How to download your data from Apple

How to download your data from Apple

Good news! Apple now allows U.S. customers to download a copy of their data, months after rolling out the feature to EU customers.

But don’t be disappointed when you get your download and find there’s almost nothing in there. Earlier this year when I requested my own data (before the portal feature rolled out), Apple sent me a dozen spreadsheets with my purchase and order history, a few iCloud logs, and some of my account information. The data will date back to when you opened your account, but may not include recent data if Apple has no reason to retain it.

But because most Apple data is stored on your devices, it can’t turn over what it doesn’t have. And any data it collects from Apple News, Maps and Siri is anonymous and can’t attribute to individual users.

Apple has a short support page explaining the kind of data it will send back to you.

If you’re curious — here’s how you get your data.

1. Go to Apple’s privacy portal

You need to log in to with your Apple ID and password, and enter your two-factor authentication code if you have it set-up.

2. Request a copy of your data

From here, tap on “Obtain a copy of your data” and select the data that you would like to download — or hit “select all.” You will also have the option of splitting the download into smaller portions.

3. Go through the account verification steps

Apple will verify that you’re the account holder, and may ask you for several bits of information. Once the data is ready to download, you’ll get a notification that it’s available for download, and you’ll have two weeks to download the .zip file.

If the “obtain your data” option isn’t immediately available, it may still take time to roll out to all customers.

Source: Tech Crunch

Samsung's latest acquisition will help prepare 5G for self-driving cars

Samsung's latest acquisition will help prepare 5G for self-driving cars
Samsung has announced that it's acquiring a Barcelona-based startup called Zhilabs, and it's meant to help the corporation prepare for its 5G offerings. Zhilabs is known for its artificial intelligence-powered service, which analyzes networks in orde…
Source: Engadget

These are the most successful companies to emerge from Y Combinator

These are the most successful companies to emerge from Y Combinator

Earlier this month, Brex, a credit card provider to startups, announced it had raised $125 million at a $1.1 billion valuation.

The round was impressive for a couple of reasons. 1. The founders are a pair of 22-year-olds that had set out to build a virtual reality company before pivoting to payments. And 2. They had only completed Y Combinator, a well-known Silicon Valley startup accelerator, the year prior.

Y Combinator is responsible for many successes in the startup world, certainly more than its fellow accelerators, which are all known to provide early-stage companies with a seed investment  — in YC’s case, $150,000 — mentorship and educational resources through a short-term program that culminates in a demo day.

Today, YC has released the latest list of its most successful companies since it began backing startups in 2005. Ranked by valuation and/or market cap, Brex, sure enough, is the youngest company to crack the top 20:

  1. Airbnb: An online travel community and room-sharing platform founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk. Valuation: $31 billion. YC W2009.
  2. Stripe: A provider of an online payment processing system for internet businesses founded by John and Patrick Collison. Valuation: $20 billion. YC S2009.
  3. Cruise: Acquired by GM in 2006, the company is building autonomous vehicles. It was founded by Kyle Vogt and Daniel Kan. Valuation: $14 billion. YC W2014.
  4. Dropbox: A file hosting service and workplace collaboration platform founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi that went public in March. Market cap: >$10 billion. YC S2007.
  5. Instacart: A grocery and home essentials delivery service founded by Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen and Brandon Leonardo. Valuation: $7.6 billion. YC S2012.
  6. Machine Zone: A mobile games company, founded by Mike Sherril, Gabriel Leydon and Halbert Nakagawa, known for “Game of War.” Valuation: >$5 billion. YC W2008.
  7. DoorDash: An app-based food delivery service founded by Tony Xu, Stanley Tang and Andy Fang. Valuation: $4 billion. YC S2013.
  8. Zenefits: The provider of human resources software for small and medium-sized businesses founded by Laks Srini and Parker Conrad. Valuation: $2 billion. YC W2013.
  9. Gusto: The provider of software that automates and simplifies payroll for businesses, founded by Josh Reeves, Tomer London and Edward Kim. Valuation: $2 billion. YC W2012.
  10.  Reddit: An online platform for conversation and thousands of communities founded by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman. Valuation: $1.8 billion. YC S2005.
  11.  Coinbase: An digital cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Valuation ~$1.6 billion. YC S2012.
  12.  PagerDuty: A digital ops management platform for businesses founded by Baskar Puvanathasan, Andrew Miklas and Alex Solomon. Valuation: $1.3 billion. YC S2012.
  13.  Docker: A platform for applications that gives developers the freedom to build, manage and secure business-critical applications, founded by Solomon Hykes and Sebastien Pahl. Valuation: $1.3 billion. YC S2010.
  14.  Ginkgo Bioworks: A biotech company focused on designing custom microbes founded by Reshma Shetty, Jason Kelly, Barry Canton and others. Valuation: >$1 billion. YC S2014.
  15.  Rappi: A Latin American on-demand delivery startup founded by Felipe Villamarin, Simon Borrero and Sebastian Mejia. Valuation: >$1 billion. YC W2016.
  16.  Brex: A B2B financial startup that provides corporate cards to startups. Its founders include Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi. Valuation: $1.1 billion. YC W2017.
  17.  GitLab: A developer service founded by Sid Sijbrandij and Dmitriy Zaporozhets, that aims to offer a full lifecycle DevOps platform. Valuation: $1.1 billion. YC W2015.
  18.  Twitch: An Amazon-acquired live streaming platform for video games used by millions. Its founders include Emmett Shear, Justin Kan, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt. YC W2007.
  19.  Flexport: A logistics company that moves freight globally by air, ocean, rail and truck founded by Ryan Petersen. Valuation: ~$1 billion. YC W2014.
  20.  Mixpanel: A user analytics platform that helps each person at a business understand its users founded by Suhail Doshi and Tim Trefren. Valuation: >$865 million. YC S2009.

