The latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy can be found in this week's This Week in Apps.

Global app spending reached $65 billion in the first half of 2022, up slightly from the $64.4 billion during the same period in the previous year, as hypergrowth fueled by the Pandemic has waned. According to the latest year-end reports, the app economy is growing and has produced a record number of downloads and consumer spending across both the Apple and Google Play stores. Consumers downloaded 143.6 billion apps and global spending was $133 billion.

The latest from the world of apps can be found in this week's edition of This Week in Apps.

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Top Stories

Today's web is nearly overwhelming. The vertical feed format has been cloned by top social apps. It seems not a day goes by when another app has its own feed. This week, it was the NBA app that added a vertical video feed of sports content, as well as the introduction of a TikTok inspired feed for watching videos on its app.

It is beginning to get a little ridiculous.

Twitter video feed

The image was posted on the social media site.

It seems like there is more going on here.

When stories became popular, apps adopted a new format as well. The shift in how younger people are using the web is what is happening. Younger users want easy access to information through intuitive user interface that allows for fast scrolling or simple navigation.

Throwing a TikTok feed into an app is a quick way to reach these users, but they are not the only way.

Google Goes Visual

The image is from the internet search engine, GOOGLE.

The shift is a threat to the core business of the company. The days of learning how to use Boolean operators to narrow search results are behind us.

At an event this week, the company introduced how it is changing its products as a result of these changes.

One of the most significant updates is the redesign of the search engine.

Instead of starting with a list of links, some searches will return highly visual results, where pieces of information are presented in colorful cards along with other imagery and videos. Maps, directions, weather, photos, and snippets from Wikipedia can be found in boxes at the top of the search results if you search for a place. There could be creator-based content that shows off famous landmarks, sights, tourist attractions, places to eat and other things.

Google unveils a more visual search experience for the TikTok generation

The changes are in response to the recent acknowledgment that it had been losing younger users to apps. It is trying to bring those users back to its search engine.

The idea is that you wouldn't just come to Google to be informed, but to also discover and be inspired.

The company will cater to users interest in visual content in other ways as well, including with shopping searches, where it will integrate more 3D imagery, allow users to browse through "shoppable looks", and have their experiences tailored to them.

Google revamps shopping with 3D images, shoppable looks, buying guides and more personalization

The company is allowing users to explore cities in an Immersive View that uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to combine Street View and aerial imagery. Users can glide down to the street level to more visually explore the area. Users can go inside restaurants to get a sense of what they look like, and if the restaurant will have a table for them.

Live View is a new feature in Maps that uses augmented reality to show you the real world in Maps. Live View will show you places that are highlighted over the view of the street your camera displays. You can use Live View to search.

Here are all of the new features and updates coming to Google Maps

Adding reviews, photos and videos to the top of Google Maps will give users a sense of the most popular and trendy places in a given neighborhood. If you can open a real maps app and watch videos there, why not use TikTok?

There is a feature that seems to set the stage for an augmented reality future.

You can see items in the real world and find out where to find them. If you wanted to find out which shops in your town carried a dress, you could point your phone's camera at it. You're shopping from the real world instead of a recorded version of it, and that's a step beyond video-based e- commerce experiences.

Google to launch its image and text-based ‘Multisearch Near Me’ local search feature in the US

It remains to be seen if the investments will pay off in the future. There are bigger bets on the future of search. It isn't ignoring the market shifts or thinking that simply putting a TikTok-like feed into its apps will keep it relevant.

OG Drama

Instagram on mobile

Un 1feed has an image.

The OG App was built by a pair of developers in order to cater to user demand for a more classic version of the photo sharing service. The app's existence was short-lived and filled with drama.

The company didn't have permission to use the way it was doing Meta confirmed that the app was in violation of its policies after it launched. As a result of its behavior, Apple removed the app from the App Store, as well as stating that the app must comply with the service's own terms of use.

After just a few days of availability, the OG App had racked up over 10,000 downloads.

This particular app still serves as a test case for consumer interest in a photo-sharing experience that looks and feels more like the one on the photo-sharing app on the Apple App Store.

A number of apps have entered the market hoping to capture users' interest but have failed to gain traction. Poparazzi, later cam and Dispo are some of the apps that offer a spin on photo sharing, like replicating the disposable camera experience or only allowing friends to post pics of you. Glass was one of the apps that tried to elevate photo sharing.

Many users churned out these experiences or never joined in the first place. Users found a variation on casual, social photo-sharing with the app Be Real. The time to post trick needs to be proven to be a success in the long run.

It is a great time for developers to build other privacy focused social networking experiences, including those centered around photos.

