Author: Frederic Lardinois

Twilio launches Autopilot to help developers build better bots

TECHCRUNCH Bots went through the hype cycle faster than a speeding roller coaster, as the promise of chatting with a computer quickly turned sour. Now, Twilio wants to take another stab at this market with the launch of Autopilot, a new developer service for building omnichannel bot experiences. ‘Omnichannel’ is a word only a marketer could love, but the core idea behind Autopilot is to allow developers to build an application once and then deploy it to any support channel, no matter whether that’s SMS, chat, Slack, Alexa or the Google Assistant. Autopilot handles all of the natural language understanding...

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Twilio makes it easier to take payments over the phone

TECHCRUNCH Making a payment over the phone, maybe because you are trying to change an airline ticket or to pay a last-minute bill, still feels like an antiquated process. You read your credit card number to an agent, then your expiration date and your security code. In the process, some number will inevitably get mixed up and you start the process again. Twilio wants to make that far easier. The company today announced Pay, a new product that aims to take the hassle and security concerns out of this process. Twilio Pay, which is PCI-compliant, allows businesses to easily accept...

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Arm launches Neoverse, its IP portfolio for internet infrastructure hardware

TECHCRUNCH Arm-based chips are ubiquitous today, but the company isn’t resting on its laurels. After announcing its ambitions for powering more high-end devices like laptops a few months ago, the company today discussed its roadmap for chips that are dedicated to internet infrastructure and that will power everything from high-performance servers to edge computing platforms, storage systems, gateways, 5G base stations and routers. The new brand name for these products is ‘Neoverse’ and the first products based on this IP will ship next year. Arm-based chips have, of course, long been used in this space. What Neoverse is, is...

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GitHub launches Actions, its workflow automation tool

TECHCRUNCH For the longest time, GitHub was all about storing source code and sharing it either with the rest of the world or your colleagues. Today, the company, which is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, is taking a step in a different but related direction by launching GitHub Actions. Actions allow developers to not just host code on the platform but also run it. We’re not talking about a new cloud to rival AWS here, but instead about something more akin to a very flexible IFTTT for developers who want to automate their development workflows, whether that is sending notifications or building a full continuous integration and delivery pipeline. This is a big deal for GitHub. Indeed, Sam Lambert, GitHub’s head of platform, described it to me as “the biggest shift we’ve had in the history of GitHub.” He likened it to shortcuts in iOS — just more flexible. “Imagine an infinitely more flexible version of shortcut, hosted on GitHub and designed to allow anyone to create an action inside a container to augment and connect their workflow.” GitHub users can use Actions to build their continuous delivery pipelines, and the company expects that many will do so. And that’s pretty much the first thing most people will think about when they hear about this new project. GitHub’s own description of Actions in today’s announcement makes...

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MongoDB switches up its open source license

TECHCRUNCH MongoDB is a bit miffed that some cloud providers — especially in Asia — are taking its open source code and are offering a hosted commercial version of its database to their users without playing by the open source rules. To combat this, MongoDB today announced that it has issued a new software license, the Server Side Public License (SSPL), that will apply to all new releases of its MongoDB Community Server, as well as all patch fixes for prior versions. Previously, MongoDB used the GNU APGLv3 license, but it has now submitted the SSPL for approval from...

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Twilio acquires email API platform SendGrid for $2 billion in stock

TECHCRUNCH Twilio, the ubiquitous communications platform, today announced its plan to acquire the API-centric email platform SendGrid for about $2 billion in an all-stock transaction. That’s Twilio’s largest acquisition to date, but also one that makes a lot of sense given that both companies aim to make building communications platforms easier for developers. “The two companies share the same vision, the same model, and the same values,” said Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson in today’s announcement. “We believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together the two leading developer-focused communications platforms to create the unquestioned platform of choice for all companies looking to transform their customer engagement.” SendGrid will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Twilio and its common stock will be converted into Twilio stock. The companies expect the acquisition to close in the first half of 2019, after it has been cleared by the authorities. Twilio’s current focus is on omnichannel communication, and email is obviously a major part of that. And while it offers plenty of services around voice, video and chat, email hasn’t been on its radar in the same way. This acquisition now allows it to quickly build up expertise in this area and expand its services there. SendGrid went public in 2017. At the time, it priced its stock at $16. Today, before the announcement, the company was trading at just...

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Adobe is bringing Photoshop CC to the iPad 

TECHCRUNCH It’s no secret that Adobe is currently in the process of modernizing its Creative Cloud apps and bringing them to every major platform. Today, the company is using its Max conference in Los Angeles today to officially announce Photoshop CC for the iPad. Sadly, you won’t be able to try it today, but come 2019, you’ll be able to retouch all of your images right on the iPad. And while it won’t feature ever feature of the desktop from the get-go, the company promises that it’ll add them over time. As with all of Adobe’s releases, Photoshop for iPad will play nicely with all other versions of Photoshop and sync all the changes you make to PSD files across devices. Unsurprisingly, the user experience has been rethought from the ground up and redesigned for touch. It’ll feature most of the standard Photoshop image editing tools and the layers panel. Of course, it’ll also support your digital stylus. Adobe says the iPad version shares the same code base as Photoshop for the desktop, “so there’s no compromises on power and performance or editing results.” For now, though, that’s pretty much all we know about Photoshop CC on the iPad. For more, we’ll have to wait until 2019. In a way though, that’s probably all you need to know. Adobe has long said that it wants to enable its users to...

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Premiere Rush CC is Adobe’s new all-in-one video editing tool for desktop and mobile

TECHCRUNCH Earlier this year, Adobe previewed Project Rush, a new multi-platform video editing tool. Today, at its Mac conference, the company announced that Project Rush is now Premiere Rush CC and an official part of the Creative Cloud suite. The idea behind Rush is pretty straightforward. It’s meant to provide video creators with a modern all-in-one video editing solution that allows them to quickly edit a video and publish it on platforms like YouTube and other social networks. Indeed, it’s very much meant to be the video editing tool for the YouTube generation. Rush takes the core parts of...

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