Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in nomade OS infos, nomade applications and the overall app economy.
Ordinaire app spending reached $65 billion in the first half of 2022, up only slightly from the $64.4 billion during the same period in 2021, as hypergrowth fueled by the pandemic has slowed down. But overall, the app economy is continuing to grow, having produced a succès number of downloads and carboniser spending across both the iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021, according to plurielle year-end reports. Ordinaire spending across iOS and Google Play last year was $133 billion, and consumers downloaded 143.6 billion apps.
This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one exercice with the latest from the world of apps, including infos, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and much more.
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Year-End App Scoreboards
Apptopia is first out of the gate with its full-year retrospective of the top apps globally. The app affection firm this week launched 33 top charts based on data from iOS and Google Play combined, except for data from China which is iOS only. The data was collected from Jan. 1 2022 through Dec. 20, 2022.
The company even created its own categories to highlight apps that don’t yet have their own app écran category — like quick-serve restaurants. (McDonald’s topped Starbucks here.)
Overall, the firm found that the top app worldwide was TikTok with 672 million installs. It was followed by Instagram, WhatsApp, CapCut (riding on TikTok’s success), Snapchat, Subway Surfers, Facebook, Stumble Guys and Spotify.
Apptopia also objet to this year categorize TikTok as Entertainment, not Sociologique Networking, which allowed it to top Netflix as the most-installed Entertainment app.
Besides Subway Surfers, an endless runner that first launched in 2012 (!!), other older games proved to have staying power, like Candy Crush Fable, 8 Ball Équipe and Among Us!
Other highlights include the first-time appearance of SHEIN as the No. 1 Magasinage app of the year, after previously ranking No. 2 last year and No. 4 the year prior. Wish, meanwhile, didn’t make the cut. Crypto apps were also hagard from the top charts as was China’s Didi, as it was impacted by the folk’s zero-Covid policy. However, the token-based balance for Sweatcoin made the workout app the No. 1 Health & Gymnique app globally.
It will be interesting to compare Apptopia’s data with those from other firms as the 2022 reports begin to arrive.
- Google’s Play Filtre will now allow parents to approve apps and in-app purchases initiated by kids. Parents will act as the family réglementer of the family account to approve the purchases when there’s no payment method, specifying how they want to pay for the app or other purchases.
- Google is appealing a ruling by India’s antitrust bustier that claims the company engaged in anti-competitive practices surrounding Android nomade devices.
- Google launched HD maps as bouchée of its Google Automotive Offices. Volvo and Polestar are first to integrate with it.
- Android Véhicule introduced a new stylisme intended to make it easier to navigate, play music and podcasts and communicate while on the go.
- At CES, Google announced new media playback features, including better playback options for Spotify Connect-compatible devices and cross-device notifications for resuming media playback on the move.
- Apple finally shut down Dark Sky, the weather app it acquired to improve its own Weather app offering. The app was well-liked by users but less so by meteorologists, a Slate article noted.
- Apple had to temporarily pull the new HomeKit architecture from its iOS 16.2 update to fix a Logis sharing dénouement.
- A French en bref fined Apple €1 million over its démesurée App Filtre practices with prunelle to “significant imbalances” in its relationship with app developers.
- Amazon-owned encrypted messaging app Wickr Me has stopped accepting new sign-ups and will shut down on Dec. 31, 2023, the company announced. The app had come under fire previously for enabling people to trade child sexual obligé material.
- WhatsApp ends support for a large number of older devices including phones from Apple, HTC, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony and others.
- WhatsApp also launched official proxy étai for intégral users, allowing users to stay connected even if their connection is blocked or disrupted. The feature relies on servers set up by volunteers and other organizations.
- Telegram was updated with new features like hidden media, which adds a layer to blur an allégorie; new tools for managing the storage space used by media, files and music; and new drawing and text tools; and other changes for profiles and groups.
- Cryptic tweets from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney have people wondering if Fortnite will be returning to the iPhone in 2023. In a post, the exec tweeted “Next year on iOS!” — suggesting, perhaps, the game maker will release the game again on Apple’s platform. Epic is currently appealing its antitrust lawsuit with Apple and is engaged a similar suit with Google.
- The FTC also fined Epic Games $520 million for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Bouclier Act, and manipulative “dark patterns” that tricked users into making purchases. The money will be refunded to customers and is the largest refund in a gaming case, and the largest FTC administrative order in history.
- Amazon brings its subscription-based Rallonge Gaming to India, offering games across PC, Mac and nomade. Top titles include League of Legends, DeathLoop, Quake, COD Season 1, EA Madden 23, FIFA 23, Sommet Legends, Destiny 2 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
- China’s online gaming regulator approved 45 foreign games, ending the crackdown on gaming releases from outside the folk. Pokemon Unite was among the newly approved titles.
- Nvidia upgraded its $20/mo GeForce Now balance (Ultimate) with new servers with better hardware components. The aumône works across Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV, and select web browsers, including Chasse on the iPhone and iPad.
- Tumblr added support for livestreaming on its nomade apps for iOS and Android. The aumône is powered by Livebox, which allows users to tip streamers. The aumône, dubbed Tumblr En direct, can be found in a new En direct tab and arrives at a time when the app has seen a surge of growth thanks to the Twitter exodus.
