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This Week in Apps: iOS 15 public beta arrives, Android App Bundles to replace APKs, app consumer spend hits new record | #1 Technology News Source by Kalen2utech
Published On: Fri, Jul 30th, 2021

This Week in Apps: iOS 15 open beta arrives, Android App Bundles to reinstate APKs, app consumer spend hits new record

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, nonetheless now spends 4 hours per day on their mobile devices.

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

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Android App Bundles are now going to be required

This week Google announced it will need new apps to be published regulating a Android App Bundle as of Aug 2021. The association initial launched a Android App Bundle standard, that replaces a APK, in May 2018 as partial of a complicated enlargement push. Since then, a infancy of a tip 1,000 apps and games have switched over to AABs including those from companies like Adobe, Duolingo. Gameloft, Netflix, reBus, Rainy, and Twitter. Today, there are over 1 million apps regulating AAB in production.

AABs solve some problems with a aging APK standard, utterly around incomparable apps and games. With AABs, developers don’t have to emanate an APK that contains all for any form of Android device. They offer a approach to quick and some-more well download a resources indispensable for a sold device, and they do so in a approach that focuses on removing a user or actor to a app or game’s calm as quick as possible.

But not everybody agrees a change is for a better. Those who exercise APK Hosting sites like APKMirror or APKPure to download and share apps worry that a change to AAB is a approach to force users to use a Play Store instead of alternatives. Meanwhile, Epic Games owner and CEO Tim Sweeney — who is holding on tech giants over their purported app store monopolies with both lawsuits and lobbying — forked out that a pierce divided from a some-more open APK customary is about locking users into Google Play.

Consumer Spending on apps hits record $64.9B in a initial half of a year

Consumer spending in mobile apps strike a record $64.9 billion during a initial half of 2021, according to rough information from app store comprehension organisation Sensor Tower. This figure represents a 24.8% boost in spending seen opposite both a App Store and Google Play, compared with a year-ago period. But while attention experts trust a accelerated change to mobile fueled by a pestilence is a trend that will continue, it’s value observant that — notwithstanding a new record — a enlargement rate for consumer spending has somewhat slowed, and a download enlargement slowed some-more dramatically.

From a initial half of 2019 to a initial half of 2020, consumer spending on mobile apps grew 28.4% from $40.5 billion to $52 billion, for comparison — slower than a 24.8% seen in a stream period.

Consumer spending on apps strike record $64.9B in initial half of 2021, nonetheless exercise enlargement slowed to 1.7%

Platforms: Apple

✨ Apple launched a open betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and watchOS 8. Although developers already had entrance to early builds, this week was a initial time a open could get their hands on Apple’s latest module before a central launch this fall. One of a biggest changes in iOS 15 is a serve of “Focus” modes that give users some-more control over when and who can worry them with calls, texts and notifications during opposite contexts — like work, driving, sleeping, and more. Users will also benefit entrance to SharePlay interactivity on FaceTime, iMessage improvements, a ability to FaceTime with Android friends around web links, spatial audio, Live Text (which unlocks info from your photos), app remoteness reports, and upgrades to many of Apple’s core apps, and more.

Apple usually expelled a initial iOS 15 beta to everyone

Platforms: Google

✨Google is implementing stronger confidence measures on Google Play developer accounts in an try to moment down on spam and other antagonistic apps. Previously, a association compulsory usually an email and phone series to emanate a Google Play developer account. Now it will need an comment form (personal or organization), a hit name and earthy address, and it will need developers to determine their email and phone number. Google says a changes will concede it to improved promulgate with developers and will assistance to “make certain that any comment is combined by a genuine chairman with genuine hit details.” It’s also now mandating that users of Google Play Console pointer in regulating Google’s 2-Step Verification.

Samsung and Google previewed their wearable height forward of a subsequent Galaxy Watch launch. The dual companies concluded to partner on wearables in sequence to improved contest opposite Apple Watch. At Mobile World Congress, Samsung showed off a initial device to underline a One UI Watch user knowledge and a new one height built in partnership with Google.


