Tech

Memory raises $5M to bring AI to time tracking
techcrunch.com
Memory, a startup out of Norway and maker of time tracking app Timely, has raised $5 million in further funding. Leading the round is Concentric, and Investinor, with participation from existing investor SNÖ Ventures. The company had previously raised $1 million in 2016 from 500 Startups, and SNÖ. Founded by Mathias Mikkelsen, a designer by background and who I understand turned down a job offer at Facebook to try his hand at startup life, Memory is applying what it describes as AI and digital technology to create various tools to help solve “the abuses of time” that workers typically face in the modern workplace. The first of those abuses being tackled is the monotonous and time-consuming task of time tracking and filing time sheets — a meta problem if there ever was o [...]
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Sidestepping App Stores, Facebook Lite and Groups get Instant Games
techcrunch.com
HTML5 almost ruined Facebook when baking in the mobile web standard to speed up development slowed down the performance of the social network’s main iOS and Android apps. For a brief moment in 2011, Facebook even tried to build an HTML5 gaming platform codenamed Sparta to escape the taxes of Apple and Google’s mobile operating systems. But at the time, HTML5 wasn’t powerful enough for great gaming. Facebook eventually ditched HTML5, rebuilt the apps natively, and Facebook became one of the most powerful players in mobile. Now Facebook is giving HTML5 another shot as a way to expand its Instant Games like Pac-Man and Words With Friends to the developing world through Facebook Lite, and to interest communities via Facebook Groups. With improvements to smartphone processing [...]
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Why IGTV should go premium
techcrunch.com
It’s been four months since Facebook launched IGTV, with the goal of creating a destination for longer-form Instagram videos. Is it shaping up to be a high-profile flop, or could this be the company’s next multi-billion-dollar business? IGTV, which features videos up to 60 minutes versus Instagram’s normal 60-second limit, hasn’t made much of a splash yet. Since there are no ads yet, it hasn’t made a dollar, either. But, it offers Facebook the opportunity to dominate a new category of premium video, and to develop a subscription business that better aligns with high-quality content. Facebook worked with numerous media brands and celebrities to shoot high-quality, vertical videos for IGTV’s launch on June 20, as both a dedicated app and a section within the main Instag [...]
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Microsoft’s new expense tracker Spend hits the App Store
techcrunch.com
The team behind mileage-tracking app MileIQ, a company Microsoft acquired a few years ago, is out with a new application. This time, the focus isn’t on tracking miles, but rather expenses. The new app, simply called “Spend,” arrived on the App Store on Thursday, offering automatic expense tracking for work reimbursement purposes or for taxes. Spend doesn’t appear to be a part of some grand Microsoft plan to take on expense tracking industry giants, like Expensify or SAP-owned Concur, for example. At least, not at this time. Instead, the app is a Microsoft Garage project, the App Store clarifies. Microsoft Garage is the company’s internal incubator when employees can test out new ideas to see if they resonate with consumers and business users. Through the prog [...]
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Embracing multimodality, Uber pioneers ride recommendations
techcrunch.com
For the first time, Uber will make contextual, personalized suggestions about the best way to get from point A to point B. The startup offers more than just cars now, and it’s starting to understand the trade-offs between price, speed, convenience and comfort amidst its multi-modal fleet. Most noticeably, you’ll soon see JUMP bikes get premier billing right alongside Uber’s other vehicles. Going a short distance and there’s a charged up bike nearby? Uber will suggest you pedal. Might need extra room for luggage on your way to the airport? UberXL and SUV will appear. Always take cheap Pools? It won’t show you a pricier Black car. Uber is finally getting smart. It has to if it’s going to make sense of its growing patchwork of ride types without overwhelmi [...]
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Spotify’s Premium app gets a big makeover
techcrunch.com
Spotify has given its app a big makeover, with a focus on making the experience better for its paying subscribers. The company has simplified the app’s navigation by reducing the numbers of buttons and has revamped its Search page, which now incorporates elements previously found in “Browse,” like favorite genres or music to match a mood. And it’s given its Radio service a redesign as well, with the addition of new and easy-to-use Artist Radio Playlists. The most immediately noticeable change is the app’s navigation. Spotify has always felt a bit cluttered, with its five navigation buttons – Home, Browse, Search, Radio and My Library. The new app has chopped this down to just three buttons – Home, Search, and My Library. Recommendations will appear [...]
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N26 faces criticism regarding its identification processes
techcrunch.com
Fintech startup N26 is growing quite rapidly. Building a startup is hard, but building a startup that manages your bank account is even harder given the increased scrutiny. German weekly magazine Wirtschaftswoche published an article that questioned N26’s identification processes. According to Wirtschaftswoche, it’s quite easy to create an account with a fake ID document. “One or two people got through with a fake ID document. And we detected that afterward. Unfortunately, we didn't detect it in real time,” co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me. “Unfortunately, it can happen.” But Stalf also insisted that it’s not a widespread problem and that all banks face the same issue. According to him, N26 complies with all regulations when it comes to onboarding. Currently, N [...]
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Macaw will curate Twitter for you, help expand your network
techcrunch.com
Twitter today inserts activity-based tweets into your timeline, alerting you to things like the popular tweets liked by people you follow, or those Twitter accounts that a lot of people in your network have just started to follow. These alerts can be useful, but their timing is sporadic and they can be easily missed. Plus, if you turn off Twitter’s algorithmic timeline (as may be possible for some), you’ll lose access to this sort of info. A new Twitter app called Macaw aims to help. Macaw, which recently launched on Product Hunt, offers a set of similar information as Twitter does, with a few changes. Macaw works by first pulling in a list of people you follow. It then tracks what tweets they like throughout the day and turns that into a feed of tweets that were most popular. [...]
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