook announced new capabilities for Spark AR, its flagship AR creation software. Since Spark AR was announced at F8 2017, more than 600,000 creators from 190 countries have published over 2 million AR effects on Facebook and Instagram, making it the largest mobile AR platform, according to Facebook. If you’ve […]

Ditto raises $1.5 million to help teams collaborate on copy

Even as remote software uptake has boomed during the pandemic, certain workflows have gotten prioritized for specialized toolsets while other team members have been left piecemealing their productivity. Employees designing the copy that directs users and encapsulates company messaging have been particularly forgotten at times, say the founders of Ditto, a young startup building software […]