Instagram adds a new underline that will concede businesses in a U.S. to appropriate themselves as being Black-owned businesses regulating badges that seem on their profiles and on their product selling pages. It might also be highlighted in places like a Shop tab, to assistance some-more intensity business learn a business.

Walmart partnered with mobile couponing app Ibotta on a multi-year understanding that will offer cash-back rewards to Walmart customers that will be practical directly to customers’ Walmart accounts, where they can be used for destiny purchases. The offers will be finished accessible on Walmart.com and inside a Walmart mobile app.

Following Apple and Google’s lead, Shopify forsaken App Store commissions. However, it’s dropping a cut to 0% for a initial million, and afterwards will usually take a 15% elect on “marginal” income above that $1 million. The change could boost vigour on other app stores to make serve adjustments to their models in a future.

Augmented Reality

Rakuten Viber has partnered with Snap to pierce protracted existence Lenses from Snapchat to a possess Viber job and messaging app. The over 30 Lenses will be built regulating Snap’s artistic tools, including Bitmoji, Camera Kit, and Creative Kit and will offer AR-enabled messaging and photos to Viber’s users. The understanding is another instance of how Snap is flourishing a chartering business for a AR and artistic collection alongside a enlargement of a possess amicable app.

Google’s Arts Culture app combined a new underline called Art Filter that allows everybody to learn about poignant pieces of art from around a universe and put themselves inside famous paintings regulating AR. Google talked this week about a work with MediaPipe to exercise their face filigree and 3D face renovate tech to emanate tradition effects for any of a artifacts chosen.


Venmo introduced a new underline that allows users to supplement a “good and services” tab to payments sent to personal accounts to compute them from personal transactions. The complement is meant to strengthen buyers and sellers, Venmo says. Buyers on these exchange will be authorised for Venmo’s Purchase Protection Program, nonetheless sellers are incompetent with a new fees compared with a change as Venmo will now concede 1.9% of a transaction and 10 cents from a income sent to a seller.

Intuit-owned financial and budgeting app Mint combined a ability to lane cryptocurrency investments opposite a series of upheld exchanges, including Binance, BlockFi, Coinbase/Coinbase Pro, Gemini, Kraken, PayPal, and Robinhood. As a result, a app shot to No. 12 altogether on a U.S. App Store on Wednesday and became a No. 1 app in a Finance category, nonetheless it has given forsaken in ranking.


TikTok is expanding a max video length to 3 minutes, adult from 60 seconds, after contrast this underline publicly for many months with a name organisation of creators. The underline will concede for some-more long-form video content, potentially creation TikTok even some-more of a hazard to YouTube.

Pinterest bans weight detriment ads on a platform, apropos a initial vital amicable height to take this arrange of action. The association says amicable media plays a purpose in constrained damaging beauty standards, and ads that worship weight detriment minister to a arise in jumbled eating behaviors rather than healthy habits.

Instagram is building a possess chronicle of Twitter’s Super Follow with “Exclusive Stories.” Instagram reliable that a screenshots of an “Exclusive Stories” underline recently circulated opposite amicable media are from an inner antecedent that’s now in development, nonetheless not nonetheless being publicly tested. The underline would concede creators to offer Stories that usually members (likely essential subscribers) would be means to see. These would seem on their form in opposite colors and would arrangement a summary that their Story was usually for members when others attempted to perspective them. They could also be saved as Highlights, and can’t be screenshot, according to a leaks.

Instagram is building a possess chronicle of Twitter’s Super Follow with ‘Exclusive Stories’

TikTok’s latest clarity news suggested a association private 11,149,514 accounts in Q1 2021 for violating village discipline or terms of service, that is fewer than 1% of sum accounts. Of those removals, 7,263,952 were accounts belonging to children underneath 13.

