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Instagram Launches Layout, Its Own Photo Collage App

Instagram today announced the debut of a new application called Layout, the company’s next standalone creation tool outside of its flagship photo-sharing application. With Layout, Instagram users will be able to quickly build collages using their mobile photos, which they can then choose to share …

Instagram

Tech Bubble? Maybe, Maybe Not

Editor’s note: Bill Maris is president and managing partner at Google Ventures.

I’ve heard people wonder if we’re in a bubble with regard to startups. Is it as bad as the 2000 dot-com bubble? Might it actually be worse? I thought it would be worthwhile to look at the available data to see if we can …

Tech Bubble

The Live Stream Goes Mainstream

In early 2011, Skype bought a mobile video startup called Qik, which had developed an app that let mobile users record and stream videos in real-time which others could be alerted to and then view. If that description sounds similar to the newly hot live-streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope, it’s …

Periscope

Facebook’s Messenger Platform Preserves WhatsApp’s Clarity Of Purpose

We demystified it last month, but Facebook’s $18 billion acquisition of WhatsApp should begin to make more sense to people today after the company announced that its Messenger service will become a platform for third parties — as TechCrunch first reported last week.

The Messenger Platform will allow …

Facebook

The World In ‘Scope

Movies, financial markets and fashion trends all fall into frenzies, dips and lulls. Consumer apps are much the same.

Whether it’s photo-sharing, anonymity or live streaming, it seems that a confluence of apps all doing similar things at the same time is a natural occurrence.

Video apps Meerkat and …

Periscope

Facebook Finds Strength As A Family, Not An App

F8 started with a family photo. But not of the Zuckerbergs. Of Facebook’s products. “Facebook used to be this one blue app on your phone, and now Facebook is a family of apps” said its CEO as he showed off the user counts of the different family members. Facebook Groups with 700 million. WhatsApp …

Facebook

Tech Titans Blast New Anti-Gay Law In Indiana

It’s hard to believe, after how far the gay rights movement has come, that we’re still doing this. But here we are.

Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed into law a bill that allows private businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian consumers, according to CNN. The “Restoration of …

Indiana

Tesla Model X Spied On California Highway

Tesla’s pure electric SUV is nearing launch and there is apparently at least one cruising around California. The video above shows a slightly camouflaged Model X near Palo Alto. The SUV looks good even with all the design elements covered up.

Road testing unreleased vehicles is standard operating …

Tesla

YouTube Is Experimenting With Ultra High Def, Ultra Smooth Video Playback — Here Are The Examples

Just a few months back, YouTube bumped up the quality of the videos it hosts by allowing for gorgeous, 60 FPS video playback.

Now they’re cranking things up to an almost absurd level. 60 FPS video, on YouTube… at 4K.

The catch? It’s just something of an experiment, for now, and is limited to a reaaally

YouTube

iOS Game Mr Jump Leaps To 5M Downloads After Four Days On The App Store

This weekend I jumped a lot, and more than a few of these jumps ended in death: I was playing Mr Jump, a new iPhone and iPad game that rewards pattern identification and memorization like the best of the old-school platformers. The game from France’s 1Button has already racked up 5 million …

App Store

Apple Acquires Durable Database Company FoundationDB

Apple has acquired FoundationDB, a company that specializes in speedy, durable NoSQL databases, TechCrunch has learned.

A notice on the FoundationDB site notes that it’s no longer offering downloads of its database software. Financial terms of the deal were not available. CEO David Rosenthal was …

Databases

Amazon Goes After Dropbox, Google, Microsoft With Unlimited Cloud Drive Storage

Last year, Amazon gave a boost to its Prime members when it launched a free, unlimited photo storage for them on Cloud Drive. Today, the company is expanding that service as a paid offering to cover other kinds of content, and to users outside of its loyalty program. Unlimited Cloud Storage will …

Amazon

47 Startups That Launched At Y Combinator Winter 2015 Demo Day 2

Y Combinator got so big, it had to split its Demo Day in two. During today’s second wave we saw a variety of promising biotech, marketplace, enterprise, and financial tech startups. Yesterday we chronicled 50 consumer, B2B, developer, and hardware companies.

With bigger and bigger batches, the …

YCombinator

Our 10 Favorite Companies From Y Combinator Demo Day (Day 1) | TechCrunch

Day 1

It’s Day 1 Of Y Combinator’s two-day Demo Day for the Winter 2015 class. Over 50 companies presented today — and while they all had great things going for them, a few of them really stood out to us. Here’s a quick run-through of our Top 10, in no particular order…

Cinder

What They Do: Think …

YCombinator

Everything You Need To Know From Today’s Facebook F8 Announcements

Today marked the first day of F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, and the company announced a ton of stuff!

Some of it is bigger than others, though — so we’ve wrapped up all the most important stuff from today in one easy-to-digest list. Enjoy!

