Published On: Sun, Jul 11th, 2021

This Week in Apps: Android ad prices jump, TikTok resumes, Google Play’s antitrust lawsuit

Welcome behind to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps a latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and a altogether app economy.

The app attention continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in tellurian consumer spend in 2020. Consumers final year also spent 3.5 trillion mins regulating apps on Android inclination alone. And in a U.S., app use surged forward of a time spent examination live TV. Currently, a normal American watches 3.7 hours of live TV per day, though now spends 4 hours per day on their mobile devices.

Apps aren’t usually a approach to pass idle hours — they’re also a vast business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x aloft than those though a mobile focus. In 2020, investors poured $73 billion in collateral into mobile companies — a figure that’s adult 27% year-over-year.

This Week in Apps offers a approach to keep adult with this fast-moving attention in one place with a latest from a universe of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and suggestions about new apps and games to try, too.

This Week in Apps will shortly be a newsletter! Sign adult here: techcrunch.com/newsletters

Android ad prices burst in arise of remoteness updates on iOS

The Wall St. Journal reported this week how Apple’s remoteness changes are changing a universe of mobile promotion — in this case, ad pricing opposite platforms. The news opening has been covering a broader impact of Apple’s preference to let users retard apps from tracking them, observant how ad sales, including Facebook’s ad business, would be affected. (And how Apple’s possess ad business would gain.)

This week, The WSJ says many users are disappearing tracking on iOS (less than 33% opt in), and as a result, mobile ad prices on iOS have fallen. The opening cites information from ad dimensions organisation Tenjin which records that spending on iOS mobile ads has forsaken around one-third between Jun 1 and Jul 1. Around a same time, Android spending rose 10% — an denote that, for a time being, some apportionment of a ad marketplace has usually shifted platforms. Facebook ad spend also shifted to Android, with year-over-year enlargement of 46% for Android users in May to 64% in June.

The news follows a story this week from The FT, that remarkable that Chinese tech giants’ devise to track around a IDFA changes with CAID (the Chinese Advertising ID), had failed. Apple blocked updates to apps regulating CAID, that led to it losing support and a project’s failure.

For many app users, a ability to retard tracking is a acquire change, as distant too many user information had been common behind-the-scenes though users’ supportive consent. But a full impacts of how a refurbish will impact app monetization long-term — and eventually that companies afterwards select to build on iOS — still sojourn to be seen.

37 AGs aim Google Play in an antitrust lawsuit

A organisation of 37 attorneys ubiquitous filed a second vital antitrust lawsuit opposite Google, accusing a association of regulating a marketplace energy to suppress competition. The fit takes aim during Google’s Play Store, that requires users to compensate for apps and in-app purchases regulating Google’s possess payments complement — that gives Google a commission of a revenue. In addition, a fit alleges that Google creates dubious confidence claims about a need for a walled garden app store like Google Play, in sequence to say a widespread position.

Google responded by job a lawsuit “meritless” and observant that it ignores a honesty of a Android platform, that permits other app stores and sideloading.

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

First Look: Pok Pok’s award-winning kids’ app Pok Pok Playroom shows off a sound design

Image Credits: Pok Pok

Recently launched Pok Pok Playroom from Pok Pok, a spinout from app builder Snowman (Alto’s Adventure, Alto’s Odyssey, Skate City), usually took home an Apple Design Award in a “Delight and Fun” difficulty for a app launched usually months ago. Unlike other kids’ apps, Pok Pok promises an app that’s some-more of a digital “toy” that encourages genuine and talented play, not a mobile kids game. Now a association is pity some of a techniques that helped it build this award-winning experience.

The association says it wanted to make certain there were no irritating sounds or repeated song in a app that would worry relatives or get stranded in kids’ heads. So it worked with a sound designer, Matt Miller, to safeguard all a sounds in Pok Pok Playroom were feeling permitted and not overstimulating.