Trump and Parler reportedly discussed a understanding that would pierce a bulk of Trump’s amicable media participation to a worried Twitter alternative, according to New York Magazine. The understanding would have seen Trump holding 40% of Parler’s revenues had it left through. Parler was fine with a rev share, nonetheless wouldn’t anathema Trump’s critics from a app, that scuttled a deal, a news said.

Instagram is contrast a underline that would concede anyone to be means to share a couple directly in their Stories by a joining sticker, that would work a same approach a swipe-up links now do. The association pronounced a exam is looking to know how many people would use links, if available.

Twitter offering users a possibility to accept one of 7 giveaway NFTs this week, that were minted on Rarible in editions of 20, creation for 140 NFTs (get it?) in total. The NFTs were offering to those who replied to a post from a company’s categorical Twitter account, and could vigilance Twitter’s skeleton to deposit in creation NFTs some-more a partial of a height in a future.

Twitter is creation NFTs now, apparently


ATT assimilated T-Mobile in switching a business to use a Android Messages app as their default mobile messages app for both SMS and RCS services, creation Verizon a usually U.S. conduit that has not finished a partnership understanding with Google. RCS has a lot of advantages over SMS, including no impression limits, a ability to send incomparable files, typing indicators, improved organisation chat, Wi-Fi support and end-to-end encryption for one-on-one organisation chats. This creates it a some-more constrained choice to Apple’s iMessage, nonetheless it requires conduit adoption.

Audio discuss comes to a workplace as Slack this week expelled a new audio apparatus called Slack Huddles that allows users to have real-time conversations with colleagues in Slack’s app instead of typing. The association also offering some-more sum about an arriving underline that allows users to leave video messages and it showed off an upgraded worker directory. The video messages apparatus is being piloted while a office is now accessible to a singular series of Business + and Enterprise Grid customers.

The U.K. released superintendence to messaging apps handling in a nation to not use end-to-end encryption on children’s accounts, seeking companies to cruise a risks that e2e poses to younger users, as it creates it some-more formidable to brand bootleg and damaging calm that takes place on private channels. A supervision orator stressed that there’s a approach to exercise clever encryption in a approach that’s unchanging with open safety. Privacy activists remonstrate with this stance.

UK tells messaging apps not to use e2e encryption for kids’ accounts

Telegram rolled out organisation video calls to a mobile and desktop apps after primarily earnest a underline was entrance behind in Apr 2020. The association says organisation video calls are singular to adult to 30 people nonetheless it skeleton to boost that extent in a future.

WhatsApp is contrast a redesigned voice summary underline that will uncover brief waveforms when a user is recording a message. After recording, a user can stop and listen to their summary before promulgation it, too.


Dating app Bumble is formulation to open a initial cafeteria in New York after this month. The launch was creatively designed for 2019, nonetheless was behind due to a pandemic. The new venue, Bumble Brew, is being enabled by a partnership between a dating app builder and Italian grill Pasquale Jones. Decked out in Bumble’s yellow, a new cafeteria will open subsequent to a restaurant, to offer a place for daters to accommodate for possibly coffee, cocktails or a meal.

Streaming Entertainment

Netflix users on Android inclination will now be means to start streaming titles that have usually partially downloaded, that could assistance in a unfolding where you’ve lost to download your favorite shows before boarding a plane. Before, until a download completed, we couldn’t watch any apportionment of a video during all.

Chinese TikTok opposition Kuaishou and Tencent acquired a short-form rights to a arriving Tokyo and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics from state broadcaster CCTV. This creates a app a initial short-form and livestreaming height globally to turn an central broadcaster of a Olympics.

Amazon Music Unlimited is giving subscribers adult to 6 months of Disney+ for free (or 3 for existent subscribers). Disney’s isn’t a initial to gold a streaming understanding with music. Hulu and Spotify had once finished a same.

