Tech

Photomath raises $6 million for its math-solving app
techcrunch.com
Photomath just raised a $6 million funding round from Goodwater Capital, with Learn Capital also participating. Photomath has created a hugely successful mobile app for iOS and Android with 100 million downloads so far. Photomath first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt London back in 2014. The company was working on text recognition technology. Photomath was just a demo app to promote that technology. But the startup accidentally created a consumer success. The app instantly attracted millions of downloads from many desperate students willing to learn math with their phones. Years later it is still one of the most downloaded apps in the App Store and Play Store. And the reason it’s been so successful is that it’s a simple concept. After downloading the app, you just have to point your pho [...]
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Instagram prototypes bully-proof moderated School Stories
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Instagram is considering offering collaborative School Stories that only a certain school’s students can see or contribute to. And to make sure these Stories wouldn’t become bullying cesspools, Instagram’s code shows a warning that “School stories are manually reviewed to make sure the community is safe.” School Stories could create a fun space for kids to share with their peers beyond the prying eyes of their parents or strangers, though they could also exacerbate teen culture issues around envy and exclusionary social scenes. The code was first discovered by TechCrunch’s top tipster Jane Manchun Wong. Instagram declined to comment on the record regarding the code, though previous discoveries from its code that it also “no-comment’ed” [...]
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Google Pixel 3 XL users are getting twice the notch, thanks to a bug
techcrunch.com
Over the past two years, the notch moved from anomaly to fact of life, and no company has proven itself more pro-notch than Google. From its embrace of #notchlife in Android Pie to the downright gigantic one found up top on the Pixel 3 XL, Google’s really notchin’ it up. In fact, as noted by Android Police, the Pixel 3 XL has a notch so nice, Google’s delivering it twice. A number of owners have reported an admittedly hilarious bug that’s causing the massive handset to double up on the notch, with a second cutout appearing on the side of the device. So my Pixel randomly grew another notch today. https://t.co/c6Pff9MVmW pic.twitter.com/ugjfLmCkDZ — UrAvgConsumer (@UrAvgConsumer) October 24, 2018 Google has acknowledged (acknotchleged?) the issue and noted that it’s work [...]
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Apple News will launch a real-time election results hub on November 6
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Apple is preparing to launch a new way for its customers to track election results. At 8 PM ET on November 6, the company will swap out the existing Midterm Elections section in the Apple News app and replace it with a new Election Night section instead. This section will also replace Apple News’ Digest tab at the bottom-center of the app, in order to lead users directly to the special section where they’ll be able to track the live results, updates on key races, latest developments and more. The company is partnering with the Associated Press for its real-time election results, as do many news organizations thanks to AP’s history and experience with verifying results. Here, Apple will use that AP data to inform a number of dynamic infographics, as well as offer a comple [...]
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Consumers spent $329M on the top 10 subscription video apps last quarter
techcrunch.com
Last year, the top subscription video apps like Netflix and Hulu raked in a combined $781 million, and that trend is showing no sign of slowing down in 2018. In the third quarter of 2018, U.S. consumers spent an estimated $329 million in the top 10 subscription video-on-demand apps across the App Store and Google Play — a figure that’s up 15 percent from the $285 million spent in Q1. The data is the latest in a new report from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, which has been following the growth of subscription video apps for some time. Last year, for example, it found that Netflix’s app topped the charts in terms of revenue, when compared with all the other non-game apps on the market. Netflix hasn’t fallen from its top-ranked position, the new data shows. In fa [...]
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The iPhone is reportedly getting 5G in 2020
techcrunch.com
The first 5G phones are set to start arriving next year. Motorola plans to bring next-gen connectivity via a Mod for the Z3, and companies like LG and OnePlus have promised to deliver the tech baked into handsets at some point in 2019. iPhone users, on the other hand, may have to wait a bit longer. The technology is, of course, an inevitability for Apple (along with everyone else, really), so it’s just a question of when. A new report from Fast Company (via the Verge) puts the timing around a year and half out. The “source with knowledge of Apple’s plans” put the 5G iPhone’s arrival at some point in 2020, with Intel supplying the tech this time out. Apparently Apple and Intel are going through a bit of a rough patch of late, courtesy of heat/battery issues with the 8060 5G mode [...]
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Facebook reorganizes Oculus for AR/VR’s long-haul
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Facebook is again looking to whip Oculus into shape for its 10-year journey towards making virtual reality mainstream. According to two sources, Facebook reorganized its AR and VR team this week from a divisional structure focused around products to a functional structure focused around technology areas of expertise. While no one was laid off, the change could eliminate redundancies by uniting specialists so they can iterate towards long-term progress rather than being separated into groups dedicated to particular gadgets. Facebook confirmed the reorg to TechCrunch, with a spokesperson providing this statement: “We made some changes to the AR/VR organization earlier this week. These were internal changes and won’t impact consumers or our partners in the developer community.” Oc [...]
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Sequoia leads $10M round for home improvement negotiator Setter
techcrunch.com
You probably don’t know how much it should cost to get your home’s windows washed, yard landscaped or countertops replaced. But Setter does. The startup pairs you with a home improvement concierge familiar with all the vendors, prices and common screwups that plague these jobs. Setter finds the best contractors across handiwork, plumbing, electrical, carpentry and more. It researches options, negotiates a bulk rate and, with its added markup, you pay a competitive price with none of the hassle. One of the most reliable startup investing strategies is looking at where people spend a ton of money but hate the experience. That makes home improvement a prime target for disruption, and attracted a $10 million Series A round for Setter co-led by Sequoia Capital and NFX. “The m [...]
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