Click any image for our full article on the

Facebook

Apple Introduces A Reinvented MacBook, Starting At $1299

At its event in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center, Apple today confirmed a long-running rumor that resurfaced back in January: The next major iteration of the MacBook will be a 12-inch Retina laptop that’s thinner and lighter than Apple’s previous trend-setting design.

The laptop Apple revealed …

MacBook

Hands On With The Apple Watch

Apple’s smartwatch was on display again at today’s special Apple event, and this time we actually got to try a live unit. Last September, we were able to wear the hardware on our wrists, but today units had near-final live software so we got get a better idea of how it will actually work when it …

Apple Watch

Apple Expediting The Future Is No Betrayal

Apple’s new MacBook, which limits input and output to a single USB-C port and a simple 3.5mm audio in/out jack, has been characterized by some as a move that’s antagonistic to the consumer. Critics point to the single port, as well as the performance limitations inherent in using an Intel Core M …

Betrayal

Twitter Confirms Periscope Acquisition, And Here’s How The Livestreaming App Works

Today Twitter officially announced its January acquisition of live-streaming app Periscope. According to several sources, it will be launched as a separate app from Twitter with the ability to watch both live and previously broadcasted mobile video streams. That lack of ephemerality is the first of …

Periscope

Ellen Pao “Owns The Room”

Kleiner Perkins’ legendary venture investor John Doerr testified last week that Ellen Pao needed to “own the room” if she wanted to move up in the world of venture capital.

Today, she did just that.

Until her turn on the witness stand today, we hadn’t heard directly from Pao in the several years of …

Kleiner Perkins

What Your Favorite Apps Look Like On Apple Watch (Plus New Ones!)

In preparation for Apple’s first wearable device, mobile developers have been busy creating all kinds of applications designed especially for the Apple Watch’s small screen. The watch, which is said by early testers to be so usable that they found they were no longer pulling out their iPhone as …

Apple Watch

Meet Google’s New Chromebook Pixel

Google’s Chromebook Pixel has always been an aspirational machine meant to show off Chrome OS at its best. The new version, which Google announced today, continues this tradition. If you were hoping for a complete redesign, you’ll be disappointed, but just like the old Pixel, the new Pixel is the …

Google

Facebook Finally Lets Its Firehose Be Tapped For Marketing Insights Thanks To DataSift

Twitter’s firehose of tweets has long been offered as a goldmine for businesses trying to understand how to improve or market their products, and now Facebook will allow privacy-safe peeks at its treasure trove, too. Today Facebook launched a new insights product called “Topic Data” in the U.S. and …

Facebook

Skype, Get Your Shit Together

Skype is part of TechCrunch’s newsroom workflow. It’s the standard way that individual authors converse, share, collaborate and the like. We use other software to work as a team, but for one-on-one chats, Skype is our jam.

The downside is that it just doesn’t work very well. It’s become a running …

Skype

On Secretly Terrible Engineers

They lurk, unnoticed in the great halls of engineering that are the office strips along Highway 101. “Programmers” not programmers, people who have cheated, stolen, and lied their way through engineering careers without anyone realizing they can’t code. They are among us, incompetent Cylons …

Engineering

Selling A Wearable Apple

“Oh, Apple’s making a luxury watch thing, of course it hired the CEO of Burberry to pitch it.” That’s the common line of thinking when it comes to how Apple will change its retail operations to sell the watch.

But I think that’s shortsighted, and ignores several realities about Apple then and now — …

Wearable Tech

Apple Accused Of Poaching Auto Engineers For Advanced Battery Division

Apple is said to be building a new battery division that competes directly with a firm that builds lithium-ion batteries for cars and other large vehicles, in a new lawsuit that accuses Apple of poaching engineers from said firm in order to build said division. Battery maker A123 Systems has filed …

Batteries

Working 24-7 To Bring a 747 To Burning Man

“It’s so intense. This city feels like New York now,” Ken Feldman said right as we sat down for coffee in the Mission.

Feldman last lived in San Francisco in the early 1990s, well before the first dot-com bubble. Now he’s back at the height of another boom.

This time he’s pulling together a …

Burning Man

Listen Carefully

The way technology shapes language is fascinating. And often colloquially cringeworthy (to wit: ‘I don’t have bandwidth right now’… ‘Let’s take this offline’… ‘I’d totally swipe that’…). At bottom it’s a reflection of how our tools influence and shape our social interactions.

The reverse is also …

Charlie Brooker

Silicon Valley Favorite Philz Coffee Gulps Up $15 Million To Expand Nationwide

A lot of coffee shops would love to claim that they’re not *just* a coffee shop. But that can actually be said about Philz Coffee.

Philz has become an institution of sorts in its native San Francisco Bay Area, with many a tech industry product or deal being hatched over a cup of its strong brew. …

Silicon Valley