this week in apps splash 2022

This Week in Apps: Temu’s sizzling streak, Walmart’s m-commerce & an Apple XR App Retailer

Read Time:14 Minute, 21 Second

2023-01-28 19:00:52

Welcome again to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch sequence that recaps the most recent in cellular OS information, cellular purposes and the general app financial system.

The app financial system in 2023 hit just a few snags, as shopper spending final yr dropped for the primary time by 2% to $167 billion, in keeping with the most recent “State of Cellular” report by (beforehand App Annie). Nevertheless, downloads are persevering with to develop, up 11% year-over-year in 2022 to succeed in 255 billion. Customers are additionally spending extra time in cellular apps than ever earlier than. On Android units alone, hours spent in 2022 grew 9%, reaching 4.1 trillion.

This Week in Apps presents a strategy to sustain with this fast-moving business in a single place with the most recent from the world of apps, together with information, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and rather more.

Would you like This Week in Apps in your inbox each Saturday? Enroll right here:

Temu’s continued rise

Picture Credit: Temu

Temu, a procuring app from Chinese language e-commerce large Pinduoduo, has been having fairly the run because the No. 1 app on the U.S. app shops. The cellular procuring app hit the highest spot on the U.S. App Retailer in September and has continued to carry a extremely ranked place within the months that adopted, together with because the No. 1 free app on Google Play since December 29, 2022. Extra lately, Temu as soon as once more snagged the No. 1 place on the iOS App Retailer on January 3 and hadn’t dropped since as of earlier this week.

Providing low-cost factory-to-consumer items, Temu supplies entry to a variety of merchandise, together with quick trend, and pushes customers to share the app with associates in change totally free merchandise, which can account for a few of its development. The app has seen 5 million U.S. installs this January alone, up 19% from 4.2 million within the prior 22 days from December 10 by December 31, Sensor Tower says. This brings it to a complete of 19 million lifetime installs throughout the App Retailer and Google Play, greater than 18 million of which got here from the U.S.

The expansion now sees Temu outpacing rival Shein by way of every day installs. In October, Temu was averaging round 43,000 every day installs within the U.S., the agency stated, whereas Shein averaged about 62,000. In November, Temu’s common every day installs grew to 185,000 whereas Shein’s climbed to 70,000, and final month, Temu averaged 187,000 installs whereas Shein noticed about 62,000.

The app seems to be leveraging the same development technique to TikTok, which closely spent on advertising and marketing to achieve customers. Based on Meta’s advert library, Temu has run some 8,900 adverts throughout Meta’s varied platforms simply this month. The adverts promote Temu’s gross sales and its extraordinarily discounted gadgets, like $5 necklaces, $4 shirts and $13 footwear, amongst different offers. These adverts seem like working to spice up Temu’s installs. However dig into the app’s opinions and also you’ll discover related complaints to Want, together with scammy listings, broken and delayed deliveries, incorrect orders and lack of customer support. With out addressing these points, which helped deliver down Want, Temu appears extra prone to go the best way of Want, not TikTok, it doesn’t matter what it spends.

Walmart’s chatbot procuring didn’t go nicely

walmart chat

Picture Credit: Screenshot of Walmart Textual content to Store

Walmart lately launched a brand new strategy to store: through textual content. Final month, the retail large launched its “Textual content to Store” expertise, which permits cellular shoppers throughout each iOS and Android units to textual content Walmart the gadgets they need to buy from both their native shops or, or simply reorder gadgets for pickup, supply or delivery. Nevertheless, the chat expertise because it stands right this moment doesn’t come throughout as absolutely baked, our checks discovered. The chatbot stated complicated issues and the person interface at instances was troublesome to navigate, regardless of aiming to be a less complicated, text-based procuring expertise.

We examined the expertise, which leverages Apple’s Message app on iPhone, and it didn’t go nicely. The bot responded twice at instances, provided only some choices for generic requests like “eggs,” requested everytime if an merchandise was for pickup or supply, offered inaccurate responses and spoke nonsense when confused — like when it returned choices for “la croix natural eggs.” We’d say stick to the Walmart app for now.

Learn the full overview right here.

Apple’s Actuality Professional particulars

May the subsequent huge app platform be Apple’s AR/VR headset? That’s the information from Bloomberg, which leaked particulars of Apple’s upcoming headset, the $3,000 Actuality Professional due out later this yr. The headset will try to create a 3D model of Apple’s working system, the report stated, and can embody options like FaceTime videoconferencing (with avatars), the power to look at immersive movies, play VR video games and use Apple’s apps — together with the Safari net browser, photographs, mail, messages, calendar, App TV+, Apple Music, Podcasts and the App Retailer.

