The price differential for engineers is declining

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. The whole crew was here this week, with Danny and Natasha and Alex together with Grace and Chris to sort through a very, very busy week. Yep, somehow it is Friday again, which means it’s time for our weekly news […]

Xiaomi global shipments push past Apple for No. 2 spot

A banner quarter for Xiaomi helped the Chinese mobile company snag the No. 2 spot in global smartphone shipments, according to newly posted Q2 numbers from research firm Canalys. It’s pretty stunning growth for the company, up 83% year-over-year for the quarter and capturing 17% of the global market. The surge puts Xiaomi at No. […]

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, […]

Evernote quietly disappeared from an anti-surveillance lobbying group’s website

In 2013, eight tech companies were accused of funneling their users’ data to the U.S. National Security Agency under the so-called PRISM program, according to highly classified government documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Six months later, the tech companies formed a coalition under the name Reform Government Surveillance, which as the name would […]

Google faces a major multi-state antitrust lawsuit over Google Play fees

A group of 37 attorneys general filed a second major multi-state antitrust lawsuit against Google Wednesday, accusing the company of abusing its market power to stifle competitors and forcing consumers into in-app payments that grant the company a hefty cut. New York Attorney General Letitia James is co-leading the suit alongside the Tennessee, North Carolina […]

Opioid addiction treatment apps found sharing sensitive data with third parties

Several widely used opioid treatment recovery apps are accessing and sharing sensitive user data with third parties, a new investigation has found. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reduce transmission in the U.S, telehealth services and apps offering opioid addiction treatment have surged in popularity. This rise of app-based services comes […]

macOS Monterey’s public beta is live

Yesterday Apple unleashed a whole bunch of new public betas on the world: iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and watchOS 8. Today the company is back with another big software puzzle piece announced at WWDC in June. Following three weeks of developer beta, the public beta version of macOS 12.0 Monterey is now live for download […]

Apple just released the first iOS 15 beta to everyone

This is your opportunity to get a glimpse of the future of iOS, iPadOS and watchOS. Apple just released the first public beta of iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and watchOS 8. Those releases are the next major versions of the operating systems for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Unlike developer betas, everyone can download […]

Microsoft says a third of its government data requests have secrecy orders

Microsoft’s customer security chief says as many as one-third of all government demands that the company receives for customer data are issued with secrecy clauses that prevents it from disclosing the search to the subject of the warrant. The figure was disclosed in testimony by Microsoft’s Tom Burt ahead of a House Judiciary Committee on […]

Discord acquires augmented reality startup Ubiquity6

After raising tens of millions from investors and executing a pretty substantial pivot earlier this year, augmented reality startup Ubiquity6 and its team have been acquired by gaming chat app giant Discord. The ambitious AR startup had raised $37.5 million from a series of top investors including Benchmark, First Round, Kleiner Perkins and Google’s Gradient […]

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 […]

Brave’s nontracking search engine is now in beta

Pro-privacy browser Brave, which has been testing its own brand search engine for several months — operating a waitlist where brave (ha!) early adopters could kick the tyres of an upstart alternative in Internet search — has now launched the tool, Brave Search, in global beta. Users interested in checking out Brave’s nontracking search engine, […]

Spotify acquires Podz, a podcast discovery platform

Podcasts are all the rage, but podcast discovery is a challenge. Today, Spotify announced its acquisition of Podz, a startup that’s trying to solve the problem of podcast discovery. “At Spotify, we are investing to build and scale the world’s best (and most personalized) podcast discovery experience,” the company said. “We believe that Podz’ technology […]

Apple Watch accessory maker Wristcam raises $25M

Last week word got out that Facebook was taking another big step into first-party hardware with the planned launch of its own smartwatch. The most intriguing part of the report was the inclusion of not one but two watches. Other wearable makers have flirted with video and images on wrist-worn devices, but the feature is […]

UK’s CMA opens market study into Apple, Google’s mobile ‘duopoly’

The U.K.’s competition watchdog will take a deep dive look into Apple and Google’s dominance of the mobile ecosystem, it said today — announcing a market study which will examine the pair’s respective smartphone platforms (iOS and Android); their app stores (App Store and Play Store); and web browsers (Safari and Chrome).  The Competition and […]

WordPress.com owner Automattic acquires journaling app Day One

Automattic is expanding its lineup of online writing platforms with its acquisition of Day One, a popular journaling app for Mac and Apple mobile devices. The app has been downloaded more than 15 million times since its March 2011 launch on the Mac and iTunes App Store, offering users a private place to share their […]

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 […]

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(!) […]