Tag Archives: apps

Drivers For Ride-Hailing App Juno Claim Company Misled Them With Promises Of Stock

Last year, drivers for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft were excited about a new competing app, Juno, which promised to grant drivers stock in the company along with lower commissions and in-app tipping. Juno was recently acquired by yet another service, Gett, and the drivers have seen their equity evaporate, leading them to file a complaint with federal regulators.

The plan for Juno was to share more revenue with its drivers than rivals do. Retaining drivers is important, as it cuts down on costly expenses associated with recruiting new drivers, like referral fees and sign-on bonuses.

A source familiar with the startup’s finances told Bloomberg Technology that Juno was profitable, but unable to convince investors to help it expand to more cities. Instead, the company decided to pursue a deal with Gett, a ride-hailing app out of Israel which operates in multiple cities, including New York.

gett

Drivers acquired theoretical equity in Juno the more that they drove, and the plan was that drivers would own about half of the company by 2026. Gett, which paid $200 million to acquire Juno, has no such equity plan, which meant the end of the stock program.

Drivers learned in an email that they would receive a small cash payment, about 10% of what drivers had been told their accumulated stock was worth.

That’s where the Independent Drivers Guild, a group that’s not a union but represents New York City’s drivers with Uber, comes in. To maximize their time and income, drivers for ride-hailing apps often work for multiple services at once, accepting passengers as they come in. According to the group, 40% of its members also drive for Juno.

While the Independent Drivers Guild represents drivers for Uber in New York City, its members often drive for Juno as well. Yet Uber pays some of the group’s administrative expenses, which makes it a little awkward when the IDG is calling for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate one of Uber’s competitors.

Uber itself Uber paid $20 million to settle charges that it misled prospective drivers about what their pay would be.

In its letter to the FTC [PDF], the IDG says that it learned from mysterious “sources” that Juno had learned from the Securities and Exchange Commission that its stock plan may be illegal. Yet, the IDG alleges, that was a few months before the deal, and the company still used the idea of earning equity in the company to appeal to new drivers.

“Many IDG drivers have no access to traditional worker protections like retirement plans, group health insurance, or even paid time off,” the IDG notes in its letter. “The promise of a stake in the company attracted thousands of drivers seeking financial security for their families.”

The group also sent the letter to New York state’s attorney general, New York City’s Office of Labor Policy and Standards, Juno, and Gett.

Source:

Drivers For Ride-Hailing App Juno Claim Company Misled Them With Promises Of Stock

Advertisements

Forget 10 seconds, Snapchat now lets you replay messages forever

Snapchat was built on the concept of ephemerality: once you see a message, it disappears forever.

Starting Tuesday, Snapchat is making its messages feel less fleeting by letting them replay indefinitely. A new infinity icon will allow a photo or video message to be replayed forever until the receiver exits the conversation thread. Snapchat messages, called “snaps,” could previously only be seen for up to 10 seconds before they disappeared.

“We’ve all felt the frustration of not being able to fully enjoy a Snap – even after replaying it – and we wanted to give you the option of allowing the recipient to enjoy your Snap as long as they’d like,” the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “After your friend finishes viewing the Snap and taps to close it, it will delete as usual.”

The change is a notable one for Snapchat, which in its early days earned a reputation for sexting because of how quickly its messages disappeared after being viewed. The app has since popularized the Stories format, which shows photo and video messages in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours. Facebook has aggressively copied Stories in its full suite of apps in recent months.

Snapchat’s change to one of its core features also comes a day ahead of the company’s first earnings report since it became a publicly traded company in February. Wall Street is looking for signs that Snapchat is still growing and that the competition from Facebook hasn’t taken too great of a toll.

Snapchat also added a few new creative tools on Tuesday, including the ability to draw with emojis and a “magic eraser.” A redesigned menu for the app’s editing tools will “provide a foundation for introducing even more creative tools for making fun Snaps,” the company said.

portable network graphics image-8047b970101b-1

Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-lets-messages-reply-forever-adds-magic-eraser-and-other-tools-2017-5

Driver-friendly ride-hailing apps Gett and Juno are combining

Ride-hailing app Gett today confirmed that it will acquire Juno, another app in the on-demand transportation industry, for $200 million, reports TechCrunch. The deal will combine Juno’s network of New York City-based drivers under Gett’s and continue to offer drivers a 10 percent commission rate while giving them 100 percent of tips. (Uber’s commission ranges between 20 to 25 percent.)