The report described an interface with a grid of app icons and widgets, and stated Siri could possibly be used if you wanted to enter textual content. Nevertheless, the attention-grabbing particulars concerned how customers might work together with on-screen gadgets. Apparently, the gadget would have exterior sensors to investigate the person’s fingers and sensors inside to trace the person’s eyes. This could permit the person to pick out gadgets on the display by them, then pinch their thumb and forefinger collectively to activate the duty — with no need to carry further hand controllers like rival headsets, Bloomberg stated. It might additionally have its personal Digital Crown, like Apple Watch, for switching between AR and VR and its iOS-like interface.

Moreover, Apple is reported to be constructing software program that permits customers, together with those that don’t know the right way to code, to construct their very own AR apps for its upcoming mixed-reality headset.

There are in fact nonetheless quite a lot of unanswered questions concerning the headset’s capabilities, although it does sound like a really “Apple” try at getting VR proper. However the gadget’s worth level will make it a premium product in the intervening time — and one launching throughout a down financial system — which might restrict its development.

Apple Updates

  • The brand new iOS 16.3 replace included notable security measures just like the growth of the brand new Superior Knowledge Safety for iCloud characteristic to markets exterior of the U.S. The replace additionally added Safety Keys for Apple ID and a change to the Emergency SOS name system that now requires customers to carry the facet button with the up or down quantity button after which launch it so as to forestall inadvertent emergency calls. The replace additionally mounted a CarPlay bug, amongst different issues.
  • The iPhone 5S additionally obtained a safety replace with iOS 12.5.7, which addresses a vulnerability which will have been actively exploited, Apple stated.

Google/Android Updates

  • Google introduced it’s shutting down Optimize and Optimize 360 — instruments that helped entrepreneurs run A/B checks to enhance their web site or app’s person expertise. The instruments will now not be out there after September 30, 2023. Nevertheless, Google clarified that Firebase A/B Testing, which is powered by Optimize and used for testing app experiences, will proceed to be supported sooner or later and won’t be impacted by this transformation.
  • A deadline to goal the newest Android API degree is arriving. Initially, Google’s deadline for builders was November 1, 2022, however it was prolonged to January 31, 2023 to present devs extra time. The change was introduced final yr, when Google additionally stated that as of November 1, 2022, current apps that didn’t goal an API degree inside two years of the most recent main Android launch model is not going to be out there for discovery or set up for brand spanking new customers with units operating Android OS variations increased than apps’ goal API degree.



  • Netflix and Bumble partnered on a brand new relationship app expertise that lets customers bond over common TV reveals. The relationship app will launch a weekly Netflix question-and-answer sport that customers can play towards their match to interrupt the ice.
Netflix x Bumble MultiTitle

Picture Credit: Bumble

  • YouTube Music launched a brand new beta testing program known as “Listening Room,” the place it invited customers to check out new options. This system was nearly instantly crammed up.
  • Clubhouse launched a brand new characteristic known as Immediate Invite, which lets customers invite their associates to affix Home rooms and lounge conversations with a one-tap invite hyperlink. The corporate hopes the characteristic will cut back the friction concerned with becoming a member of the app.


Messenger end-to-end encryption experience

Picture Credit: Meta

  • Fb Messenger expanded its checks of end-to-end encryption. The app may also permit customers to benefit from options like themes, chat emoji, reactions, group profile photographs, hyperlink previews and lively standing whereas in E2EE chats. Hundreds of thousands of individuals might be alerted over the approaching months because the E2EE possibility turns into out there.
  • WhatsApp launched a beta model of its macOS app with native Apple Silicon help. Mac customers with Apple’s personal chip and macOS 11 Large Sur or newer will be capable to strive it, in addition to Intel Macs that may run apps constructed with Catalyst.


  • Instagram launched a brand new profile photograph characteristic that lets customers showcase each their profile photograph and their avatar by providing an interface the place you’ll be able to flip between each choices.
  • Meta is exploring the usage of AI instruments to make its advert programs much less depending on person information, after Apple’s ATT privateness modifications impacted its adverts enterprise, The WSJ reported. AI instruments have already helped increase Reels viewership by 20%.

And many others.

