Inspirations

  • The eSIM maker powering Xiaomi’s IoT devices raises $15M

    Connectivity is vital to a future managed and shaped by smart hardware, and Chinese startup Showmac Tech is proposing eSIMs as the infrastructure solution for seamless and stable communication between devices and the service providers behind. Xiaomi accepted the proposition and doled out an investment for the startup’s angel round in 2017. Now Showmac has convinced more investors to be onboard as it banked close to 100 million yuan ($15 million) in a Series A+ round led by Addor Capital with participation from GGV Capital and Hongtai Aplus. “We believe cellular communication will become a mainstream trend in the era of IoT. WiFi works only when it’s connected to a small number of devices, but when the number increases dramatically it becomes unreliable,” said Lily Liu, founder and chief executive of Showmac, during an interview with TechCrunch. Unlike a traditional SIM, short for “subscriber identity module,” an eSIM doesn’t need to be on a re...

  • Anduril among companies tapped to build the Air Force’s ‘internet of things’ for war

    Palmer Luckey’s young defense company has been selected by the Air Force for work on a cutting-edge, multibillion-dollar nervous system for war. Luckey announced on his Twitter account Thursday that Anduril was one of the selected vendors for the project, known as the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). Over the last four months, the Air Force named more than 50 different vendors that would work on developing the system, giving each the chance to receive from $1,000 to $950 million over the next five years. Amazon Web Services was also selected in the fresh round of vendors, along with 16 other lesser-known companies. The vendor list includes a number of companies that aren’t the usual suspects in Department of Defense work, reflecting the “innovative acquisition strategy” intended to accelerate the timeline for the ambitious system. As a three-year-old startup founded by the controversial Trump-booster who created Oculus, ushered in the dawn of consumer V...

  • You can now return Apple’s Solo Loop for a new size, without sending back the Watch

    Call it Apple Bandgate, if you must. It’s the latest online dustup, following Apple’s recent Watch Series 6 release. The announcement of the Solo Loop was more or less glossed over during last week’s big event, because, well, watch bands don’t often take center stage at hardware events. As is often the case, retail availability was quickly followed by purchaser returns. That happens just about any time a new product is released, of course, but things were complicated here for a couple of reasons. For starters, the clasp-free bands come in a variety of different sizes to fit different-sized wrists. That’s further complicated by the fact that trying bands on in-store really isn’t a great option these days. The initial returns were met with buyer frustration. For starters, many were reporting difficulty getting the correctly sized band, based on online measurements. Also many expressed frustration with a policy that required the entire watch to be sent back to Apple as part o...

  • Launch Center Pro lets you build custom icons to customize your iOS 14 home screen

    Launch Center Pro, an iOS utility that offered widgets and custom icons long before they were allowed on the iPhone’s home screen, is bringing its design tools to iOS 14. The app aims to capitalize on the recent trend toward home screen personalization by offering a set of over 7,000 glyphs and emoji that can be used to create custom icons for use with Apple’s Shortcuts app. In addition, the app offers over 13 icon background styles with 15 colors each, along with other tools to build a customized experience like glyph styling and badges, for example. In total, it has the capability of producing 13 trillion possible icons using its built-in tools — and even more if you choose to use your own photos when creating your icons. Image Credits: Contrast/Launch Center Pro Much of the work to make this possible had already been done last year for iOS 13, says Launch Center Pro’s developer David Barnard. But iPhone home screen customization never really took off until th...

  • Daily Crunch: Amazon unveils its own game-streaming platform

    Amazon announces a new game service and plenty of hardware upgrades, tech companies team up against app stores and United Airlines tests a program for rapid COVID-19 testing. This is your Daily Crunch for September 24, 2020. The big story: Amazon unveils its own game-streaming platform Amazon’s competitor to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud is called Luna, and it’s available starting today at an early access price of $5.99 per month. Subscribers will be able to play games across PC, Mac and iOS, with more than 50 games in the library. The company made the announcement at a virtual press event, where it also revealed a redesigned Echo line (with spherical speakers and swiveling screens), the latest Ring security camera and a new, lower-cost Fire TV Stick Lite. You can also check out our full roundup of Amazon’s announcements. The tech giants App makers band together to fight for App Store changes with new ‘Coalition for App Fairness’ — Thirteen app publishe...