Juno launched in New York City just one year ago, and initially pitched itself toward drivers, not riders. It promised to be a more “ethical ride-sharing app,” offering drivers $50 a week to keep the app open during normal work hours and a rating system that deducted 5 percent of their lowest ratings on a weekly basis.

In light of recent press around Uber’s shady business practices, consumers have been rapidly switching to competitors like Juno, Lyft, and Gett. Just a few days after the #DeleteUber campaign began in January, Lyft surpassed Uber in app downloads for the first time ever. Gett also reported that in the last quarter, its revenue and rides completed grew 100 percent.

Gett currently services 100 cities worldwide, including New York, Tel Aviv, London, and Moscow. Its acquisition of Juno aims to help it further expand in the United States.

Source:

http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/26/15436222/gett-acquires-juno-driver-friendly-ride-hailing-apps

Feeding America launches new tech platform to help businesses fight hunger

For Earth Day 2017, Feeding America® is announcing the launch of MealConnectTM, an innovative technology platform that makes food donation as simple as a click. The new and free platform was developed to help reduce food waste, benefit the environment and put more food on the tables of families and individuals facing hunger in America.

Feeding America is already the largest food rescue and domestic hunger-relief organization, helping to provide food to 46 million people in need each year, and now with MealConnect is poised to play an even bigger role in reducing food waste. MealConnect helps to save food that previously might have gone to waste—such as a small load of meat from a local butcher or a box of tomatoes from a farmers market. The platform then directs that rescued food immediately to Feeding America food banks’ food pantries and meal programs that serve people in need. MealConnect allows food businesses of all sizes, from local mom-and-pop restaurants to large chain grocery retailers, to post surplus food on the MealConnect platform. An algorithm determines the best-suited local pantry or food program to quickly pick up and distribute the donation.

MealConnect is available to donors from any smartphone, tablet or computer to make an immediate impact in the communities where they operate. MealConnect is free for all users and all donations are tax-deductible. The technology leverages the Feeding America network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries and feeding programs across the country. In addition, Feeding America maintains stringent food-safety standards to ensure that all food distributed is safe for consumption.

This new technology enhancement has been made possible with a $1 million grant from General Mills. This funding also will help support efforts to scale MealConnect to communities nationwide.

“We are extremely grateful to General Mills for their incredible support of this major initiative. This donation is not only beneficial to our environment but also helps meet the needs of hardworking families throughout the country,” Feeding America CEO Diana Aviv said.

“For nearly 40 years, we’ve partnered with Feeding America to help rescue more food to help families facing hunger,” said Shawn O’Grady, group president of Convenience & Foodservice, and senior vice president of Global Revenue Development at General Mills. “We are encouraged that the new MealConnect technology will help food retailers and foodservice operators nationwide donate food safely and efficiently.” O’Grady has served on the Feeding America board of directors since 2013.

Starbucks, which announced a partnership with Feeding America in 2016, will use MealConnect to help achieve its goal to rescue 100 percent of unsold food from its U.S. company-operated stores.

“In 2016, we pledged to bring the excess food in our stores, that otherwise would have been thrown away, to families in need,” said Jane Maly, Program Manager at Starbucks. “By using MealConnect, we’re able to track our donations in real time, allowing for more streamlined reporting by store and food bank.”

Feeding America is the leading food recovery partner across the food industry, currently rescuing 2.8 billion pounds of good food from going to waste and providing it to families in need.

New information from ReFED, a collaboration of business, nonprofit, foundation and government leaders committed to reducing food waste in the United States, indicates that 72 billion pounds of good, safe food is wasted every year in the U.S. MealConnect aims to close that gap to reduce food waste and end hunger.

“Working with valued companies, including General Mills, Walmart and Starbucks, Feeding America has been able to distribute more than four billion pounds of food annually to people facing hunger,” Aviv said. “Now, MealConnect will allow us to supplement these great national efforts with donations captured from regional and local donors who may not have a consistent donation stream.”

MealConnect was initially funded and designed with support from Google.org with additional funding from the Walmart Foundation.