Weekly News

  • Apple’s latest iOS 16 developer beta allows Stage Manager to work with older iPad Pro models, but that support doesn’t allow extending the display to an external monitor. The feature was previously only compatible with the M1-powered iPad Air and the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models released last year.
  • Apple pulled from its App Store apps owned by the Russian tech giant VK, including the music service VK Music. Apple said the apps have been removed due to new U.K. sanctions on Russian-owned companies. Apple also terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps.
  • References to Apple Music Classical, a new Apple Music service, were spotted in the latest iOS beta.
  • Apple rolled out iOS 16.1 beta 3, iPadOS 16.1 beta 4, watchOS 9.1 beta 3, tvOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura beta 9. It appears that iOS 16.1 could bring Adaptive Transparency to the original AirPods Pro, reports said.
  • Apple launched a new App Store Foundations Program in the U.K., with a focus on supporting women developers. The program will feature both one-on-one and group sessions with App Store leaders across the U.K. and Europe.
  • Apple News partner Fast Company’s account was hacked, leading the Apple News app to send offensive news notifications to users.

The image is from the internet search engine, GOOGLE.

  • Google officially announced the Play Store reorg that has been rolling out for some days. The changes make it easier to filter for and remotely install non-phone apps, including those for watches, tablets, cars and smart TVs.
  • Google upgraded its Speech Services by Google speech engine to provide “more natural voices.” The company says all 421 voices in 67 languages have been updated with a new voice model and synthesizer.

E-commerce and Food Delivery

The image was taken at Walmart.

  • Walmart updated its AR feature, View in Your Home, to all users to view TV models to see if the set they liked looks good in their space.
  • Instagram began a new test in its app that ditches the Shopping tab. In one version, Messages takes the place of Shopping on the app’s home screen, while others saw the Notifications tab in its place.
  • iFood in Brazil controls more than 80% of the delivery market. A new report by Rest of World analyzes the impact of the government’s own delivery app Valeu on the market.
  • Shopify announced new mobile hardware, POS Go, that allows merchants to take payments anywhere via their phone, including through tapping, swiping or an integrated reader for chip cards.


  • Robinhood debuted a new non-custodial crypto wallet with Polygon, Robinhood Wallet. The crypto wallet, the company’s first international app, was initially rolled out to 10,000 beta testers on its waitlist. It expects to reach over a million users at the beta test’s end before the end of 2022.
  • added support for alternative asset investing, which includes contemporary art, high-end trading cards, luxury items, vintage comics and more. Users can manage these new investments alongside their portfolio of stocks, crypto and ETFs.
  • Square added support for Tap to Pay on iPhone, which allows users to accept contactless payments directly in the Square Point of Sale app for iOS.


  • TikTok is said to be bleeding U.S. executives, Forbes reported, because China is still calling the shots. Ex-employees said their ability to lead departments was minimized in the U.S. because of corporate reorgs that had them reporting to ByteDance leadership in Beijing, rather than TikTok leadership.
  • TikTok said it removed 33.6 million fake accounts in the past quarter, a 61% increase from the 20.8 million accounts it removed in the prior quarter. TikTok’s fake account removal rate has grown by more than 2,000% over 12 months.
  • Meta is testing a new interface that allows users to more easily create, manage and switch between multiple Facebook and Instagram accounts. When logged into either Facebook or Instagram’s app, users will be able to toggle between the two apps now through the profile menu.
  • Meta said all Facebook and Instagram users in the U.S. can now share NFTs and cross-post between both apps, after announcing the start of the rollout last month.

Meta Instagram NFT

The image is called Meta.

  • Snapchat is going to pay out $100,000 to creators across 12 Spotlight Challenges from October 3 through the end of the month. Most will focus on Halloween or fall themes and will be used to help promote Snapchat features.
  • Twitter said Elon Musk has failed to provide Signal messages, with Marc Andreessen, relevant to the case involving Musk’s attempt to exit the $44 billion acquisition. It also said Musk’s own data scientists had estimated Twitter spam at 5-11% of users. Meanwhile, other court filings provided insight into Musk’s conversations ahead of the deal, including exchanges with former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, revealing that Dorsey had wanted to give Musk a board seat.
  • Twitter rolled out a redesigned DM experience on Android, catching up to iOS with an improved composer, better forwarding, clearer read receipts and more.



The image is from the app.

  • WhatsApp rolled out a way to share links for video calls, similar to apps like FaceTime or Zoom. The new link is found under the calls tab and can be sent to family and friends so they can tap to join the call. The company additionally confirmed it’s now testing 32-person encrypted video calls as well.
  • Intel announced the Unison app that allows Intel PC users to text, take calls and send files to their iOS and Android devices. The app will launch with 12th-gen PCs this fall.
  • The U.S. SEC and CFTC fined 16 financial firms $1.1 billion and $710 million in penalties, respectively, for employees’ use of unauthorized messaging apps. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America were among those fined.


