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Windows 10 May 2019 Update is coming, but you can decide if you want it or not

Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows 10 as the May 2019 Update. The company also revealed changes to the rollout system that puts you in control if you want to install it or not.

The post Windows 10 May 2019 Update is coming, but you can decide if you want it or not appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Snapchat will power Stories & ads in other apps

Snapchat’s found an answer to the revenue problem stemming from its halted growth: it will show its ads in other apps with the launch of Snapchat Ad Kit and the Snapchat Audience Network. And rather than watching as other apps spin up their own knock-off versions of its camera and Stories, it will let apps like Tinder and Houseparty host Stories inside their own products that users can share to from the Snapchat camera with Stories Kit. They’ll both be launching later this year, and developers interested in monetization and engagement help can apply for access.

Snapchat debuted the big new additions to its Snap Kit at its first-ever press event in Los Angeles, the Snap Partner Summit where it also announced a new augmented reality utility platform called Scan, and its new multiplayer games platform. Over 200 apps have already integrated the privacy-safe Snap Kit that lets users login to other apps with Snapchat, bring their Bitmoji, view Our Stories content, and share stickers back to Snapchat.

But later this year, developers will be able to earn money off of Snap Kit with Ad Kit. Developers will integrate Snapchat’s SDK, and then Snap’s advertisers will be able to extend their ad buys to reach both Snapchat users and non-users in other apps. Snapchat will split the ad revenue with developers, but refused to hint at what the divide will be, as it’s still gauging developer interest. The move is straight out of Facebook’s playbook, essentially copying the functionality and name of Facebook’s Audience Network.

There are still big questions about exactly how Snapchat will reach and track ad views of non-users, and how it will be able to provide brands with the analytics they need while maintaining user privacy. But simply by making Snapchat’s somewhat proprietary vertical vdieo ad units reusable elsewhere, it could prove it has a scale to be worth advertisers’ time. The lack of scale has often scared buyers away from Snapchat. But now Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says that “In the United States, Snapchat now reaches nearly 75 percent of all 13-34 year-olds, and we reach 90 percent of 13-24 year-olds. In fact, we reach more 13-24 year-olds than Facebook or Instagram in the United States, the UK, France, Canada, and Australia.”

To keep those users engaged even outside of Snapchat, it’s adding App Stories through Story Kit. Snapchat users will see an option to share to integrated apps after they create a photo or video. Those Stories will then appear in custom places in other apps. You’ll see Snaps injected alongside people’s photos when you’re browsing potential matches in Tinder. You can see what friends on group chat social network Houseparty are doing when they not on the app. And you can see video recommendations from explorers on AdventureAide.

For now, Snapchat won’t run ads between Stories in other apps, but that’s always a possibility. We’ll have to see how long it takes Instagram and Facebook to try to copy Stories Kit and distribute its own to other apps.

Snap also has some other fun new integrations and big name partnerships. Bitmoji Kit will bring your personalized avatar off your phone and onto FitBit’s smart watches and Venmo transactions. Netflix will let you share preview images (but not trailers) from its shows to your Snapchat Story. A new publisher sharing button for the web will let you share articles from the Washington Post and others to your Story.

By colonizing other apps with its experience, Snapchat decreases the need for them to copy it. Instead they get the original, and a lot less development work. And the platform makes your Snapchat account more valuable around the web. These integrations might not grow Snapchat too much, but it could help it keep its existing users happy and squeeze more cash out of them.


Source: TechCrunch

WhatsApp’s Business app comes to the iPhone

Over a year after WhatsApp officially introduced its app for business customers to its first markets, the previously Android-only WhatsApp Business app is today launching on the iPhone. According to the Facebook-owned company, WhatsApp Business has been adopted by millions of businesses worldwide since its debut, but one of its customers’ most frequent requests was to offer the app on the iPhone.

The iOS version, like its Android counterpart, is designed to help small business owners reach their customers on smartphones.

That means it includes the ability for businesses to create profiles that include their description, email, address and website, as well as messaging tools for customer communication like automated greetings, quick replies and away messages.

Businesses can also use WhatsApp Business from their desktop computer, which in January rolled out tools to organize and filter chats as well as quick replies. At the time, WhatsApp said it had 5 million business customers.

The iOS app was spotted in testing last month on the Mexican iOS App Store, but today marks its official launch.

A WhatsApp Business platform is key to WhatsApp’s growth in emerging markets where first-time internet users have skipped over using computers to reach the web, and instead mainly get online through their mobile devices. Here, WhatsApp serves as a portal to the web – even more so than its parent company Facebook does  – for many users.

Through the main WhatsApp app, users can connect with friends and family, join groups focused on their various interests, and even get the news (or, unfortunately, fake news and hoaxes – something that WhatsApp is now trying to clamp down on.) Being able to easily communicate with businesses was an obvious next step for the company not only in terms of serving these customers, but also for revenue generation.

The company makes money by charging Business API customers who have large volumes of incoming messages.

The free WhatsApp Business app for iOS is available today from the App Store in Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, India, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.

The company says it will roll out to more markets worldwide in the weeks ahead.

