Most banks are notoriously bad at online, and especially mobile, experiences. Some don’t have mobile apps at all, and those that do exist typically aren’t that good. That’s why the folks at Portland, Ore.-based startup Simple think they can make banking better, with new ways of keeping track of your money.
Simple isn’t actually a bank — it partners with FDIC-insured institutions to actually keep your money safe and secure — but it provides online and mobile tools to help users manage their funds. Among other things, Simple stores a ton of data about user transactions that most banks simply throw out. That provides robust search capabilities that most banks can’t match. It also has a goals feature that allows users to easily set aside money without having to think about it.
Last week, I spoke with Simple CEO and co-founder Josh Reich for TechCrunch TV, and he walked through all the cool tools that Simple offers online and on its iOS and Android apps. I’m already a user, and have been one for several months… But if you haven’t seen Simple yet, check out the video above for a demo of the service.
Nokia is expected to pull back the curtains on its new slew of Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia phones on September 5, but the Finnish phone company has been agonizingly vague about what it intends to show off. That said, some new intel may have just shed new light on Nokia’s hardware plans.
According to The Verge’s sources, Nokia plans to reveal a duo of new Lumia phones — nicknamed “Arrow” and “Phi” respectively — the latter of which is apparently poised to take over the flagship crown of the Lumia line when it launches.
Rumors of the Phi have been winging their way around the geekier parts of the web for a few weeks now, and the supposed spec sheet certainly looks like a treat. Notorious Russian gadgeteer Eldar Murtazin purported that the slimmed-down Phi will sport a hefty 4.7-inch AMOLED display and a (gasp!) microSD card slot, while others pointed to the inclusion of an LTE radio, a dual-core Qualcomm chipset, and Nokia’s handsome polycarbonate body.
The Verge’s Tom Warren reports that AT&T is going to throw much of its weight behind the Phi (much like the carrier did with the Lumia 900), but the extent of that marketing push remains to be seen.
The Arrow, on the other hand, is something of an unknown quantity. The existence of a new Lumia device with a 4 or 4.3-inch screen have been thrown around a lot lately, and Warren notes that the mid-range device will hit both AT&T and T-Mobile in due course. If true, the move seems to echo Nokia’s plan for the original unveiling of the Lumia line at Nokia World last year, in which the top-tier Lumia 800 was officially revealed alongside the mid-range Lumia 710 — you’ve got to love the symmetry.
Oh, and in case you were curious, those (awfully lame) monikers are just temporary, and will probably get swapped out in favor of a blander model number soon enough. Lumia 1001, anyone?
See the original post: Nokia Said To Reveal “Arrow” And “Phi” Windows Phone 8 Devices On September 5
The tectonic plates in the app world have been shifting quite a bit lately, in ways that will significantly impact developers and users. One major upcoming shift is coming from our friends in Redmond–Windows 8– and yesterday, we witnessed another major shift as Facebook announced their new App Center.
After sleeping on it and reading dozens of generic blog posts about the announcement, this is what I think the Facebook App Center REALLY means (complete with lame taglines for your entertainment):
1. Throw a cat a bone. The dog has had enough to eat.
2. All apps = social apps. Social apps = Facebook apps. So, all apps = Facebook apps?
3. Content is King. The King protects the walls.
4. fPhone + fOS is otw.
As Facebook charges towards the “largest technology IPO in history,” there are a number of smart, strategic reasons for them to throw down on this App Center. But let’s not kid ourselves here with talk of a new, “open” approach to apps. This is ultimately all about deploying aggressive offensive and defensive measures to bolster their walls and connect everything and everyone to Facebook.
Please “like” this post on my Facebook, thanks!
Excerpt from: Here’s What The Facebook App Center Is Really About
Most people probably don’t stick around social music service SoundCloud’s site to ogle its design, but apparently the team felt there was plenty of room for improvement.
To that end SoundCloud, who not long ago raised a $50 million funding round led by Kleiner Perkins, officially pulled back the curtains on their handsome new interface in San Francisco earlier today.
Here’s the thing though — chances are you can’t see it yet, as it’s only open to users in their private beta. So what will SoundCloud users have to look forward to when the new interface makes its official debut? A whole slew of new aesthetics tweaks, for one — the the waveform players that have long been a focal point of SoundCloud’s design have been revamped to be smaller and slightly less intrusive, but with more social controls at the ready. Situated right below the player, for instance, is a repost button that lets users quickly spread their favorite tunes around. Profiles have also been redesigned to be much cleaner than before, and put greater emphasis on your actions — what you’ve liked, and what tracks you’ve commented on.
Also new to the mix are real-time notifications — you’ll be notified whenever a user reposts or likes your content, while other users can keep tabs on your activity as well. Throw in support for continuous playing of tracks in your stream, enhanced search functionality, and the thoughtful addition of keyboard shortcuts, and you’ve got the next SoundCloud in a nutshell.
A more widespread release is expected to come in a few months once the kinks have been worked out, and if everything goes to plan we’ll see this redesign take center stage by the end of the year. According to GigaOm, SoundCloud hopes to get the updated interface in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible in the mean time — they’ll be bringing an additional 10,000 users into the beta this week, as well as everyone who takes part in their upcoming SoundCloud global meetup.
Continue reading here: SoundCloud Gets A Major Makeover, But Only Private Beta Users Can See It (For Now)
Startup accelerators aren’t easy – teams are forced to focus hard on turning their businesses from ideas or prototypes with potential into seriously investable propositions in just a few short weeks. There’s often little chance to sleep or socialize, and business models – and even whole products – can be turned on their heads as killer startups are sculpted.
The first London-based run of the Springboard accelerator kicked off this week at Google’s new Campus building. Every week, we’re going to be following three of the Springboard teams – Kicktable, Teddle and Birdback – as they throw themselves into an intense, three-month programme.
How will the teams cope with the pressure? How will their businesses change? What is it really like to work so intensively in such a competitive environment? Over the next twelve weeks, we’ll find out.
The Tears, Tantrums & Tech video series is produced by HAUS Pictures. You can contact them here. Many thanks to Springboard and Google for allowing us this regular glimpse into what life inside an accelerator is like. This week’s episode introduces the teams. Next week, we’ll begin following their progress as they work towards the big Investor Day in July.