Author: Sarah Perez

PlayStation Vue is first U.S. pay TV provider to integrate with Apple’s TV app

TECHCRUNCH Sony’s live TV streaming service, PlayStation Vue, announced this week it has become the first U.S. pay TV provider to integrate with Apple’s TV app. Until now, Apple’s TV app has featured content from both free and paid on-demand streaming apps like Hulu, Prime Video, HBO NOW, PBS Kids, The CW, and others, along with those that require you log in with your pay TV credentials, like ABC, AMC, USA, SYFY, Showtime Anytime, and many more. With the new PlayStation Vue integration, subscribers to Sony’s pay TV service will be able to access all of Vue’s on-demand content...

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Microsoft’s new expense tracker Spend hits the App Store

TECHCRUNCH The team behind mileage-tracking app MileIQ, a company Microsoft acquired a few years ago, is out with a new application. This time, the focus isn’t on tracking miles, but rather expenses. The new app, simply called “Spend,” arrived on the App Store on Thursday, offering automatic expense tracking for work reimbursement purposes or for taxes. Spend doesn’t appear to be a part of some grand Microsoft plan to take on expense tracking industry giants, like Expensify or SAP-owned Concur, for example. At least, not at this time. Instead, the app is a Microsoft Garage project, the App Store...

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PayPal and American Express expand partnership, will allow use of points for PayPal purchases

TECHCRUNCH PayPal this week announced an expanded relationship with American Express that will allow cardholders to use their Membership Rewards points when shopping from PayPal merchants, as well as more integrated experience within both PayPal and the Amex apps, among other things. The deal is similar to those PayPal earlier struck with Visa and MasterCard., and follows a series of partnerships it has made across the industry, including others with Apple, Google, Samsung, and, most recently, Walmart, designed to increase its PayPal’s visibility and adoption. In addition to using points for purchases at PayPal’s millions of online merchants, the new partnership will...

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Google Maps’ ETA sharing feature hits iOS

TECHCRUNCH If you’re heading out to meet someone, there are plenty of ways to inform them of your location and estimated arrival. Chat apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, LINE, and iMessage, for example, offer location sharing functionality, while navigation apps like Waze and CityMapper and even ride-sharing apps like Uber offer live updating ETAs. Now, Google Maps’ own ETA feature is at last coming to iOS. The feature also getting a few tweaks following last year’s launch on Android, the company says. In May 2017, Google Maps first introduced its own take on location and ETA sharing. From a “Share Location” option in the app’s main navigation bar, you’re able to pick how long you want to share your location and choose who to share it with – the latter from a set of frequent contacts or by entering in someone’s name, number or email to pull from your address book. [embedded content] Then, from the navigation screen, another option called “Share trip progress” allows users to share their live ETA with others as they start their trip. Today, Google is bringing this ETA feature to Google Maps on iOS. To try it out, you tap on the  ˄ button once you’ve begun navigation, then tap “Share trip progress.” This will allow you to share your live location, route and your ETA with favorite contacts, as before. However, the feature...

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Alexa’s new Whisper Mode goes live

TECHCRUNCH At Amazon’s Alexa event last month in Seattle, the company teased a new feature soon coming to its voice assistant: the ability to whisper. The company demonstrated how whispering a request – like “play a lullaby” – to Alexa would trigger the voice assistant to respond in kind. Today, Amazon says Whisper Mode is officially going live. The feature is now rolling out to users in the U.S., the company tells us, and works in U.S. English. It’s particularly useful around bedtime or nighttime scenarios, where you’re trying to keep the room quiet. And, of course, it’s especially...

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YouTube partners with Eventbrite to sell concert tickets on music videos

TECHCRUNCH YouTube is extending its ticketing initiative, already live with Ticketmaster, with the new addition of Eventbrite. The partnership, which was announced this morning, will see Eventbrite listings for live music performances across the U.S. when watching YouTube Official Artist Channels. Beneath these videos will be show listings and a “Tickets” button which users can click to make purchases, across both YouTube on the desktop and in the YouTube app. The video streaming site had first entered into the ticketing business late last year with a dealt to sell concert tickets on YouTube video pages, powered by Ticketmaster listings....

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Spotify’s Premium app gets a big makeover

TECHCRUNCH Spotify has given its app a big makeover, with a focus on making the experience better for its paying subscribers. The company has simplified the app’s navigation by reducing the numbers of buttons and has revamped its Search page, which now incorporates elements previously found in “Browse,” like favorite genres or music to match a mood. And it’s given its Radio service a redesign as well, with the addition of new and easy-to-use Artist Radio Playlists. The most immediately noticeable change is the app’s navigation. Spotify has always felt a bit cluttered, with its five navigation buttons – Home, Browse, Search, Radio and My Library. The new app has chopped this down to just three buttons – Home, Search, and My Library. Recommendations will appear on the Home page, following the update, while discovery is powered by Search. The Search page lets you seek out artists, albums and podcasts by typing in queries, as before. But the page is also now personalized, showing your own “Top Genres” beneath the search bar – like R&B, Rock, Hip-Hop, Kids & Family – or whatever else you listen to. This is helpful because users’ tastes can change over time, or they may share their individual Spotify account with others (instead of opting for a Family plan), which can garble their recommendations. [embedded content] The “Browse” section has moved to this Search...

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Sam’s Club to offer same-day grocery delivery via Instacart at over half its stores by month end

TECHCRUNCH Fresh off its $600 million round of new funding, grocery delivery service Instacart is expanding its relationship with Walmart, the companies announced this morning. The two first joined up in February to offer same-day grocery delivery at select Sam’s Clubs locations in the U.S. Today, Walmart says it plans to offer Instacart-powered grocery delivery in over half of Sam’s Clubs stores by the end of this month. That expansion will make Sam’s Club grocery delivery via Instacart available to nearly 1,000 new ZIP codes and more than 100 new stores, including those in markets like New Jersey, Indianapolis, Houston and...

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