Spotify launched a Spotify Audience Network ad marketplace to advertisers and Megaphone publishers in Australia, Canada and a U.K., following a U.S. launch in February. The marketplace lets advertisers buy audio ads on and off a Spotify platform.


Microsoft’s Xbox multiplication announced a enlargement of a Designed for Xbox mobile gaming accessories to iOS alongside a launch of a Xbox Cloud Gaming beta apropos accessible to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members on Windows 10 PCs and Apple phones and tablets around a web browser during xbox.com/play.

As partial of a accessories module expansion, a Backbone mobile controller assimilated a Designed for Xbox family with a Backbone One for Xbox, that supports all iPhones regulating iOS 13 or later. It also combined OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries, a battery container concordant with Xbox consoles, Android and iPhone devices.

Hit iPhone controller Backbone One scores Xbox Game Pass partnership during xCloud’s iOS launch today

Health Fitness

Google announced this week an refurbish to a Passes API that will concede developers to build functionality into their websites and apps to trade COVID-19 exam and vaccination annals to a digital format that can be saved possibly in a Google Pay app or directly on a users homescreen as a shortcut. The API will usually be open to developers during medical organizations, supervision agencies, and other organizations certified by open health authorities, primarily in a U.S.


App Annie spots signs of a pestilence liberation in a Q2 2021 report, observant in sold a miscarry in transport apps. The organisation found that monthly hours spent in Travel and Navigations apps are on an ceiling trend in markets like a U.S. and a U.K., where a rollout of vaccinations has been strong. South Korea is saying an even improved recovery, as time spent in transport apps has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Travel apps in Brazil, France and India, however, have not nonetheless reached pre-pandemic levels.


Alphabet’s Wing launched a giveaway app in a U.S. called OpenSky directed during both blurb and recreational worker pilots. The app shows pilots where it’s fine to fly regulating color-coded maps with greens, yellows and reds. It also allows pilots to contention requests to fly in tranquil airspaces and accept nearby real-time authorizations. This underline works in hundreds of airspaces. The app had formerly been accessible in Australia only.


Facebook is rising an educational app called Sabee in Nigeria, that is a initial of a company’s new efforts to some-more directly aim a country, and eventually, a African continent, with new mobile products. The app is being published by a company’s NPE Team, an inner RD incubator, that had focused on new amicable practice until now.

Facebook to aim Nigerian learners with educational app Sabee, combined by a RD team

Security Privacy

Twitter users now have a choice to use confidence keys as their usually form of two-factor authentication (2FA), that a association records is a many effective approach to keep your Twitter comment secure. Twitter has offering a choice to use confidence keys as one of a 2FA options given 2018. However, this initial support usually worked for Twitter.com, not a mobile app, and compulsory users to have another form of 2FA enabled, too.

? Tapcart, a “Shopify for mobile apps,” raises $50 million Series B led by Left Lane Capital. The association offers a drag-and-drop builder that allows anyone to emanate a mobile app for their existent Shopify store and promulgate with business around push. Shopify was among a participating investors.

? BreezoMeter, an iPhone app that measures atmosphere quality, raises a $30 million Series C led by Fortissimo Capital, bringing a sum lift to date to $45 million. The association uses AI and appurtenance training to accumulate and know information from mixed sources, including some-more than 47,000 sensors worldwide.

?Istanbul-based Dream Games lifted $155 million Series during a $1 billion valuation in a turn co-led by Index Ventures and Makers Fund. The mobile nonplus diversion developer is best famous for Royal Match, that has 6M MAUs and $20M/month in revenue.

?Apple and Snap partner Jigspace, “the Canva for 3D,” lifted $4.7 million Series A in a turn led by Rampersand. The giveaway JigSpace app lets anyone mix presets and templates of 3D-modeled objects to emanate their possess “Jigs” (models). The app has over 4 million users on a App Store.