Miller mostly uses what he calls “found sounds” — that is, sounds he total by anticipating things to record — like a soup can, a selected fondle sourced from a internal preservation shop, birds chirping, a ladle knocking on a pinecone and more. These give Pok Pok Playroom a some-more healthy feel than other toys, that can infrequently underline shrill or electronic-sounding noises that are overstimulating for kids and disruptive to those around them.

Platforms

A new Comscore investigate offers a demeanour during how many people use their preinstalled apps from Apple and Google. Not surprisingly, these built-in utilities and services — like email, notes, messaging, maps, photos, clocks and some-more — browbeat people’s app usage. 75% of a tip 20 most-used apps on iPhone were done by Apple, and 60% of a tip Android apps were done by Google, though here’s a humorous thing: The investigate was paid for by Facebook, a association that’s looking for any angle to make it seem like it’s not a monopoly. So of march it had to find a usually other bigger apps it could — a ones that boat with your smartphone.

Image Credits: comscore

OnePlus reliable it’s throttling a array of renouned apps on a OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro in sequence to urge battery life. Apps such as Chrome, Twitter, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Discord, Microsoft’s Office apps, Firefox and Samsung Internet, were affected. The emanate was detected due to unsuitable benchmarks in testing.

Fintech

PayPal was a many downloaded P2P payments app globally during a initial half of 2021, according to Apptopia. Rounding out a tip 10 were Google Play, Alipay, PhonePe, Cash App, Paytm, Venmo, Zelle, Western Union and Remitly.

Personal financial app Charlie launched a redesign and a new underline called Direct Pay, that allows users to supplement their credit cards to a app to make additional payments toward their debt during their possess pace. Or they can let a app suggest when it’s best to make payments toward their credit label debt. The association records a users are now saving $66 monthly, that has total adult to $30K+ of seductiveness saved over a lifetime of their loans.

Charlie launches a mobile app that ‘gamifies’ stealing out of debt

Social

✨ TikTok is piloting a new module that will concede U.S. users to ask for jobs regulating a TikTok video as a resume. Video field are asked to showcase their skillsets and practice on video, afterwards supplement #TikTokResumes to their caption. Pilot testers embody a array of employers — like Chipotle, Target, WWE, Alo Yoga, Shopify, Contra, Movers + Shakers and others. The doubt is, will TikTokers underline these videos on a same comment where they’ve posted personal content, dances and trends, or will this give approach to a arise in Rinsta and Finsta-like TikTok accounts, where personal and some-more open calm stays separated?

TikTok wants we to send video resumes directly to brands to land your subsequent gig

TikTok is also contrast a possess chronicle of Cameo. The association was speckled contrast a new underline that allows fans to compensate for a shout-out video from their favorite creators directly in a app. According to screenshots of a feature, fans can ask birthday wishes, pep talks and other messages, afterwards compensate regulating TikTok’s in-app currency.

Twitter common a few some-more ideas it’s meditative about in terms of new facilities around review health and privacy. This includes a one-stop “privacy check-in” underline that would deliver Twitter’s newer review controls options to users, and others that would concede people to be some-more private on a service, or to some-more simply navigate between open and private tweets or their several accounts.

TikTok on Tuesday gifted a widespread technical outage that lasted for over 5 hours before services were restored. U.S. users found that many videos were not loading during this time.

TikTok primogenitor association ByteDance launched a new business arm called BytePlus, that will permit a company’s several technologies to other businesses. This includes a AR effects, mechanism prophesy and appurtenance interpretation tools, analytics and contrast tools, and a recommendation engine that supports over 1.5 billion users. The company’s collection are being used by GOAT, Wego, Chilibeli, GamesApp, Webuy, Lark, and others, in further to TikTok.

Trump has now sued Facebook, Twitter and Google for being “censored.” The companies enforced their terms of use in holding down Trump’s comment opposite tip amicable media platforms in a arise of a Jan. 6 conflict on a Capitol. Trump’s lawsuit claims his First Amendment rights are being violated. The First Amendment relates to supervision censorship, not actions taken by businesses, however. Trump expected knows this though wanted to stir adult some headlines.

