Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Sarah Perez

TechCrunch

Tampa, FL, United States

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Recent articles by Sarah:

Facebook tests video speed dating events with ‘Sparked’ –

Facebook confirmed it’s testing a video speed-dating app called Sparked, after the app’s website was spotted by The Verge. Unlike dating app giants such as Tinder, Sparked users don’t swipe on people they like or direct message others. Instead, they cycle through a series of short video dates during an event to make connections with […] → Read More

Clubhouse rolls out payments to over 60K creators following initial test –

Clubhouse is rapidly expanding access to payments, its first revenue-generating feature for creators, since its launch into testing earlier this month. At the beginning of April, Clubhouse said it would give a “small test group” of creators the ability to accept payments from their fans and supporters through the social audio app. These donations go […] → Read More

Spotify launches an in-car entertainment system, ‘Car Thing’ –

Spotify this morning officially announced the limited U.S. release of its first hardware device, the oddly named Car Thing, aimed at Spotify Premium subscribers. The new device — which Spotify is surprisingly offering for free plus shipping — has evolved substantially from the version that first began testing in 2019. This upgraded model has a […] → Read More

Roku launches a rechargeable, hands-free voice remote and other devices, rolls out Roku OS 10 –

Roku today is unveiling new hardware and software, including the latest version of its Roku OS media software, Roku OS 10, which expands support for AirPlay 2 and Apple’s HomeKit, and adds a variety of new features and optimizations focused on helping users get to content and stream faster. It’s also introducing its latest 4K […] → Read More

Netflix gives its Kids’ profiles a visual upgrade –

Netflix is giving its Kids’ profiles a revamp, the company announced today. While adults’ profiles are personalized with horizontal rows of recommendations that appear as they scroll down, the Kids profiles’ redesign is more visual in nature. When kids now log in to their account on a TV, they’ll be greeted with their favorite titles […] → Read More

This Week in Apps: Facebook’s other Clubhouse rival, Apple details ATT, App Store trial nears –

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android […] → Read More

Consumers now average 4.2 hours per day in apps, up 30% from 2019 –

The coronavirus pandemic has increased our collective screen time, and that’s particularly true on mobile devices. According to a new report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, global consumers are now spending an average of 4.2 hours per day using apps on our smartphones, an increase of 30% from just two years prior. […] → Read More

Samsung’s AirTags rival, the Galaxy SmartTag+, arrives to help you find lost items via AR –

Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag+, the company’s competitor to Apple’s forthcoming lost-item finder known as AirTags, has now arrived. Samsung had first announced its Tile competitor known as the Galaxy SmartTag, a Bluetooth-powered locator, during its press event in January. At the time, it teased that a ultra-wideband (UWB) powered version called the Galaxy SmartTag+ would arrive […] → Read More

Mercato raises $26M Series A to help smaller grocers compete online –

The pandemic upended the way people shop for their everyday needs, including groceries. Online grocery sales in the U.S. are expected to reach 21.5% of the total grocery sales by 2025, after leaping from 3.4% pre-pandemic to 10.2% as of 2020. One business riding this wave is Mercato, an online grocery platform that helps smaller […] → Read More

Spotify stays quiet about launch of its voice command ‘Hey Spotify’ on mobile –

In 2019, Spotify began testing a hardware device for automobile owners it lovingly dubbed “Car Thing,” which allowed Spotify Premium users to play music and podcasts using voice commands that began with “Hey, Spotify.” Last year, Spotify began developing a similar voice integration into its mobile app. Now, access to the “Hey Spotify” voice feature […] → Read More

Pinterest announces $500K Creator Fund, ‘Creator Code’ content policy, moderation tools and more –

Pinterest today hosted an event focused on its creator community, where the company announced a series of updates including the launch of a $500,000 Creator Fund, a new content policy called the Creator Code, as well as new moderation tools, among other things. With the changes, the company says its goal is to ensure the […] → Read More

Facebook tests Hotline, a Q&A product that’s a mashup of Clubhouse and Instagram Live –

Facebook’s internal R&D group, NPE Team, has today launched its latest experiment, Hotline, into public beta testing. The web-based application could be described as a mashup of Instagram Live and Clubhouse, as it allows creators to speak to an audience who can then ask questions through either text or audio. However, unlike Clubhouse, creators can […] → Read More

As competition heats up, TikTok announces six new interactive music effects for creators –

TikTok today is doubling down on its roots as a music-backed creation app with the launch of a half dozen new music effects for creators. The effects, which offer interactivity, visualizations, animations and more, will roll out over the next few weeks, starting with the launch of Music Visualizer. This effect is now available to […] → Read More

Apple launches an app for testing devices that work with ‘Find My’ –

Apple has launched a new app, Find My Certification Asst., designed for use by MFi (Made for iPhone) Licensees, who need to test their accessories’ interoperability with Apple’s Find My network. The network helps users find lost Apple devices — like iPhones, AirPods, and Mac computers, among other things — but is poised to add […] → Read More

Facebook confirms ‘test’ of Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments in U.S. –

Facebook confirms it’s testing a new QR code feature and payment links for use with Facebook Pay to make it easier for people in the U.S. to send or request money from one another. The QR code feature, similar to Venmo’s QR codes and others, will allow a user to scan a friend’s code with […] → Read More

TikTok adds auto captions to make videos accessible to hard of hearing and deaf –

TikTok this morning announced the launch of a new feature designed to make its app accessible to people who are hard of hearing or deaf. The company is today debuting auto captions — a feature that, when enabled, will automatically transcribe the speech from a video so viewers can read what’s being said in the […] → Read More

Fortnite users can now live stream gameplay to Houseparty’s social video app –

Houseparty, the social video app acquired by Fortnite maker Epic Games in 2019, has just announced a major new step in terms of integrating these two properties: the company says it will now allow gamers to live stream their Fortnite gameplay directly into Houseparty. The feature works to allow users to share their gameplay with […] → Read More

Fueled by pandemic, contactless mobile payments to surpass half of all smartphone users in US by 2025 –

Among other technology trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of contactless mobile payments boomed in 2020. According to a recent report by analyst firm eMarketer, in-store mobile payments usage grew 29% last year in the U.S., as the pandemic pushed consumers to swap out cash and credit cards for the presumably safer mobile […] → Read More

Spotify opens a second personalized playlist to sponsors, after ‘Discover Weekly’ in 2019 –

Spotify is opening up its personalized playlist, “On Repeat,” to advertising sponsorship. This playlist, launched in 2019 and featuring users’ favorite songs, is only the second personalized playlist on the music streaming service that’s being made available for sponsorship. Spotify’s flagship playlist, “Discover Weekly,” became the first in 2019. The sponsorship is made possible through […] → Read More

This Week in Apps: Clubhouse clones, WWDC21, apps have their best-ever quarter –

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android […] → Read More