Google.org strives to identify and support innovations that improve our world, and MealConnect’s enhanced platform does just that. We are thrilled to support Feeding America and its network, which will allow MealConnect to scale across the country,” said Andrew Dunckelman of Google.org.

“Since 2005 Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have invested over $100 million in Feeding America,” Karrie Denniston said. “We made the investment in MealConnect because we saw an opportunity to strengthen capacity for the organization and its network of food banks.  This platform is a prime example of how innovative technology is being used to improve food recovery and address hunger.”

By connecting more donors with the Feeding America network of food banks, food pantries and meal programs, MealConnect will prevent more food waste, benefit the environment and help end the hunger crisis for millions of people in America.

For more information on MealConnect, visit MealConnect.org.

– See more at: http://3blmedia.com/News/Feeding-America-Launches-MealConnecttm-Technology-Platform-Help-Reduce-Food-Waste-and-End#sthash.HIc1aq5p.dpuf

Google launches Areo, a food delivery & home services app for India

Google seems to have silently launched a new food delivery and home services aggregator called Areo for the India market. The app is available as a free download on the Google Play store and is currently operational in Bengaluru and Mumbai.

Areo aggregates food dishes and home services across various local service providers, allowing users to order food or schedule appointments with a local beautician, electrician, painter, cleaner and plumber among others. The app was first spotted by The Android Soul.

At the time of the writing this article, Areo has signed up partners like UrbanClap and Zimmber for home services and Freshmenu, Box8 & Faasos for food ordering.

Notably missing from the list however are prominent players like Zomato and Swiggy in food delivery and Amazon-backed Housejoy in home services.

One can either search for any specific dish or choose any specific partner to browse through dishes and schedule deliveries by paying online or use cash on delivery. Strangely, we noticed that Google has partnered with TimesofMoney’s DirecPay for online payments on Areo rather than using its own payment solution.

“We are constantly experimenting with ways to better serve our users in India. In this case, Areo makes everyday chores and ordering food easier by bringing together useful local services like ordering food or hiring a cleaner in one place.” a Google spokesperson told in a statement to ETtech.

A Google spokesperson said they are currently not charging partners for this service but they are yet to respond to our queries on how these partners were selected or do they plan to charge these partners in the future.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAUyAAAAJDc0YjNiOGFjLWM4ODgtNGZlYS1hMGZlLTA5MDkzNjRiZGJhOA

Source:

http://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/mobile/google-india-launches-areo-a-food-delivery-home-services-app/58159124

Amazon will soon refund up to $70 million of in-app purchases made by children

Nearly one year after Amazon was found guilty of illegally billing users for unauthorized in-app purchases, the company has dropped its appeal against the decision, paving way for refunds to finally commence.

The in-app charges stemmed from purchases made by kids when playing with freemium apps. In the 2016 decision, a US federal judge found that Amazon failed to clearly inform parents that free apps may still include in-app purchases, and did not provide enough notice and password requirements to prevent unwanted charges. The Federal Trade Commission estimated that parents were charged upwards of $70 million between November 2011 and May 2016.

According to the FTC, Amazon will begin is refund program “shortly.” In November, Amazon’s request to refund the purchases in the form of gift cards was rejected by a US district judge, so the company is expected to refund affected customers money back directly to their debit or credit card, or via paper checks.

Source:

http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/4/15183254/amazon-ends-appeal-refund-70-million-in-app-purchases

Top 5 Apps for Traders

Consumers are increasingly shifting towards mobile platforms as new tools can help investors gain insight, hone their skills without risking a dime and ultimately trade their portfolio. Below are the top five apps that gained popularity and positive reviews among users in 2016.

Robinhood

Robinhood allows investors to trade stocks with no commission fee. While more experienced traders may be skeptical about the simplicity of the app and the newbies it attracts, there is no denying that it is a game changer. Launched in 2014, Robinhood’s target audience is the younger generation of traders with an average age of 26 years old, 25% of whom are first-time investors.

In 2015, Robinhood became the first financial app of any kind to win an Apple Design Award, thanks to its quick sign-up process and easy-to-use interface. The app uses geolocation to suggest relevant stocks. It provides an innovative crowd-sourced, social approach that shares insight and trends from other Robinhood users, looking to build a following. Latest updated versions of the app both for iOS and Android were uploaded in October 2016 and so far have been receiving positive reviews from the users.