Photos

Image Credits: Picsart

Popular photo-editing app PicsArt launched a formula refresh that includes a new name (Picsart), new logo, and a uninformed new demeanour opposite web and mobile, and some-more creator-friendly pattern flows. The app currently has over 150 million monthly active users worldwide.

Everyone has thoughts on Instagram Head Adam Mosseri’s latest comments where he announced Instagram is “no longer” a photo-sharing app. His post was meant to warning users to arriving tests that will see Instagram doing some-more experiments around how to improved underline video in a app, though some are holding it as a pointer that Instagram is some-more entirely pivoting to a video-first experience.

Streaming Entertainment

Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine, is looking for an acquirer. The association has reportedly been in talks with mixed suitors, including Apple, The WSJ said. While a incomparable partial of Hello Sunshine is it TV and film film business, a association also operates a book bar app, Reese’s Book Club, that serves as a place where many of a movie/TV deals are essentially sourced.

More Spotify Premium users are stating carrying gained entrance to a new feature, announced in May, that will concede them to download song to their Apple Watch so they can listen offline. The underline had been graduating rolling out, though appears to now be reaching a tellurian audience.

Gaming

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Pokémon Go income from actor spending has surfaced $5 billion as a diversion celebrates a five-year anniversary. According to Sensor Tower, the AR diversion now generates $1 billion on normal per year, putting it during a op of a Geolocation AR difficulty globally, forward of others like Dragon Quest Walk and Square Enix.

The Alto’s Adventure array from Snowman is stealing a new installment in a form of an arriving Apple Arcade recover called Alto’s Odyssey: The Lost City. The diversion is like a special book of Alto’s Odyssey (the supplement to Alto’s Adventure), as it embody additional facilities and calm that’s deeply integrated, not usually tacked on, including a new plcae called a Lost City. The diversion arrives on Apple Arcade on Jul 16th.

Health Fitness

Amazon launched a new, employee-only app called Amazon WorkingWell for a health and wellness program that includes Associate-facing support, preparation and safety-prevention information opposite calm content, videos, podcasts, and more.

Vaccine pass apps have strike 10 million tellurian downloads, according to information from Apptopia. The organisation analyzed a downloads for tip apps including NHS, VeriFLY, NYS Excelsior, and CommonPass.

Image Credits: Apptopia

Government Policy

Chinese ride-hailing hulk Didi was pulled from several apps stores in China, including Apple’s App Store. According to Chinese regulators, a app was illegally collecting users’ personal info. Didi pronounced it was origination “corrections” and is crude new user sign-ups, though a app for existent users remained operational. China’s cybersecurity watchdog also suggested a association check a IPO, and a app was private from China’s WeChat and Alipay apps for new users.

Security Privacy

9 Android apps with 5.8 million total downloads were held hidden users’ Facebook passwords. A confidence organisation found apps charity print editing, exercise, horoscopes and utilities that were tricking users into entering their Facebook certification with a guarantee of stealing ads from a app after signing into Facebook. Google has criminialized all a apps and their developers from a Play Store.

10 opioid obsession diagnosis apps were found pity supportive information with third parties, including a singular identifier on Android, singular device identifiers, phone numbers, and lists of commissioned apps. The apps have 180K total downloads.

Google expelled a Jul 2021 confidence refurbish for Pixel that rags a few “high”-priority (but not critical) vulnerabilities. The refurbish is rolling out to a operation of Pixel devices.

💰 Publishing height Hiber lifted $15 million for a web height that allows people to emanate user-generated games, identical to Roblox. The association also offers a origination app for Android inclination and allows players to use Safari to emanate games on iOS.

💰 Juni, a neobanking app for e-commerce and online selling companies, raised $21.5 million in Series A funding. The turn was co-led by DST Global and Felix Capital. The banking app has sealed adult 3,000 businesses on a waitlists, of that 200 have now joined.

📈 Neighborhood amicable networking app Nextdoor pronounced it’s going open around a SPAC. The association skeleton to combine with Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co. II, holding itself open during a same time. The transaction will value a business during approximately $4.3 billion, adult from a 2019 gratefulness of $2.17 billion. The app has 27 million weekly active users opposite a U.S.

