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

In the first half of the year, global app spending was $65 billion, up slightly from the $64.4 billion in the same period in the previous year. 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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Elon Musk is buying Twitter…again…maybe

Elon Musk icon over twitter icons

The image is from TechCrunch.

Another week of deal drama came from Musk. After initially trying to get out of the deal, the CEO of the two companies decided he would go through with it. It was thought that Musk saw the writing on the wall and realized he couldn't win the case. He can't claim that he wants to fix the bot problem by buying the network and then claim that there are too many of them, when in fact, it's the other way around. It's right!

The judge gave the go-ahead for a probe that would allow it to seek out information as to whether Peiter "Mudge" Zatko had contacted Musk's lawyers before he attempted to leave the company.

The email that was sent to Musk's attorney was an anonymous email that claimed to be from a former employee of the social media company. They wanted to know if the legal team followed up on the sender. Just before Musk changed his mind about moving forward with the purchase, a judge agreed that the social network could dig in. It's possible that Musk wanted to avoid more files and communications. Maybe he didn't want to be questioned about it.

In any case, Musk said the deal was done and the stock price of the company went up 22%. The matter wasn't immediately solved.

Neither Musk nor Twitter filed anything to stop the court case from proceeding, even though they hadn't reached an agreement to stop their litigation. The trial would start on October 17, 2022, as per the judge's instructions. Musk said that he had a sudden change of heart, but he wasn't taken by it. The judge agreed to give Musk and his team more time to see if the transaction goes through. The parties will be given trial dates if not.

The deal is dependent on the proceeds of the debt financing. Morgan Stanley and half a dozen banks underwrote the debt financing for the deal, and given the market conditions, they may find it harder to find buyers for the bonds and loans. They are unlikely to back out or find a legal way to do so. Elon is purchasing again. We're thinking!

Go ahead, edit Your tweets

Twitter edit button illustration

The image is from TechCrunch.

If that wasn't enough, there's also the fact that the Edit button has arrived.

The feature is now available to subscribers in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The feature allows users to make changes to their account for up to 30 minutes after they've posted. The public can see the edits to make sure they don't get abused. The 30-minute period is meant to cut down on the feature's abuse.

Many are concerned that bad actors will find a way to take advantage of the addition to make their work look better. At a time when user demand for an edit button may have been quelled, it comes at a good time. One of the major use cases for an edit button would be cut down by this. Users can delay their Tweets for up to a minute, giving them time to fix errors and re-read posts.

We should point out that the edit feature was a big idea for Musk. He asked his 80.5 million followers if they wanted an edit button, either a tease of the planned announcement or a desire to look like he was already taking action at the social networking site. An edit button was in the works a day later. It was not Musk's idea, according to the social networking site.

The impact of the edit option might be limited. The majority of users are not paying for a subscription at the moment, and it is not clear if this feature will change that.

Google gets serious about wearables

woman wearing Google Pixel Watch

The image is from the internet search engine, GOOGLE.

There was a lot of news this week in the mobile world. While the event focused on the new line of devices, including the Pixel 7, the one that may be more interest to app developers is the one that is more serious about its Wearable Strategy. The new watch from the company is the first of its kind.

The device has a unique look and feel and is powered by Wear OS. The device looks like a premium one. The entry point is interesting because Apple has gone in a different direction with the Apple Watch Ultra, with a large version that can look silly on smaller wrists. There won't be a problem with the Pixel watch.

Google gets serious about wearables with the Pixel Watch

Before now, there was a $2.1 billion deal for Fitbit, as well as a $40 million acquisition of Fossil intellectual property. The new Pixel Watch is a more serious competitor to Apple with features like heart rate monitoring and more. Along with its hardware investment, it is also considering the wider appecosystem. The company has made it easier for users to search and filter for non-smartphone apps on the Play store.

It was announced at the event that the next iteration of thePixel line would be a bigger screen. Consumers will be able to use their tablets in the same way they would any other smart display or smart screen in their home with the charging speaker dock.

Google updates the Play Store to make it easier to find non-phone apps

Enhancements to the smart assistant will be announced alongside the Pixel 7 launch, which will see the assistant improve its abilities in areas like voice typing, navigating businesses' phone menus, voice message transcription and more. One of the better improvements here is the Direct My Call service which will now display a business's phone tree options on the phone's screen so you can just tap the button you need instead of listening to all the choices.

Instagram’s ad load increase

Instagram logo reflected


Meta this week began looking at ways to stem its advertising revenue losses.

Meta is increasing its ad load on the photo sharing site with the launch of two new ad slots. Advertisers will be able to run ads on the Explore home page and in profile feeds, as well as a new ad format for Facebook reels.

When people first tap on the Explore tab, they are referred to as the Explore home. Clicking on a button at the top of the screen will open a page of suggested and trend content. When a person taps on a post and scrolls, it's when the ads are on Explore. The Explore home page is being expanded to see users spending more time there. This is being rolled out around the world.

The profile feed is the feed that appears when a user visits another person's profile on the app and then taps on one of their post and scrolls. There are four- to 10-second skippable ads that play after a reel has ended, and there are also video ads that play after a reel has finished.

At a time when Meta has seen declining ad sales, these additional ad units help the company pull in more revenue. Meta reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline in Q2 after its first decline in daily active users. Meta's revenue fell only 1% in the second quarter of 2021, but investors are worried about the company's third quarter forecast.

Weekly News

  • iOS 16.1 beta testers were disappointed to find out that the “Adaptive Transparency” toggle that appeared in their AirPods settings was actually a bug, and not a promise of bringing the feature to older AirPods models. Apple confirmed this by removing the setting in the new beta release.
  • Meanwhile, another feature in the latest iOS 16.1 beta shows Apple tweaking the design of the Dynamic Island to include a light gray border around the outside of the feature when it’s activated on a darker background or wallpaper.
  • Apple seeded iOS 16.1, tvOS 16.1 beta 4 and iPadOS 16.1 beta 5 for developers, as well as the tenth developer beta of macOS Ventura.
  • Apple named new vice presidents for its Maps, Services and Silicon teams, Bloomberg reported. Twenty-year Apple veteran Max Muller will become a VP overseeing Maps. Payam Mirrashidi is a new VP of engineering in Services. And Johny Srouji, Charlie Zhai and Fabian Klas are becoming VPs in the Silicon group. The appointments follow the firing of VP of Procurement Tony Blevins over sexist comments he made in a TikTok video.
  • App developers who applied for a share of Apple’s $100 million App Store class action settlement, which saw the creation of the Small App Developer Assistance Fund, have been alerted that the distribution of their payments should occur before the end of October.

array of smartphones showing Google iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets

The image is from the internet search engine, GOOGLE.

  • Google’s anticipated iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets have begun to arrive. The launches arrived starting last week with updates to the Chrome and Drive apps, and this week saw new widgets appear for its Gmail and Google News apps, as well. Still on its way are Search and Maps widgets. Google hasn’t explained why Calendar is not included, however.

E-commerce and Food Delivery

  • DoorDash announced a new service, Drinks with DoorDash, that allows users to order food from one place and drinks from another — like a nearby liquor, convenience or grocery store. (Yep, dashers are going to love this.)
  • In the same week, Grubhub and Gopuff partnered on grocery and alcohol delivery, allowing Grubhub customers to shop thousands of products from moe than 500 Gopuff locations via the membership program, Grubhub+.
  • Recelery, a pantry tracker app and online marketplace for select food items, relaunched this past weekend to tweak a number of its features. It expanded the limit of pictures that users can post, introduced new markers to show the specific date when an item was added and now allows users to sell up to 25 items at a time.

Augmented Reality

The image is called snap.

  • Snapchat is embracing Halloween via AR. Starting October 11, the app will roll out an AR shopping experience that allows users to virtually try on and buy costumes of some of their favorite TV and movie characters, including those from “Hocus Pocus,” “Squid Game,” “Stranger Things,” “Power Rangers,” “Transformers,” “The Office,” “Harry Potter” and others.
  • Lucky Charms upgraded its cereal box with an AR game built using Niantic’s 8th Wall platform.


  • Sen. Warren’s office released a report that said fraud and scams are taking place on P2P payments app Zelle, but banks are refusing to refund customers for 53% of the defrauded funds.
  • Venmo rolled out Charity Profiles in the app that allows charitable organizations to raise funds directly if they’ve already received confirmed charity status from Venmo parent PayPal.
  • Investing app Stash, which raised $125 million from investors in a Series G round last year, announced it’s adding crypto to the set of products it offers its 2 million users.


  • TikTok added a handful of editing tools that will allow users to adjust clips, sounds, images and text in new ways. The additions include tools to stack, trim, split and speed up and slow down clips, plus others for cutting, trimming and setting the durations for sounds used in videos. Others focus on text placement and images, including a new Photo Mode feature for sharing a carousel of images that automatically display one after another.

TikTok new editing tools

The image is called TikTok.

  • ByteDance reported its revenue grew to $61.7 billion in 2021, but operating losses reached $7.15 billion due to investments in growth, a report to staff said, per The WSJ.
  • Pinterest partnered with Headspace to offer creators a free six-month subscription in 20 countries worldwide, making it the first platform to provide such an offering, it said.
  • A new lawsuit in California, filed by the Social Media Victims Law Center, targets companies Meta, Snap, Discord and Roblox for making platforms that contain features designed to encourage addiction to “the detriment of their minor users.” It brings up mental health issues, including suicide attempts, which it alleges are linked to use of these platforms.
  • Twitter rolled out a new feature that lets users post images, videos and GIFs in a single tweet. It also expanded its experimental Status feature, for tagging tweets with moods and activities, to more of its users.
  • Reddit began testing a new live chat feature in a chat tab in its app. Users who have access to the test will see three options to filter chats: live chats, Messages and requests — or they can view “All” chats.
  • Facebook introduced new tools that allow users to customize their feeds by telling the app which posts they want to see more or less of, from across their friends, groups and other post recommendations. The feature will also be tested with Reels.
  • Meta settled a lawsuit with BrandTotal and Unimania, companies engaging in scraping operations of Facebook and Instagram data. The settlements terms weren’t disclosed, but in addition to agreeing to stop the practice, Meta said the companies agreed to pay a “significant sum.”



The image is from the dating app.

  • Tinder rolled out a new feature to help its users get ready to vote in the U.S. midterms. The dating app maker partnered with BallotReady to launch an Election Center within the app’s Explore section where users can register to vote, find their polling stations and access breakdowns of their local ballot measures.
  • Bumble is testing a speed-dating feature that allows users to chat before matching, similar to Tinder’s own Fast Chats feature. The feature is live in the U.K. already.
  • A Wired investigation found there were an increasing number of fake profiles of men on the Match-owned Hinge dating app. The profiles appear to be using AI-generated images and oddly written profile text that indicates English isn’t their first language. In chatting with the profiles, the reporter discovered they weren’t bots, but rather scammers hiding behind the fake accounts.

Streaming & Entertainment

  • Apple Music announced a new milestone of reaching 100 million songs — a 100,000x increase since the debut of the original iPod some 21 years ago. To celebrate, Apple launched a new Apple Music Today series that will pick a new song every day and dive into its history.
  • YouTube has been experimenting with asking some users to purchase a Premium subscription in order to watch videos in 4K resolution, currently a free feature.

Reading & News

  • Facebook killed its Substack competitor, Bulletin, the newsletter service launched last year. Bulletin writers will earn subscription revenue until the platform’s closure in 2023, but will then need to migrate subscribers to another sevice.
  • Substack launched its Reader app on Android, which allows users to access all their Substack subscriptions in one place alongside their RSS feeds.

Substack Android app

The image is called Substack.


  • Readdle launched a new version of its email app Spark, for desktop and mobile devices, which now offers subscription-based email management. The app, reviewed here by The Verge, organizes emails into bundles like newsletters and notifications, and elevates emails from real people. The app includes a bevy of other features, like focus schedules, thread muting, a gatekeeper function (to permit or deny access to your inbox) and more.


  • Alongside its new Nest Doorbell and faster Wi-Fi router, Google launched a redesigned version of its Home app for Android. The redesigned app arrived in parallel with the release of the Matter 1.0 standard, and includes faster Matter pairing and other new customization options to personalize the app to end users.

Government & Policy

  • Russia fined TikTok 3 million rubles (around $51,000) for violating its anti-LGBTQ laws. Russia claims TikTok failed to delete content it called propaganda. It also fined Twitch for hosting an interview with a Ukrainian political figure, which it said contained fake information.

Security & Privacy

  • Meta’s security team disclosed it had identified more than 400 malicious apps posing as photo editing tools, games, utilities, lifestyle apps, VPNs and more that were actually malware. The apps would prompt users to enter their Facebook login credentials to use the app, but this information was then stolen, allowing scammers to gain access to the user’s Facebook account and any other account that used the same username/password combo. Meta said it’s not able to determine how many people fell for this scam, but identified at least 1 million potentially impacted users.

Funding and M&A

Montana-based onX, the maker of navigation apps for hunting, hiking, off-roading and other outdoor activities, raised an $87.4 million Series B.

Kinzen is an Ireland-based tech company that helps with content moderation. The deal terms were not made public. Kinzen uses a combination of machine learning and human expertise to alert and flag dangerous misinformation and harmful content as it invests heavily into podcasting and other forms of audio. When Joe Rogan spread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on his show, he caused a problem for the streaming service.

A Detroit-based animation studio that created art for the company and others was acquired by Duolingo. The deal terms weren't made public.

An anonymous social app for college kids, Fizz, announced its raise of $4.5 million in seed funding, led by entrepreneur and investor Rakesh Mathur. Lightspeed and other angels invested in the app that claims to have penetration on college campuses.

South Korean search giant Naver plans to acquire Poshmark for over a billion dollars. The deal values publicly traded Poshmark at $17.90, a 15% premium over the closing price.

Jiko raised $40 million in a round led by Red River West, bringing the company's total raise to $82 million. The app gives companies low-cost access to short-term treasury bills as it has evolved from a consumer focused model to B2B.

A new investor is the state investment giant. The company is worth more than a billion dollars.


Neeva is the image's credit.

Neeva is an ad-free search engine that was launched to the US last year. The service promises a way to both search the web and private accounts from any device without having to view ads or compromise user data. Premium memberships provide privacy tools and other benefits to paid subscribers.

On desktop, the service is available via a chrome extension.

Paul Sawers sat down with Neeva co-founder and CEO Sridhar Ramaswamy in London to get an update on the company as it expands to new markets. You can read about Neeva's business here.

Founded by Google’s former head of ads, Neeva brings its ad-free search engine to Europe