Daily Crunch: Trying on Apple’s watchOS 7

The public beta of watchOS 7 is here, Amazon may be looking to turn malls into distribution centers and Skillshare raises $66 million. This is your Daily Crunch for August 10, 2020.

The big story: Trying on Apple’s watchOS 7

Brian Heater walks us through all the changes coming in watchOS 7. It sounds like the operating system isn’t getting a dramatic upgrade — particularly in comparison to MacOS — but there are still some important changes that should help Apple stay at the top of the smartwatch industry:

Updates include the new hand-washing featuring, cycling directions, new workouts and, most importantly, a number of sleep-tracking features. The last bit is, without question, the most requested addition to the watch — and equally important to Apple’s bottom line, a category the company had fallen behind on relative to the competition … The sleep tracking here works with the sensors already on-board existing devices and joins a number of third-party solutions.

The tech giants

Abandoned mall department stores may become Amazon’s next fulfillment centers — One of the largest owners of shopping mall real estate in the United Stages has been talking to Amazon about transforming its anchor department stores into distribution hubs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

iOS 14 redirects web links from News+ publishers directly to the Apple News app — If you click on a link to a paywalled story published by a News+ partner, iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur will take you straight to the article page in the News+ app, even when the link ostensibly points to the publisher’s own website.

Amazon relaunches Twitch Prime as Prime Gaming — In both its old and new incarnations, Twitch Prime/Prime Gaming offers free games, game content (like weapons and skins) and a free Twitch channel subscription, all as part of a standard Prime membership.

Startups, funding and venture capital

ByteDance valuation under huge pressure as TikTok sale nears — The company’s price tag is under tremendous pressure as it’s set to shed its prized asset TikTok, several investors told TechCrunch.

With a renewed focus on creative skills, online learning company Skillshare raises $66M — Skillshare CEO Matt Cooper said 2020 has been a year of rapid growth, even before the pandemic forced large swaths of the population to stay home and turn to online learning for entertainment and enrichment.

A Faraday Future prototype hits the auction block — Although Faraday Future never produced a production vehicle, the company managed to create several prototypes, and one of them will be available for sale soon.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Seed funding tips and tricks from Uncork Capital founder Jeff Clavier — Clavier said that at the end of 2019, it was estimated there were more than 1,000 firms focusing on seed investing in the market, but by the end of this year, there will be about 2,000.

Unpacking Duck Creek Technologies’ IPO and hoped-for $2.7B valuation — Duck Creek Technologies is looking to go public on the back of growing SaaS revenues.

Three growth marketing experts share their best tools and strategies for 2020 — Recapping observations from our Early Stage virtual event from Graphite’s Ethan Smith, Sound Ventures’ Susan Su and Got Users’ Asher King-Abramson.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Trump administration announces major midband spectrum auction for 5G — Today, the midband of U.S. spectrum is heavily utilized by government services like the military.

Original Content podcast: ‘The Umbrella Academy’ returns for a messy-but-delightful second season — Not only did I cry during the finale, I also got sniffly while just describing the finale.

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