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

VW's autonomous development cars hit the streets of Hamburg – Roadshow

Its e-Golf fleet has been kitted out with the hardware to enable Level 4 automated driving.
Source: CNET

Mark Zuckerberg: Setting rules on political ads isn't Facebook's job – CNET

“That seems like something there should be a more democratic process about,” Facebook’s CEO says.
Source: CNET

2020 Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition: The order books open today – Roadshow

April 4 is the only day you can order this special-edition, $60,815 Gladiator.
Source: CNET

This is how fast Verizon's 5G network is: Live testing now – CNET

Verizon is claiming incredible 5G speeds on its brand-new network. I came to Chicago to see for myself.
Source: CNET

Motorola Moto Z3 review: Solid, midprice phone with a bright 5G tomorrow – CNET

Motorola’s Moto Z3 is reliable, but has little to do while waiting for 2019’s Verizon 5G networks to light up.
Source: CNET

Pi Charging rebrands as Spansive, opens up to partners but drops plans for its own padless wireless charger

Pi Charging is changing course and changing names. It’ll now be known as “Spansive”.

As Pi, the company had been working on a cone-shaped wireless charger that would sit on a desk and allow the user to charge devices placed within about 12 inches in any direction. It would require a case to work with existing devices, with the trade-off of not requiring the user to place their device directly on top of a charging pad. They showed this device at TechCrunch Disrupt SF in 2017, where the company won the Startup Battlefield competition.

After extensive user testing, co-founder John MacDonald says they heard two common complaints from testers. First, the cone charger, when surrounded by charging devices, took up too much space on tables and counters. Second, no one wanted to use a dedicated charging case in place of the brand name cases they already had. As built-in wireless protocols like Qi grew more and more commonplace, the company came to realize its current approach wouldn’t work.

“Qi is just not designed, even philosophically if you talk to people at the Qi standard, it’s not focused on one foot, two feet of range.” says MacDonald. “It’s really focused on surfaces and areas rather than volumes.”

MacDonald tells me that while they had let potential buyers sign up for an email list to claim a cone device later, the company never accepted money for pre-orders. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised over $14M from investors; MacDonald says those investors will maintain their stakes in Spansive, with the rebrand changing nothing about its cap table.

As a focus of its rebranding, the company will also be opening up to outside partners who might want to integrate the volumetric tech from Pi’s cone charger into their own products, with wireless headphone makers mentioned as a potential example. MacDonald says the company has seen considerable interest from potential partners, so it’ll be a key part of the brand moving forward.

Though Pi — or, I should say now, Spansive — is dropping plans for its own cone charger, it’s not dropping out of the consumer wireless charging space. It’s working on a product that MacDonald says the company will announce this summer, focusing on charging multiple devices simultaneously without the need for a case, and on compatibility with Qi devices.  Spansive also sent over this teaser-y render, which appears to show an iPhone (or a device with a similar antenna band) resting on top of a charging base:

 

While it’s disappointing to see the cone charger get shelved, wireless charging is clearly a very tough space. Just last week, Apple canceled plans for its AirPower wireless charger over a year after it was announced, saying the device ultimately wasn’t meeting the company’s standards.


Source: TechCrunch

Reserve your demo table at TC Sessions: Mobility 2019

Viva la revolution! And by that we mean the tech revolution taking place in mobility and transportation. If you’re an early-stage startup founder in either field, don’t miss your chance to demo your company in front of top influencers at TC Sessions: Mobility 2019. It’s a prime opportunity to showcase your tech startup in front of a very large, very targeted audience — the mobility and transportation industry’s movers and shakers. Why wait? Book a demo table right now.

TC Sessions: Mobility 2019 takes place on July 10 in San Jose, Calif. More than 1,000 members of the mobility community — founders, technologists, engineering students and investors — will gather for a day-long intensive event featuring speakers, panel discussions, demos, workshops and world-class networking.

TechCrunch editors will interview some of the best minds and makers in this rapidly evolving field. They’ll challenge assumptions and deflate the hype to provide a clearer understanding of the current state of mobility — and what the future holds.

Exciting as it may be, mobility raises complex issues and challenges — from human impact and infrastructure to regulatory concerns and capital investment. We won’t shy away from the big issues — we’ll dig in and hear from the people who are making it happen.

Case in point, we recently announced our first speaker — Dave Ferguson, the CEO of the autonomous delivery startup Nuro. An early pioneer of self-driving vehicle technology, Ferguson has worked on robotics and machine learning for nearly 20 years, owns more than 100 patents and served as the machine learning and computer vision team lead on Google’s self-driving program (now known as Waymo).

The auto industry alone is undergoing a seismic shift toward investing in car sharing, ride hailing, on-demand shuttles and even subscription services. Traditional paradigms around producing, selling and buying cars are changing and — along with a serious uptick in electric vehicle ownership — creating huge opportunities for tech startups.

Things start to get exponential when you add breakthroughs in AI, robotics, drone technology and autonomous delivery bots. What started as the horseless carriage may soon be a flying taxi. TC Sessions Mobility 2019 is the place to explore the intricacies of these topics and connect with the best minds in your community.

We’re still building our agenda and adding to our roster of speakers, many of whom will demonstrate their technology on our stage. Here’s a radical thought. If you want to be considered for a spot — or nominate someone else — submit your application right here. We’ll announce the participants of our fireside chats, panels and workshops in the coming weeks.

TC Sessions: Mobility 2019 takes place on July 10, and this is your chance to showcase your early-stage mobility startup in front of mobility’s best and brightest founders, investors and technologists. Reserve your demo table today.

Looking for sponsorship opportunities? Contact our TechCrunch team to learn about the benefits associated with sponsoring TC Sessions: Mobility 2019.


Source: TechCrunch

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