Google restarts updates for some iOS apps after long pause triggered by lack of privacy labels

Google over the weekend began to update many of its flagship iOS apps after a lengthy delay caused by the company’s failure to add Apple’s newly required privacy labels in a timely fashion. Though Google earlier this year said it would “soon” begin to add the labels to its apps as they were updated, it […]

Geothermal startups get another boost from Chevron as the oil giant backs a geothermal project developer

The U.S.-based oil major Chevron is doubling down on its investment in geothermal power by investing in a Swedish developer of low-temperature geothermal and heat power projects called Baseload Capital. Oil companies are under pressure to find new lines of business as the world prepares for a massive shift to renewable energy resources to power […]

Sergey Brin’s airship aims to use world’s biggest mobile hydrogen fuel cell

Sergey Brin’s secretive airship company LTA Research and Exploration is planning to power a huge disaster relief airship with an equally record-breaking hydrogen fuel cell. A job listing from the company, which is based in Mountain View, California and Akron, Ohio, reveals that LTA wants to configure a 1.5-megawatt hydrogen propulsion system for an airship […]

After Facebook’s news flex, Australia passes bargaining code for platforms and publishers

A week after Facebook grabbed eyeballs globally by blocking news publishers and turning off news-sharing on its platform in Australia, the country’s parliament has approved legislation that makes it mandatory for platform giants like Facebook and Google to negotiate to remunerate local news publishers for their content, to take account of how journalism is shared […]

Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp face tougher rules in India

India announced sweeping rules to regulate social media firms, streaming services and digital news outlets on Thursday, posing new challenges for giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Netflix that count Asia’s third-largest economy as their key overseas market. Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s IT, Law and Justice minister, said in a press conference that social […]

Google Cloud puts its Kubernetes Engine on autopilot

Google Cloud today announced a new operating mode for its Kubernetes Engine (GKE) that turns over the management of much of the day-to-day operations of a container cluster to Google’s own engineers and automated tools. With Autopilot, as the new mode is called, Google manages all of the Day 2 operations of managing these clusters […]

YouTube to launch parental control features for families with tweens and teens

YouTube announced this morning it will soon introduce a new experience designed for teens and tweens who are now too old for the schoolager-focused YouTube Kids app, but who may not be ready to explore all of YouTube. The company says it’s preparing to launch a beta test of new features that will give parents […]

Area 120 is beginning to use Google’s massive reach to scale HTML5 GameSnacks platform

Hundreds of millions of users, especially in developing markets, don’t own high-end smartphones and can’t afford fast data plans to enjoy much of anything on the web. Google has been exploring multiple ways to better serve this segment of the user base. It has tried partnerships to make the internet more affordable to tens of […]

Android’s latest update will let you schedule texts, secure your passwords and more

Google today announced the next set of features coming to Android, including a new password checkup tool, a way to schedule your texts, along with other improvements to products like its screen reader TalkBack, Maps, Assistant and Android Auto. This spring 2021 release is latest in a series of smaller update bundles, similar to iOS […]

The Station: The lidar SPAC craze and 10 investors give their mobility predictions

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every weekend in your inbox.  Hi friends and new readers, welcome back to The Station, a newsletter dedicated to all the present and future ways people and packages move from Point A to […]

Twitter explored buying India’s ShareChat and turning Moj into a global TikTok rival

Twitter recently held talks to acquire Indian social media startup ShareChat as the company explored ways to expand its presence in the world’s second-largest internet market and build a global rival to TikTok, three sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The American firm, which is already an investor in Bangalore-based ShareChat, offered to buy […]

Google fires top AI ethics researcher Margaret Mitchell

Google has fired Margaret Mitchell, the founder and former co-lead of the company’s ethical AI team. Mitchell announced the news via a tweet. Google confirmed Mitchell’s firing in a statement to TechCrunch; Google said: After conducting a review of this manager’s conduct, we confirmed that there were multiple violations of our code of conduct, as […]

Google has a new responsible AI lead

Google has appointed Dr. Marian Croak to lead its responsible artificial intelligence division within Google Research, Bloomberg reported earlier today. Croak was previously the vice president of engineering at the company. In her new role, Croak will oversee the teams working on accessibility, AI for social good, algorithmic fairness in health, brain fairness, ethical AI […]