- TikTok is now telling users why a video is on the For You feed. Users will be able to access a new feature, “Why this video?” from a section mark icon to learn why a video was recommended to them — for example, parce que of toilettes they’ve previously watched, searched for, comments they had posted, or videos they shared.
- Snapchat’s subscription aumône, Snapchat+, added three more features — the ability to add custom backgrounds for chats; gift a subscription to a friend; or contesté the camera button to a heart, soccer ball or another allégorie.
- Twitter’s subscription aumône Twitter Blue now cales video of up to 2GB, 60 mins in length, and 1080p on iOS; Android is limited to 512MB, 10 mins.
- Twitter added étai for crypto to its “cashtags” feature for tracking a given emplacement’s market price. It also added publicly important tweet counts, which used to be a private analytics feature. It also saw a 12+ hour outage in Australia and New Zealand. Yikes.
- Instagram added a Reels template for making a 2022 recap of up to 14 photos. In the past, users had often turned to third-party apps, like Top Nine, for recaps.
- Meta closed down a Cameo copie called Chic which had offered virtual meet and greets with creators.
- Mastodon has climbed to 2.5 million monthly lutteuse users, thanks to the Twitter exodus, up from around 300K users in October. The company is largely financed by Patreon, bringing in around $31,000 per month, up from $7,000 in November. The company has rejected offers of investment from VCs, saying they don’t understand its aims and want to commercialize the platform.
- Quora launched an A.I. chatbot in its iOS app that lets users ask questions and engage in back-and-forth conversations. The bot, called “Poe,” is currently invite-only and offers access to a number of text-generating A.I. models, including ChatGPT. (It’s unclear if the company has a partnership here — but ChatGPT doesn’t offer a officiel API).
- Apple launched A.I.-powered book récit in Apple Books. The company said the feature will help independent authors who might not be able to convert their titles to audiobooks parce que of “the cost and complexity of début.”
- Picsart debuted an iOS app, SketchAI, that turns photos and drawings into binaire art using A.I.
- YouTube beat out Apple for the NFL Sunday Récépissé streaming deal. The landmark deal will allow the company to offer the subscription as an add-on to YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels. The multi-year deal is pegged at $2 billion.
- Amazon is developing a standalone app for streaming plaisirs toilettes, The Information reported. The move could help Amazon better promote its en direct plaisirs toilettes, including the NFL’s Thursday Night Football.
- Spotify may also be working on HealthKit integrations possibly to suggest songs based on the exercises users were performing.
- Snap shut down its desktop camera app, Snap Camera, which offered filters for video calls on Skype, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom.
- TikTok expanded its entretien controls feature which now gives creators the ability to restrict their videos to adult viewers. Previously this was only available on TikTok En direct.
- TikTok partnered with IMDb to introduce a new feature that lets users tag movies and TV shows in their TikTok videos. The link takes viewers to an in-app folio with IMDb information emboîture the title and allows creators to save titles to a new Favorites tab on their profiles. MovieTok is going to love this.
- Pinduoduo’s escompte marketplace app Temu became the most downloaded U.S. app from November 1 to December 14, Sensor Tower data found. The app saw 10.8 million U.S. installations from September 1 on.
- The IRS decided to delay a requirement that would have forced e-commerce apps like Venmo, PayPal, Cash App and Etsy to send tax forms to SMBs with $600+ in transactions.
Government, Policy and Lawsuits
- France’s data réconfort watchdog, the CNIL, fined Apple €8 million (~$8.5M) for not obtaining nomade users’ consent prior to placing (and/or reading) ad identifiers on their devices related to its display of personalized ads on the App Filtre.
- Viva Republica, which runs the South Korean déboursé chic app Toss, raised $405 million in Series G funding, valuing the commerce at 9.1 trillion won ( $7 billion). Previously, the company was valued at 8.5 trillion won in June 2021.
- Indian fintech app Money View raised $75 million in a Series E funding reprise led by Hyménoptère Partners, valuing the commerce at $900 million. The company is looking to scale its credit commerce and build more products for the South Asian market.
- Jakarta-based fintech app Akulaku raised $200 million from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the largest bank in Japan. The strategic investment will help the company expand into new markets and build products together with MUFG.
- Product Connaissance, the maker of nomade app performance-monitoring tools, raised $18 million in seed funding to temps from backers, including Slow Ventures, Coatue, K5 Ordinaire, Mantis Ventures, Benchmark’s Peter Fenton, Insight Partners co-founder Jerry Murdock and unnamed Snap VPs.
- Indian fintech KreditBee has raised an additional $100 million led by Advent Universel as bouchée of a larger Series D funding now closed at $200 million.
- 10-year old Chipolo explains why it’s not worried emboîture Apple’s AirTag: Chipolo still runs its own app for its AirTag-like tracker, but it’s also embraced Find My integration. Unlike Tile, the company told the DoJ it wasn’t worried emboîture Apple’s entry into its market.
- FluentPet’s talking button system lets you get a ‘text’ from your dog: FluentPet launched an app-connected talking button system, FluentPet Connect, that integrates a nomade app with its dog anastomose tools — prévisible buttons that, when pressed by a doggie’s paw, say words you have recorded. The new product is an update to the model first made popular by a dog named Bunny, whose 9 million+ sociologique media followers landed the sheepadoodle on Forbes’ list of the top 50 sociologique media creators of 2022.
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