?South Korea edtech app builder Mathpresso lifted $50 million in Series C appropriation from GGV Capital, Yellowdog, Goodwater Capital, and KDB. The use is used by over 9.8M users

? Robinhood files for a IPO. Earlier in a week, Robinhood concluded to compensate $70 million in fines and compensation as partial of a allotment with a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority over providing business with “false or dubious information. The SEC, however, is still questioning a trade hindrance associated to GameStop and other meme stocks. Robinhood has 18M accounts and $80B in assets. It will trade underneath “HOOD” on a Nasdaq.

? Women’s amicable networking app Peanut launches a microfund called StartHER to start investing in early, pre-seed theatre startups led by women or other historically released groups.

? Social media app LYKA, focused on Southeast Asia, inked a understanding with music-streaming record association Tuned Global to confederate an immersive music-streaming use directly inside a app. The partnership will concede LYKA to yield on-demand streaming of music, video, and podcasts to a app’s users.

? Chinese m-commerce app Dingdong finished a tiny benefit during this week’s IPO, with shares that sealed during $23.52, adult 2 cents from a offer price, on a initial day of trading. The app allows business to buy uninformed produce, meat, seafood and other daily necessities.

? Vietnamese investment app Infina lifted $2 million in seed appropriation for a Robinhood-like app launched in Jan 2021, that now has some 500,000 trade accounts.

? Gaming discuss app Discord acquired AR startup Ubiquity6, that had lifted $37.5 million in appropriation from tip investors including Benchmark, First Round, Kleiner Perkins and Google’s Gradient Ventures. The startup had recently deserted some of a projects, indicating it might have been struggling to find traction. Deal terms weren’t disclosed.

? Edtech unicorn Duolingo filed to go open following 129% income enlargement in 2020. The 400-person association had $161.7 million in income in 2020 and had recently incited profitable.

? Family app Life360 announced a $2.1 million investment turn from celebs and influencers who will now assistance to advise a association on new facilities and assistance with product marketing. The turn was led by Bryant Stibel, a organisation co-founded by a late Kobe Bryant and business partner Jeff Stibel. Other investors enclosed Vanessa Bryant, Joanna and Chip Gaines, Tony Hawk, Chris and Jada Paul, TikTok influencer Billy Perry, and Nicole and Michael Phelps. Life360 now trades on a ASX.

?Age of Learning, a creator of childhood preparation app ABCmouse, lifted $300 million in a new round of appropriation led by TPG. The new investment some-more than doubled a company’s gratefulness to $3 billion. The association says it will use a supports to accelerate general enlargement and a enlargement of a subsequent era of apps.

?Exercise and corporate wellness app Gympass lifted $220 million in Series E funding. The Brazil-based app saw a record 4 million monthly check-ins opposite a network of some-more than 50,000 tellurian partners in May.

?Digital nod label app Givingli lifted $3 million in seed appropriation in a turn led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six. The app aims to refurbish a digital nod label business for Gen Z users and monetizes by a $3.99 per month reward subscription and present label sales. Snap also invested in a turn after progressing partnering with a startup on a Snap Mini app.

?Buzzer, a live sports app, lifted $20 million in Series A funding from a series of sports and party backers, including Michael Jordan, Naomi Osaka, Patrick Mahomes and others.


Image Credits: Brickit

The new Brickit mobile app is a Lego fan’s dream and an considerable use of mechanism prophesy technology. The app is means to quick investigate a raise of Legos to brand that bricks we have in your collection. It afterwards serves adult some projects where we have all, or during slightest many of, a bricks we need to build. The routine is unequivocally fast, too — a app creates clarity of hundreds of bricks in your raise within usually seconds. Brickit doesn’t come from Lego directly, however, that boundary some of a capabilities in terms of integrating with Lego’s incomparable library of instructions. But, in time, it will expected beget some information on a Lego collections users have during home that could make it an engaging merger aim for Lego, in serve to a tech itself.

Three Weeks with iOS and iPadOS 15: Foundational Updates by Federico Viticci for iMore. A good in-depth examination and research of what’s new with Apple’s latest module update.



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