Apple TV+ arrives on Google TV devices, starting with Chromecast

Google announced today the Apple TV+ streaming service has now arrived on the Google TV platform, starting with Chromecast with Google TV. It will also become available on Google TVs from both Sony and TCL, with expansions to other Android TV-powered devices in the months to come, Google says. Google TV was introduced last September as […]

Google launches the first developer preview of Android 12

Almost exactly a year after Google announced the first developer preview of Android 11, the company today released the first developer preview of Android 12. Google delayed the roll-out of Android 11 a bit as the teams and the company’s partners adjusted to working during a pandemic, but it looks like that didn’t stop it […]

Census raises $16M Series A to help companies put their data warehouses to work

Census, a startup that helps businesses sync their customer data from their data warehouses to their various business tools like Salesforce and Marketo, today announced that it has raised a $16 million Series A round led by Sequoia Capital. Other participants in this round include Andreessen Horowitz, which led the company’s $4.3 million seed round […]

Google to roll out slate of over 50 updates for Classroom, Meet and other online education tools

Google today introduced a suite of updates for its online education tools whose adoption and further development have been accelerated by the pandemic, including Google Classroom, Google Meet and the next generation of G Suite for Education, now rebranded as Google Workspace for Education. In total, Google is promising more than 50 new features across […]

Facebook restricts users in Australia from sharing or viewing news links

Australian Facebook users will be forced to go elsewhere to read news after the company announced Wednesday that they will be restricting users in the country from sharing or viewing news links on the platform. The drastic move follows the debate on proposed legislation from the Australian government that seeks to push internet platforms — […]

Microsoft’s Dapr open-source project to help developers build cloud-native apps hits 1.0

Dapr, the Microsoft-incubated open-source project that aims to make it easier for developers to build event-driven, distributed cloud-native applications, hit its 1.0 milestone today, signifying the project’s readiness for production use cases. Microsoft launched the Distributed Application Runtime (that’s what “Dapr” stand for) back in October 2019. Since then, the project released 14 updates and […]

Google Maps users can now pay for parking or their transit fare right from the app

Drivers throughout the United States will now have the option to pay for street parking right from Google Maps as part of an expanded partnership with transportation software companies Passport and ParkMobile. Google also announced it was extending this contactless payment feature to public transit users. Google Maps’ pay for parking feature will expand first […]

YouTube to expand Shorts to the US, add 4K and offline DVR to YouTube TV, launch in-video shopping and more in 2021

YouTube has a host of big product updates coming this year, and it just detailed a lot of them in a blog post from Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan. Google’s streaming video site plans to expand its TikTok-esque Shorts mobile video creation and consumption tool to the U.S. (it’s currently in beta in India), make […]

Databricks brings its lakehouse to Google Cloud

Databricks and Google Cloud today announced a new partnership that will bring to Databricks customers a deep integration with Google’s BigQuery platform and Google Kubernetes Engine. This will allow Databricks’ users to bring their data lakes and the service’s analytics capabilities to Google Cloud. Databricks already features a deep integration with Microsoft Azure — one […]

Imagine a better future for social media at TechCrunch Sessions: Justice

Toxic culture, deadly conspiracies and organized hate have exploded online in recent years. We’ll discuss how much responsibility social networks have in the rise of these phenomena and how to build healthy online communities that make society better, not worse at TechCrunch Sessions: Justice on March 3. Join us for a wide-ranging discussion with Rashad Robinson, […]

Google slapped in France over misleading hotel star ratings

Google has agreed to pay a €1.1 million fine over misleading star ratings for hotels in France. The tech giant had been applying its own (algorithmic) system of ratings for hotels applied via its search engine and on Google Maps. But back in 2019, following a number of complaints by hoteliers, the French national competition […]

India lifts restrictions on mapping and surveying to help local firms

India said on Monday local firms will no longer need a license or other permission to collect, generate, store and share geospatial data of the country, bringing sweeping changes to its earlier stance that it admitted hindered innovation. Until now, New Delhi required Indian firms to seek licenses and additional approvals to create and publish […]

This Week in Apps: Bumble’s IPO, Google’s missing privacy labels, a developer crusades against scams

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 is as hot as ever, 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 […]

LA-based SoLo Funds raises $10 million to offer an alternative to predatory payday lenders

SoLo Funds wants to replace payday lenders with a community-based, market-driven model for individual lending, and now has $10 million to expand its business in the U.S. Payday lenders offer high-interest, short-term loans to borrowers who are at their most vulnerable, and the terms of their loans often trap borrowers in a cycle of debt […]