The full list of Y Combinator’s 100 most successful companies is available here.

Source: Tech Crunch

Hulu adds a dark mode on the web

Hulu adds a dark mode on the web

Rejoice, dark mode fans. Hulu is joining YouTube and YouTube TV as the streaming video service to embrace a dark theme – something that gives video sites a more cinematic look and feel (as Netflix already knows). The company says it will begin to roll out its new “Night Mode” starting today to all users of Hulu on the web.

The theme, which can be enabled in the settings, can also help reduce eye strain and glare in low light, Hulu notes. That’s useful for those who are watching on laptops, while curled up on the sofa or bed – as many web users are today.

While Hulu has timed the launch to coincide with its offering of creepy “Huluween” content, it says the feature is a permanent addition. However, it wouldn’t yet confirm if the dark mode will expand to other Hulu platforms. Instead, the company says it will listen to user feedback to find out if that’s something people want on their other devices, like phones and tablets.

This the first time Hulu has offered a dark theme of any sort, it notes.

Dark themes have become increasingly popular with a subset of users, especially as people spend more time on their devices, reading, interacting with, and streaming content. A number of big-name apps now offer dark themes, including YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, Instapaper, Pocket, Feedly, Medium, Wikipedia, IMDb, Apple Books, Kindle, and many others.

The feature will be live on Hulu’s site at 9:30 AM PT.

Source: Tech Crunch

The new normal

The new normal

When we first started writing about startups at TechCrunch the idea of a startup – a small business with global ambitions – was a pipe dream. How could a side hustle like Twitter turn into a mouthpiece for heroes and villains? How could a video uploading service like YouTube destroy the media industry? How could a blog – a blog written by a perpetually exhausted ex-lawyer from his bedroom – upturn and change the entire process of building, growing, and selling ideas?

But it happened. In a few years – between 2005 and 2010 – the world changed. TechCrunch became aspirational reading. Millions of would-be entrepreneurs sat in their cubicles scrolling down the river, wondering when it would be their turn to hold a comically large check from a VC in a fleece vest. I distinctly remember talking to two Dutch startuppers in 2007. They told me about a good idea they had based on scientific work they had done. They asked, quite simply, if they should quit their jobs. Three years before the question would have been ludicrous. Give up a cushy job in academia for a long shot? Absolutely not.

But on that afternoon, two years into the startup revolution when getting funding was as easy as getting a post on TechCrunch, the long shot was the better bet.

Now we’re facing a new normal and many of the advances wrought in those years are being reversed. In 2014, risk aversion and VC bag-holding behavior slowed angel and seed investment and startup growth beyond the behemoth b2b solution stalled. Further, an insipid culture of the Creamery, conferences, “passion,” and Allbirds. As I traveled the world I noticed that every city – from St. Louis to Skopje – went through the motions of post TechCrunch-style entrepreneurship. Every city had its own conferences replete with mason jars of wheatgrass smoothie and cuddle rooms where co-founders could emotion-hack their feelings. Members of the speaker circuit told one of two stories – “You can do it!” or “You’re doing it wrong!” – and pitch-offs and hackathons sprung up like kudzu across the globe.