  • The NYT examined the dating market in China, where the number of apps with over 1,000 downloads grew to 275 in 2022, up from 81 in 2017 and have received $5.3 billion in funding in 2021, up from $300 million in 2019. Despite a nationwide crackdown on tech, the dating app market has been allowed to flourish, the report found.
  • Dating app Inner Circle launched a new group of anti-ghosting features called “The Date Conscious Suite.” The toolset includes things like anti-ghosting reminders, end conversation options, closure messages, pinned conversations and decision prompts.

Streaming & Entertainment

  • An iOS 16 bug appears to be impacting videos recorded in Cinematic Mode, which are no longer recognized by iMovie and Final Cut Pro, users are reporting.
  • YouTube added support for narration voiceovers for Shorts on iOS, copying another popular feature from TikTok’s app.
  • Even the NBA app is copying TikTok. The updated app includes a “For You” vertical video feed that offers highlights from NBA games and behind-the-scenes footage, content from influencers, NBA clips and more.
  • Deezer launched a new technology called SongCatcher music ID, which can search for songs based on humming, whistling and singing.
  • Twitter rolled out podcasts to its Twitter Blue subscribers on Android after first launching the feature on iOS a few weeks ago.


  • Google is shutting down its cloud-based game streaming service Stadia. The service allowed users to stream games across platforms, including Chromecast Ultra, Android TV, computers, Google Chrome’s browser, Chromebook and Chrome OS tablets, the Stadia app for Android phones and on iOS via a progressive web app. Subscribers will have access to their games library through January 18 and refunds will be issued. The company says it will apply Stadia’s technology to other areas, including Google Play, YouTube and AR in the future.
  • Netflix is establishing an internal games studio based in Helsinki, Finland, led by the former co-founder and general manager of the Zygna Helsinki game development studio, Marko Lastikka. The studio will be the fourth for Netflix, joining others including Next Games, Night School Studio and Boss Fight Entertainment, each designed to develop games catering to different tastes.
  • India’s financial crimes agency searched the premises of Coda Payments India, the distributor of Sea’s Free Fire — a game banned by the government earlier this year over its China ties. The Enforcement Directorate said it searched three premises as part of an “ongoing investigation” into the distributor.
  • Android’s share of hypercasual game advertising spending reached a record high of 57%, according to a report from Tenjin.
  • Walmart launched metaverse experiences in Roblox, including Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, designed to reach younger shoppers. The virtual worlds let Roblox players collect new virtual merchandise, play games featuring toys and characters, earn toys from a blimp, attend live concerts, win fashion competitions and more.

The image was taken at Walmart.

Health & Fitness

  • YouTube announced a new feature called “Personal Stories” that will appear in search results when users enter health-related queries. When people now search for certain health conditions on the app, YouTube will display a panel featuring videos from people who are diagnosed with those disorders.


  • Microsoft says it will end support for the predictive keyboard app SwiftKey on iOS and remove it from the App Store on October 5 but will continue to support the app on Android.
  • Apple’s Dark Sky weather app has been removed from the App Store. The app was supposed to be available through January 1, 2023, according to a prior notification display in the app, making its removal ahead of schedule. The app’s technology had been merged into Apple’s own Weather app following the acquisition.

Government & Policy

  • South Korean antitrust officials raided Apple’s offices in the country to investigate allegations raised by mobile game developers that Apple is actually taking a 33% cut of their business, due to the way it handles the local sales tax — or VAT (value added tax).
  • TikTok is facing a $29 million fine in the U.K. for “failing to protect children’s privacy.” The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) provisionally said the company breached child data protection laws for a two-year period by processing data for kids under 13 without parental consent, among other things.
  • The North London Coroner’s Court has concluded that social media, including content on Instagram and Pinterest, played a role in the death of a 14-year-old British girl, who died by suicide in November 2017. The coroner will now compile a report laying out the concerns, which will be shared with the government and Ofcom, which will be responsible for regulating content under the Online Safety Bill.

Security & Privacy

  • Researchers found 75 apps on Google Play and 10 on the App Store that were engaging in ad fraud. The apps collectively had 13 million installs before their removal by the app stores.
  • WhatsApp warned users of a critical vulnerability, now patched, that could impact users on older versions of the app that haven’t been updated. The bug could allow an attacker to execute their own code on a victim’s phone.

Funding and M&A

Milan-based developer Bending Spoons, makers of apps like Remini, raised $340 million from Italian banks in addition to Ryan Reynolds and Kerry Trainor.

Scout, a mobile app that helps Gen Z invest in cars, food, games and other themes, raised over two million dollars in seed funding. The app is only for Apple's mobile device operating system. It doesn't charge transaction fees, but it does charge a subscription.

Solvo, a new app that allows users to invest in Cryptocurrencies, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. The app was founded by two former employees of the company.

A new app that allows groups of friends to privately share everyday videos in albums has raised seed funding.

Triller said it raised $310 million from Global Emerging Markets.