startup rundown

Startup Rundown: Betterific Improves the Future of Bed Sheets, and GroupMe Lets you Communicate Via Images of Squirrels

GroupMe's collection of summer-themed emoji

GroupMe ups the Emoji factor It’s hard to text your friends about brunch plans when you don’t have a bacon emoji, you know? So maybe it’s time to download GroupMe, the group messaging app that now offers users a delightfully broader array of emoji than ever before. There’s a red Solo cup; a taco; an iced coffee; a freaking squirrel perched on a branch, people. There’s even a special summer pack that includes a sweat-stained t-shirt (ew?) and a fat dog wearing sunglasses—endless fun! Already have GroupMe? Access the new range of emoji by downloading the latest update. Read More


Booting Up: TelePod is a Terrible Name

(Photo: Scroogled)

According to a former Apple ad man, Apple considered naming its phone offering a bunch of really terrible names before settling on iPhone. These names include “Telepod,” “Mobi” and “Tripod.” Whoever convinced them to go with iPhone is basically a hero. [9 to 5 Mac]

Here is another story about the origin of emoji, which made this Android phone owner only slightly more bitter. [The Verge]

Google is working to build a competitor to the wondrous Amazon Prime, with a same-day delivery service called Google Shopping Express. Wonder whatever happened to eBay Now? [TechCrunch]

Oh good, Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign is here to stay. [CNET]

The Boston Startup School is launching a branch in New York called the Startup Institute. [The Next Web]

Linguistics of the Smartphone

Thanks to iOS5, Emoji May Soon Become the International Language of Love (and Ninjas and Crying and Eyerolls)

Screen shot 2011-12-07 at 9.48.05 AM

If you’ve ever stumbled across the Betabeat tumblr, you know just how integral we consider animated emoticons to the practice of good journalism. Our Skype chats are littered them. In the New York Times today, emoji aficionado Jenna Wortham explores how the Japanese import is catching on internationally in no small part due to iOS5. Read More