Swarm introduces a digital currency for your check-in pleasure

google shoulder surfers smartphone alert shopping cafe
Need a little retail therapy? Consider a shopping spree on Foursquare’s Swarm app. Don’t get too excited, though — it’s not like you can check into your favorite store and spend your digital currency there (though wouldn’t that be sweet). Rather, the coins you earn for checking in on the app can now be used to — wait for it — sticker upgrades. Score.

In a strangely cyclical process, these upgraded stickers will let you earn more points whenever you check in, so really, you’re spending your digital money on a product that will earn you … more digital money. If only real purchases worked that way, right? It’s the first time that Swarm has allowed you to actually make use of the coins you earn, which is definitely an improvement from their previous role of just collecting dust in the app. Still, it seems unlikely that allowing coins to be spent in this way will garner much excitement in the Swarm community (but we’ve all been wrong before).

Ostensibly, the coins will eventually have more exciting uses — discounts, products, services … you know, things people actually want to buy. But for now, Swarm is staying tight-lipped on the future of its digital currency. “We have a ton of ideas, and eventually there will be other ways to spend coins,” a spokesperson for the company told VentureBeat, “but nothing that we’re ready to talk about just yet.”

If you’re looking to add to your stockpile of coins before they’re the Internet’s next big commodity, there are a number of ways in which you can earn Swarm’s version of money. Check-in streaks, mayorships, or “out-of-the-ordinary check-ins” will all get you digitally rich, as will adding specific stickers to check-ins (and remember, now you can buy special stickers to help your coint count). So start saving now — you never know when those coins could come in handy.


Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.

Breaking news: Samsung responds to reported Galaxy Fold display issues

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

Memoji in iOS 12 lets you create an avatar that looks and moves just like you

Apple's Memoji feature on iOS 12 allows you to send a customize Animoji that looks exactly like you. In comparison to other apps that allow you to make your own custom avatar, Memoji doesn't overcomplicate it.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Keep your new iPad (2018) sparkling with the best screen protectors

Your iPad sports a stunning 9.7-inch screen and you'll want it to stay that way. The best iPad (2018) screen protectors guard against cracks, scratches, and even smudging from your fingers. Check out our top picks here.

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

The best LG G7 ThinQ cases will keep your phone looking new

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with a powerful processor, versatile cameras, and amazing sound. But a powerful phone still needs protection and you might want to change the style. Here are the best LG G7 ThinQ cases.

Multiple phone leaks show May 21 is going to be a big day for Honor

Honor will launch at least one new smartphone on May 21, at an event taking place in London. Leaks have indicated the Honor 20 will take center stage, with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Charge and sync with the best Lightning cables for your iPhone or iPad

If you’re looking to replace a lightning cable, or in need of something a little longer or tougher, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 of our favorite cables for the iPhone and other iOS devices.