But the amount of VC cash available to support these dreamers is shrinking. It is easy to enter into the entrepreneurial lifestyle but it is far harder to build an entrepreneurial life. One friend quit his job four years ago and is now cashing out IRAs. Other folks I know are taking a break from startups and are nestling into the warm confines of a desk job. The bloom is off the rose.

At the same time I’ve been watching the ICO – or now Security Token Offering – markets explode. In a few short years a massive wealth redistribution has made a few bold folks very rich and their startups are becoming funds in themselves. Thanks to the egalitarian nature of crypto you can take money from a fifteen year old in Zagreb and a mafia bookkeeper in Moscow as easily as you could get it on Sand Hill Road in 2006. Arguably this new market is full of risks and investors have little recourse if their investors move to the coast of Spain and disappear but it is the new normal, the new startup methodology. And as much as VCs like to crow that they add value, they don’t. Money adds value and money comes from the ICO market.

I’ve been working hard to understand the companies inside this market and I’ve found it very difficult. First, if you’re an ICO-funded or blockchain-based startup, visit this form and tell me about yourself. I’ll be writing up a few of you over the next few months. Second, I’d like to offer a bit of advice from a being birthed in the transparency-induced fires of 2005.

First, as I’ve written before, your ICO press relations are awful. I’ll reiterate what I wrote a few months ago:

Here’s the bad news: your PR person sucks. Every single PR person I’ve spoken to is awful at crypto. There are a number of companies out there and I won’t single anyone out but if you have any questions email me at and I’ll name names. Let me tell you: every single PR person I deal with, including internal communications managers, is awful. This isn’t always their fault because the space is so new but then again many of them are incompetent.

It is, thankfully, getting better. An ICO is essentially a crowd sale. Getting people to pay attention to crowd sales has always been nearly impossible. Kickstarter projects only started getting taken seriously after a mass of them succeeded in shipping and, as of this writing, very few ICOs have produced much of anything. The story, then, isn’t that you’re doing an ICO. The story is that a group of smart people are getting together to solve a big, hairy problem. That they raised $80 million from a bunch of nerds and gangsters is secondary or tertiary to the story unless, of course, the founders are found in a cage in a basement in Stockholm for not delivering on time.

Second, communication is key. I’ve reached out to a number of top 100 ICOs and they’re more secretive than a frat after a hazing accident. The thinking is that they’ve made their money and anything they say will affect the price because Reddit will say something bad about the coin. It is time to break this sad circle and decide that, once and for all, price should be more resistant to rumor and innuendo.

Both of these aspects of the ICO industry have been solved before. Startups once had awful PR and the only way Michael Arrington was able to get news was to talk to folks who passed on a deal and had an axe to grind. This sort of reporting is useful in the early years of an industry and will begin entering the mainstream as angry investors and ex-employees spill the dirt. But now startup PR is an accepted part of the business cycle. You can read about new fundings in the Wall Street Journal. Eventually the WSJ will cover ICOs the way they cover IPOs and then blockchain companies will really have to step up their game.

Second, communicating with the world is far more important than any ICOed founder thinks. Shareholder relations is an established industry and token holder relations will soon follow. But at this point the extent of token communications comes from a single person in a Telegram room whose job it is to delete trolls. Almost all the sites I visited had one email address –, for example – that went to a Zendesk installation that, in turn, sent emails into a black hole. If a potential retail angel investor can’t contact you, they can’t trust you.

The idea that a small group of smart people can create something amazing with funding that seems to come out the ether is wildly compelling. It is the dawn of a new era in funding and it should give every single fund pause. Many of them are on the bandwagon, dutifully meeting founders who spout absolute gibberish. Because no one understood startups in 2005, everything was a potential winner. Because no one understands crypto today, everything is a potential winner. It is in every entrepreneur’s best interest to close that amazing new self-help book, “Zero to One Hard Thing About Corporate Startup Building Handbook” while sipping bone broth and get some real work done. It’s the only way we’ll all move forward, and it’s about time we started the trip.

Source: Tech Crunch

Apple overhauls its privacy pages, and now lets U.S. customers download their own data

Apple overhauls its privacy pages, and now lets U.S. customers download their own data

Apple has refreshed and expanded its privacy website, a month after its most recent iPhone and Mac launches.

You’re not going to see much change from previous years — the privacy pages still state the same commitments that Apple’s long held, like that privacy is a “fundamental human right” and that your information is largely on your iPhones, iPads and Macs. And, now with a bevy of new security and privacy features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, the pages are updated to include new information about end-to-end encrypted group FaceTime video calls and improvements to intelligence tracking protections — and, how it uses differential privacy to understand which are the most popular features so it can improve, without being able to identify individual users.

One key addition this time around: Apple is expanding its data portal to allow U.S. customers to get a copy of the data that the company stores on them.

It’s the same portal that EU customers have been able to use since May, when the new EU-wide data protection rules — known as General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR — went into effect. That mandated companies operating in Europe to allow customers to obtain a copy of their own data.

Apple’s making good on its promise earlier this year that it would expand the feature to U.S. customers.

But because the company doesn’t store that much data on you in the first place — don’t expect too much back. When I asked Apple for my own data, the company turned over only a few megabytes of spreadsheets, including my order and purchase histories, and marketing information. Any other data that Apple stores is either encrypted — so it can’t turn over — or was only held for a short amount of time and was deleted.

That’s a drop in the ocean compared to data hungry services like Facebook and Google, which compiled an archive of my data ranging from a few hundred megabytes to over a couple of gigabytes of data.

Apple refreshes its privacy pages once a year, usually a month or so after its product launches. It first launched its dedicated privacy pages in 2014, but aggressively began pushing back against claims revealed after the NSA surveillance scandal. A year later, the company blew up the traditional privacy policy in 2015 by going more full-disclosure than any other tech giant at the time.

Since then, its pages have expanded and continued to transparently lay out how the company encrypts user data on its devices, so not even the company can read it — and, when data is uploaded, how it’s securely processed and stored.

Source: Tech Crunch

Facebook accused of lying about video stats error for over a year

Facebook accused of lying about video stats error for over a year
Facebook is guilty of lying to advertisers, according to a new lawsuit. Back in 2016, online marketing agency Crowd Siren sued the social network for inflating its metrics — now it claims Facebook knew as early as 2015 that it was over-reporting fig…
Source: Engadget

Researchers 3D print custom-sized lithium-ion batteries

Researchers 3D print custom-sized lithium-ion batteries
One of the challenges in creating smaller and smaller devices these days, such as wearables and phones, is that the batteries can take up a lot of room. Cases are often designed around standard battery sizes, and it often creates wasted space. Now, n…
Source: Engadget

Rocket Lab selects NASA's Virginia facility as its US spaceport

Rocket Lab selects NASA's Virginia facility as its US spaceport
Today, small launch vehicle startup Rocket Lab announced the site of its new US spaceport. The Electron rocket will launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, located in Virginia. The launch site will be called Launch Complex 2; Rocket Lab's Launch…
Source: Engadget

Product Hunt Radio: Gen Z, what ‘the kids these days’ are using, and the future of social apps

Product Hunt Radio: Gen Z, what ‘the kids these days’ are using, and the future of social apps

In this episode of Product Hunt Radio, I’m recording from my home in San Francisco to talk to two young entrepreneurs.

Tiffany Zhong interned at Product Hunt while she was still in high school. After she finished school, she worked in venture capital before starting Zebra Intelligence, a startup helping brands and old people like myself better understand Gen Z. She’s also an investor with her fund, Pineapple Capital.

Drake Rehfeld is CEO of Splish, a Y Combinator-backed company that’s building social apps to make the internet more fun. He formerly worked at Snap, where he was one of the youngest hires, as well as at Team 10. Drake’s been a tech entrepreneur since high school, when he created a product for school events that made real money.

In this episode we talk about:

  • “What the kids are using these days” and all things Generation Z, including what they’re looking for in products and some of the common misconceptions about this younger demographic.
  • The projects that Tiffany, Drake and I started while still in high school, including the story of, a site I created with the goal of earning $100,000 that netted $70 before I shut it down. (Tiffany and Drake had more success with their high school ventures.)
  • “Digital influencers” on Instagram, what Gen Z thinks of them, and why you would start your own. Also — why any of this has anything to do with fake plants.
  • The phenomenon of a “finsta,” the ways that “the kids these days” are reshaping how identity works on the web and some of the experimental social apps that don’t have any of the typical social features like comments, followers or likes.

We of course also talk about some of their favorite products, including the HQ Trivia of music, a tool for creating your very own “digital influencer” and an anonymous app that (surprisingly) brings positive vibes.

We’ll be back next week, so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Source: Tech Crunch