💰 Pleo, a startup charity intelligent association cards for SMBs that automate responsibility reports, lifted $150 million during a $1.7 billion gratefulness for a use that works opposite web and mobile.

💰 Popshop Live lifted $20 million in Series A appropriation during a $100 million valuation for a livestream selling service, accessible on web and mobile. The turn was led by Benchmark, and comes after 500% enlargement of a array of sellers on a height in a final 3 months.

💰 Live video selling startup Talkshoplive lifted $6 million in a seed extension turn led by Raine Ventures. The association publishes an app that sellers can use with a live tide selling platform.

💰 Indian amicable commerce startup DealShare, that began as an e-commerce height on WhatsApp, lifted $144 million in Series D appropriation led by Tiger Global. The turn values a association during $455 million post-money and will be used to assistance comment general expansion.

💰 Indian edtech Teachmint lifted $20 million in a “pre-Series B” turn led by Learn Capital for a mobile-first, video-first tech platform.

💰 European neobank Bunq, that offers a bank comment we control from a mobile app, lifted $228 million in Series A appropriation that values a business during $1.9 billion. The turn was led by Pollen Street Capital and is a largest turn for a European fintech.

Rec Room (Android launch)

Image Credits: Rec Room

Social gaming height Rec Room, that recently became a initial VR unicorn, has launched on a Google Play Store. The height creatively targeted usually a VR marketplace though stretched to other platforms as VR headset sales remained slow. Similar to Roblox and others, Rec Room allows players to dress adult their avatars and play games built by other creators. To date, a app had been accessible on iOS, PlayStation 4 and 5; Xbox Series X and Xbox One, PC (via Steam), Oculus Quests and other VR headsets. It’s now live on Android to offer a incomparable tellurian market.

OnMail (Android launch)

Image Credits: OnMail

Email use OnMail, that has formerly been accessible on iOS, launched a app on a Google Play Store. The app aims to solve users’ biggest problems with email, including those with neglected mail, email trackers, and more. As on iOS, OnMail lets we accept or reject senders before they strike your mailbox, blocks view pixels, nudges we to follow adult on emails, automatically organizes mail into intelligent folders (shopping, travel, packages, events), offers easy unsubscribe, monitors for refunds, checks grammar, creates it easier to send vast attachments, and a lot more.

SwoonMe

Image Credits: SwoonMe

A new startup called SwoonMe aims to repair a problem with extraneous dating apps, where users essentially make decisions formed on how someone looks in their photos. Instead, on SwoonMe, we take a selfie that a app translates into an avatar. This is what others will see when they come to your profile. You afterwards record a voice shave to tell others about yourself and what you’re looking for in a partner. The outcome is that when people corkscrew by SwoonMe, they’re not origination snap decisions formed on what they’re seeing, though are rather origination some-more courteous decisions formed what they hear. When dual people match, a app encourages them to continue to get to know any other regulating voice messages and soon, icebreaker games — not texting and photo-sharing. As they communicate, their avatar will solemnly betray their genuine photo.

Slide

Image Credits: Raise.com

A new app from present label marketplace Raise.com, Slide, offers users 4% money behind on their purchases online and during over 150 renouned stores, including Lowe’s, Petco, ULTA, Office Depot, Bed Bath Beyond, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Chili’s, DoorDash, Domino’s, Aeropostale, Express, HM, Foot Locker, Loft, REI, GameStop, AMC, Groupon, Southwest Airlines, Uber, AutoZone, and others. To use Slide and get 4% back, users open a app during checkout, select their store, and enter their accurate squeeze amount. They’ll afterwards uncover a barcode to a cashier, or if profitable online, enter a code. The money behind can be eliminated to Venmo or PayPal or saved for a destiny purchase.

Users should be wakeful a additional money comes during a price: a information Slide collects from users will concede companies to retarget them with ads and offers opposite devices, according to a app’s Privacy Policy. The app is giveaway on iOS and Android.

About the Author