  • RevenueCat launched an enormous report digging into information across the subscription financial system, powered by its insights into 22,000 subscription-based apps. The report presents actionable insights and never-before-seen benchmarks round elements like app pricing, retention, conversion, renewals, trial methods and rather more. The entire thing is price a glance right here.
  • High U.S. banks are once more planning a cellular pockets to compete with Apple Pay and PayPal, The WSJ stated. The pockets might be developed by Early Warning Companies, which can be behind Zelle. The banks tried and didn’t get the same initiative (CurrentC) off the bottom in years previous.
  • Relationship app Match Group revamped its govt management crew. Among the many modifications was the addition of former vp of Product at Snap, Will Wu, who will now turn out to be Match’s CTO, in a newly created position.
  • Learn-it-later app Pocket, acquired by Mozilla in 2017, revamped its cellular studying expertise with new options. One addition provides extra group and suggestions to the House tab. It’s additionally rebranding its “My Listing” tab as “Saves” and enhancing its performance with filters and bulk edit instruments. The options are launching on Android first.
  • Widespread wearable Oura Ring up to date its cellular app to combine with one other wearable, Apple Watch. The companion app can show data like Readiness, Exercise, Sleep Scores, coronary heart charge, physique temperature, ring battery degree and extra, much like the iPhone counterpart.
  • Samsung customers are suggested to replace the Galaxy Retailer app on their units as a result of discovery of vulnerabilities that may permit a hacker to put in any app from the shop on their telephone with out their data.
  • Uber Eats added a brand new characteristic that reveals customers how a lot of their private data is shared with the supply particular person once they place an order on the app. Uber correct already had the same characteristic known as “View as Driver.”
  • France’s privateness regulator, the CNIL, fined French hypercasual sport developer Voodoo €3 million for violating the French Knowledge Safety Act. The high quality was issued over Voodoo’s use of the IDFV, or ID for Distributors, with out person consent on iOS units.
  • The FTC finalized a consent order settling expenses that the credit score companies firm Credit score Karma had used darkish patterns to misrepresent that customers have been “pre-approved” for bank card presents.
  • The FBI and DoJ are investigating Snapchat’s position within the unfold of fentanyl-laced tablets as a part of a counterfeit drug probe underway.
  • TikTok has shifted its strategy in its dealings with U.S. officers within the wake of presidency bans, after two years of confidential talks with the Committee on International Funding in the USA about ByteDance’s relationship with the Chinese language authorities, The NYT reported. The video app is now happening the PR offensive, extra aggressively lobbying and talking out extra publicly, the report famous.
  • Strava, an exercise monitoring and social neighborhood platform utilized by greater than 100 million individuals globally, acquired European 3D mapping firm Fatmap for an undisclosed sum. Strava goals to combine Fatmap’s core platform into its app ultimately, however for now they’ll stay separate merchandise.
  • Voice AI firm SoundHound raised $25 million in fairness from undisclosed buyers after shedding 40% of employees. A part of the funding might be used to offer laid off workers with severance.

Ivory goes stay

Screenshot 2023 01 24 at 1.27.56 PM

Picture Credit: Tapbots

Tapbots, the makers of the favored third-party Twitter app Tweetbot that was lately killed by Twitter’s API modifications, this week publicly launched the corporate’s subsequent new product. Hoping to fill the void that Tweetbot leaves behind, the corporate is now making its anticipated Mastodon shopper app Ivory out there on the App Retailer as an Early Entry launch.

The “Early Entry” label is a subtitle that Tapbots placed on its launch to point there’ll nonetheless be options lacking because it debuts, the corporate instructed us. Nevertheless, by launching publically on the App Retailer, Tapbots is ready to put Ivory into extra individuals’s fingers after filling up the restricted variety of TestFlight slots it had for its take a look at model.

For longtime Tweetbot customers, Ivory will provide a well-known expertise. However as a substitute of serving as a shopper for Twitter’s community, the corporate has now embraced the promising open supply platform Mastodon. Although not fairly as easy to make use of or perceive as Twitter, Mastodon has gained traction within the months following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.

At launch, it sports activities dozens of options, starting from help for baseline performance to intelligent bells and whistles, like having the ability to theme the app or change its icon.

The app additionally helps a number of accounts, and allows you to view your native and federated timelines, trending posts, put up statistics, notifications and extra. It additionally permits Mastodon-specific choices that weren’t out there on Twitter — like the power so as to add content material warnings to posts — in addition to extra widespread options, like the power to put up GIFs and polls.

There are different considerate touches designed to enchantment to energy customers, too, like hashtag monitoring, mute filters with regex help and timeline filters that allow you to present or cover posts that meet sure standards you set. This might enchantment to Mastodon’s older customers, as nicely, who could need to mute and keep away from a number of the posts shared by Mastodon newcomers who’re bringing Twitter’s tradition to the platform, resulting in undesirable posts with out content material warnings of their timelines.

Pestle (Replace)

pestle multi device

Picture Credit: Pestle

Pestle, a helpful and well-designed recipe app for iOS is getting a notable replace on January 28. The app is including quite a few options for energy customers, together with “Sensible Folders,” that are mechanically created folders that manage recipes primarily based on user-set standards, plus PDF and picture import options. The latter permits customers to import the recipes that they had saved in different codecs, whereas Sensible Folders simplify the in any other case tedious technique of organizing recipes. For example, you could possibly create Sensible Folders that mechanically add any saved recipe with a particular ingredient, or a dessert folder with further guidelines. The app itself is a free obtain however presents subscriptions of $1.99/mo or $19.99/yr (or $39.99 lifetime) for professional customers.

Supply hyperlink

0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *