Silent Echo lets you chat with Alexa over Slack

 Want to chat with Alexa via Slack? A new bot called Silent Echo now makes that possible. The idea is that there are times when you want to interact with Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, but you don’t want to do it by voice. For example, if things are too noisy in the room for Alexa to properly hear you, or, alternately, if you need things to be very quiet. The service… Read More

PayPal expands partnerships with Citi and Chase to include reward points and more

 PayPal today announced an expanded partnership with two of the largest bank issuers, Chase and Citibank. The agreements include a number of increased integrations between the companies, including easier access to Chase and Citi bank cards in the PayPal wallet; permitting Chase and Citi customers to take advantage of cards’ rewards points anywhere PayPal is accepted; integrations with… Read More

Apple now allows customer support reps to respond to your App Store reviews

 Earlier this year, Apple finally introduced the ability for app developers to respond to customer reviews – a feature Google had in place for several years. Now, Apple is expanding this feature with the launch of a new “Customer Support” role available now in the iTunes Connect portal. This gives developers who have larger teams the ability to give others permission to respond… Read More

LinkedIn’s new desktop app arrives on Windows 10

 LinkedIn is today launching its official desktop application for Windows 10, allowing the Microsoft-owned professional social networking service to be more deeply integrated into the operating system through features like the Windows 10 Start Menu, a pinnable Live Tile, and Action Center notifications. These alerts will include things like new messages in your LinkedIn inbox, updates about… Read More

Warner Music Group buys concert discovery service Songkick

 Warner Music Group announced today it’s acquiring the selected assets of the music platform Songkick, including its app for finding concerts and the company’s trademark. The deal will not include Songkick’s ticketing business, however, nor the pending litigation Songkick has against Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Songkick has been involved in a lawsuit against the major… Read More

Facebook tests a GIF maker on iOS

 Facebook confirmed it has begun testing a new GIF maker in the camera feature of the main Facebook mobile application. The feature, which is available with the tap of a button at the top of the screen, lets you shoot footage that you can then save in GIF format to your device’s photo gallery, post to your Facebook profile, or add to your Facebook Story. The addition was first spotted… Read More

Facebook’s new “Explore Feed” makes its way to the app’s main navigation

 Earlier this year, Facebook was spotted testing a new type of News Feed – one that designed to help you discover content across the social network, beyond posts from friends and Pages you already follow. During tests, the feed was available through the Facebook app underneath a “rocket ship” icon – something that seemed to confuse users, who didn’t understand… Read More

Google launches a new Backup & Sync desktop app for uploading files and photos to the cloud

 As promised last month, Google has today launched its new “Backup and Sync from Google” tool, which aims to help users more easily back up the files and photos on their computer. The utility is meant to replace the older Google Photos desktop app, as well as the Google Drive client applications for both Mac and PC. Read More

Nielsen: on-demand audio streaming hits record high, is up 62.4% over last year

 A new report from Nielsen out this week paints a picture of the booming on-demand audio streaming business, pointing to a significant increase in consumers’ use of streaming services and record numbers of streams being served. According to the mid-year report, which focuses only on the U.S. market, on-demand audio streams surpassed the 7 billion figure for the first time ever during March… Read More

YC-backed Vidcode raises $1.5M to teach teens to code using Snapchat filters, videos, memes and more

 Vidcode, a Y Combinator-backed startup focused on teaching teens how to code, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding for its curriculum. While there are a number of learn-to-code platforms out there today, Vidcode’s approach is to make coding more interesting to teens by connecting it to their existing interests – like Snapchat filters and memes – while also allowing… Read More