Apple confirms it will begin scanning iCloud Photos for child abuse images

Later this year, Apple will roll out a technology that will allow the company to detect and report known child sexual abuse material to law enforcement in a way it says will preserve user privacy. Apple told TechCrunch that the detection of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is one of several new features aimed at […]

This tool tells you if NSO’s Pegasus spyware targeted your phone

Over the weekend, an international consortium of news outlets reported that several authoritarian governments — including Mexico, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates — used spyware developed by NSO Group to hack into the phones of thousands of their most vocal critics, including journalists, activists, politicians and business executives. A leaked list of 50,000 phone […]

Apple introduces a $99 MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12

The addition of MagSafe to the iPhone 12 line introduced all manner of fun avenues for accessory makers, but there’s a strong case (so to speak) to be made that a snap-on battery pack might be the most useful of all. A number of third-parties (notably Anker and Mophie) have introduced their own versions, and […]

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

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices […]

Homebrew leads Z1’s effort to bring digital banking to Latin America’s teens

Z1, a Sao Paulo-based digital bank aimed at Latin American GenZers, has raised $2.5 million in a round led by U.S.-based Homebrew. A number of other investors also participated in the financing including Clocktower Ventures, Mantis – the VC firm owned by The Chainsmokers, Goodwater, Gaingels, Soma Capital and Rebel Fund. Notably, Mantis has also […]

Raylo nabs $11.5M to get more mobile users to lease and reuse

UK-based smartphone subscription startup Raylo has tucked $11.5 million in Series A funding into its top pocket, led by Octopus Ventures. The equity round follows a debt raise last year — and brings Raylo’s total raised since being founded back in 2019 to $40M (in equity and debt). Its roster of investors to date also […]

Apple and Snap partner JigSpace, the ‘Canva for 3D,’ raises a $4.7M Series A

When former Art Director Zac Duff started teaching a game development course online in 2015, he faced the same challenges that teachers around the globe have become all too familiar with after a pandemic-induced lockdown. So, he used his experience in 3D design to build a virtual reality classroom to make remote learning more engaging […]

Apple to drive China revenues with search ad launch

After launching five years ago in the United States, Apple’s search advertising service finally arrived in mainland China this week. The feature, called Apple Search Ads, lets developers bid on an advertising slot based on users’ keyword search in the App Store, similar to how Google search ads work. JPMorgan previously estimated the giant’s annual […]

7 new security features Apple quietly announced at WWDC

Apple went big on security and privacy during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote this week, showcasing features from on-device Siri audio processing to a new privacy dashboard for iOS that makes it easier than ever to see which apps are collecting your data and when. While typically vocal about security during the Memoji-filled, two-hour-long(!) […]

Shopify brings on team from augmented reality home design app Primer

In Friday acquisition news, Shopify shared today that they’ve acquired the team from augmented reality startup Primer, which makes an app that lets users visualize what tile, wallpaper or paint will look like on surfaces inside their home. In a blog post, co-founders Adam Debreczeni and Russ Maschmeyer write that Primer’s app and services will […]

Spotlight gets more powerful in iOS 15, even lets you install apps

With the upcoming release of iOS 15 for Apple mobile devices, Apple’s built-in search feature known as Spotlight will become a lot more functional. In what may be one of its bigger updates since it introduced Siri Suggestions, the new version of Spotlight is becoming an alternative to Google for several key queries, including web […]

ProtonMail gets a slick new look, as privacy tech eyes the mainstream

End-to-end encrypted email service ProtonMail has refreshed its design, updating with a cleaner look and a more customizable user interface — including the ability to pick from a bunch of themes (dark and contrasting versions are both in the mix). Last month the Swiss company officially announced passing 50 million users globally, as it turned […]

Apple’s RealityKit 2 allows developers to create 3D models for AR using iPhone photos

At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a significant update to RealityKit, its suite of technologies that allow developers to get started building AR (augmented reality) experiences. With the launch of RealityKit 2, Apple says developers will have more visual, audio and animation control when working on their AR experiences. But the most notable part […]

Apple Music launches Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio, adds Spatial Audio playlists

Last month, Apple announced it would soon add lossless audio streaming and Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos to its Apple Music subscription at no extra charge. That upgrade has now gone live, Apple announced this morning — though many noticed the additions actually rolled out yesterday, following the WWDC keynote. The entire Apple […]

macOS 12 Monterey upgrades Continuity with Universal Control

During the WWDC conference today, Apple unveiled the new macOS 12 Monterey. A major feature in the macOS update is Universal Control, which builds upon the Continuity features first introduced in OS X Yosemite. For years it’s been possible to open a news article on your iPhone and keep reading it on your MacBook, or […]

Apple Maps upgrade brings more detailed maps, transit features, AR view and more

Among many updates coming to iOS 15, Apple Maps will receive a number of upgrades that will bring more detailed maps, improvements for transit riders, AR experiences and other changes to the platform. The improvements build on the new map Apple began rolling out two years ago, which had focused on offering richer details, and […]