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6th May, 2016

Launcher lets you create iOS widgets that display or hide based on day, time or location

By Sarah Perez

You may remember Launcher as the once-banned iOS widget that Apple booted from the App Store after its approval, then months later allowed back in. The problem Apple had with the app, seemingly, is that its sole existence was to be a widget provider — the app by itself didn’t offer any standalone functionality beyond widget configuration. Today, Launcher is out with its first significant update since its App Store return more than a year ago, with a new version that introduces support for multiple widgets that can also be customized to display or become hidden based on day, time and location.

Wait, multiple widgets that can appear or disappear based on [...]

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3rd May, 2016

Tastemates helps you find people who like what you like

By Anthony Ha

If you’ve ever forged a connection with someone because you had the same favorite movie or TV show or book, a new startup called Tastemates has built a social network around that experience.

Or as CEO Jon Vlassopulos put it, “We’re trying to codify serendipity” — those surprising moments of, “Oh my God, I can’t believe anyone else likes that as much as I do!”

What does that look like as a product? Well, users are asked to swipe to indicate their taste in entertainment — specifically, indicating whether they liked a given movie, TV show or music.

Then, as the app gets a better sense of what you like, it will recommend other things you might [...]

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29th April, 2016

Google Play warns you when apps contain ads

By Andrew Tarantola

The program is designed to make the app shopping process more transparent.

Google rolled out a new labelling scheme to its Play store on Thursday that prominently indicates that an app contains advertisements of any kind. It’s the same sort of warning label you see for apps that contain in-game purchases and applies to every category in the store. Presumably, the neophyte Podcast section will be exempt from the new labelling rules.

This program grew out of Google’s “Designed for Families” initiative last year. In November, the company informed developers that they’d need to state whether their apps contained ads through [...]

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28th April, 2016

Bitlock crowdfunded a smart bike lock in 2013. What happened next?

By Natasha Lomas

Two and a half years ago Bitlock set out to crowdfund a smart bike lock at a time when hype around connected devices was surging and goodwill in crowdfunding platforms was buoyant.

Since then both categories have taken some confidence knocks and served up disappointments aplenty.

So what happened to Bitlock? Did it ship, and if so, did its smart device live up to expectations? What problems did it run into? And what does it think of the crowdfunding process with the benefit of hindsight?

Crowdfunding hardware is an especially tough act to pull off. Some very high profile projects havecrashed and burned. Others that went on to attract VC [...]

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