In September 2016, the company announced the launch of Robinhood Gold – an advanced version of the platform with a set of premium features, such as extended trading hours, a line of credit and a faster option for making deposits and withdrawals. Access to Robinhood Gold will cost the users a flat fee of ten dollars a month.

TD Ameritrade Mobile

TD Ameritrade Mobile is offering customers several applications for monitoring the market and making trades. TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader enables the trading of equities, options, futures and forex. Traders can keep the track of the news through integrated live streams from several CNBC regional channels and a financial news service. With access to comprehensive research materials, traders of any level benefit from TD Ameritrade’s expertise. Users of this app can chat with other traders and learn about the upcoming events through the interactive market calendar.

TD Ameritrade Mobile app, the second tool offered by the mobile division of the company, is mostly focused on analysis of trends and keeping track of the trader’s positions and orders. It provides an opportunity to transfer cash and deposit checks by taking the pictures of them with the phone camera. Moreover, users can find out market information about the companies by simply scanning the bar code of the consumer products in the store. The iOS version of the application is rated higher by mobile store users than the version for Android devices.

E*Trade Mobile

E*Trade Mobile’s easy-to-use interface helps users locate stocks quickly through a voice search function. Similar to TD Ameritrade applications, E*Trade Mobile provides an opportunity to trade a variety of securities: stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. With real-time quotes and news from Morningstar, MarketWatch, Briefing.com, and various wires, along with CNBC Video on Demand, users have access to a wealth of information. Users can select information that is displayed on the customizable dashboard and have access to educational tools and comparison charts. E*trade Mobile’s application is available on mobile phones with both operating systems and can be connected to Apple Watch.

StockTouch

StockTouch is an informational resource that allows users to monitor the stock market in real time with an intuitive visualization of the market data. Stocks are sortable alphabetically, by size, by market capitalization, by percentage gains and by volume. Users can zoom in to obtain the detailed information about a particular stock and its historical performance, or touch anywhere on the screen to gain more insight into market trends on companies and sectors. Color-coded heat maps help users track the market’s ups and downs. The app was shut down for several months earlier this year without an official reason, but became available in the App Store again at the end of September 2016. The tool is only available for the users of Apple devices.

TradeHero

TradeHero is a learning app that allows investors to practice trading in a safe environment. Based on the real world data, the app is perfect for users looking to hone their skills or test new strategies without financial risk on simulated stock exchanges from around the world.

Users receive $100,000 to build their fantasy portfolios and compete against each other. The winners have a chance to be listed on the leaderboard as a hero and receive a real cash prize. Participants receive alerts about the performance of their favorite stocks and can get access to the video tutorials and the tips from experienced users.

The most recent updates for the app were launched in October 2016 with predominantly positive reviews from users. Currently the iOS and Android versions of the app slightly differ by functionality, however the company promised to add the missing features in the next versions.

Source:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/111315/top-5-apps-stock-traders.asp

Google tests Instant Apps – a feature that lets you use apps without downloading them

It’s annoying when you have to download an app on a smartphone just to carry out one function. Well Google wants to fix this pain point and has begun testing one of its hotly-anticipated features announced last year called Android Instant Apps.

The feature was previewed last year at the Google I/O developers’ conference. Instant Apps works by letting a user hit a link and then opening a small part of the app required to carry out the specific task, without actually downloading it. The aim is to be as fast as loading a web page so an Instant App can be runnable in a few seconds.

One example Google showed off last year was paying for parking. If a person holds their phone near a parking meter with a special built-in chip, the Instant App will open to let people pay for parking.

On Monday, Google said in a blog that it had begun live testing of Instant Apps with a small number of developers including BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope and Viki, with the aim of collecting user feedback.

Google also said that the software development kit (SDK) needed for developers to make Instant Apps, will be available “in the coming months.”

Instant Apps gives the advantage of not having to download an app and store it on your phone which could take up a lot of memory space and even screen real estate. Sometimes and app is required just to do one specific task and then it needs to be deleted. But also, if you’re out without Wi-Fi and need to download an app, it can use up a lot of a person’s monthly data. Instant Apps could eliminate all of these issues.

Source:

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/24/google-tests-instant-apps-a-feature-that-lets-you-use-apps-without-downloading-them.html