Google secretly buys technology for streaming smartphone apps without downloading

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2015

Late last year, the Internet giant Google stealthily snapped up a startup called Agawi whose technology let people stream an app to a phone without the need to actually download and install it first.

The deal went under the radar until yesterday, when it was reported by The Information’s Amir Efrati. Agawi’s tech can stream Android apps and Windows PC games to connected TVs, as well as iOS and Android devices.

While it’s unclear whether Google plans to bake app streaming into Android, the acquisition signals a potential new direction for mobile software deployment. Read More

 

Wunderlist gets acquired by Microsoft

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 2, 2015

6Wunderkinder GmbH, the makers of Wunderlist, the popular to-do, list and tasks application for the Mac, iOS, Apple Watch and other platforms, confirmed today it’s being acquired by software giant Microsoft.

With more than thirteen million users across platforms and more than one billion to-dos created in Wunderlist, the app should seamlessly fit in Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s mobile first, cloud first vision.

But don’t fret, mobile Wunderlist apps aren’t going anywhere, at least for the time being. “As Wunderlist becomes a part of the Microsoft family, we’ll introduce a host of new features, keep adding partner integrations, and progress further in delivering Wunderlist to billions of people,” Christian Reber, 6Wunderkinder founder and CEO said Tuesday. Read More

 

Apple acquires augmented reality firm Metaio

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2015

Apple has acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, according to a recently surfaced legal document. A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the purchase to TechCrunch, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The filing claims that shares of Metaio were transferred over to the Cupertino firm between May 21st and 22nd, so it seems the acquisition was completed fairly recently. The company, which was essentially an offshoot of an AR project at German automaker Volkswagen, was founded in 2003. Read More

 

Apple acquires GPS firm Coherent Navigation

By Cody Lee on May 17, 2015

Apple appears to have quietly acquired San Francisco-based GPS firm Coherent Navigation, MacRumors reported on Sunday. Several of the company’s employees, including the CEO and co-founders, all started working for the iPhone-maker in recent months, and its domain servers were recently updated to point to Apple.

Among Coherent’s technology is something called High Integrity GPS, which offers greater accuracy and precision and higher signal integrity versus standard GPS. It accomplishes this by combining signals from both mid-earth orbiting GPS satellites low-earth satellites used by data provider Iridium for voice and data. Read More

 

Verizon announces buying AOL for $4.4 billion

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2015

Verizon Communications, an American broadband and telecommunications company and the largest U.S. wireless communications service provider, announced Tuesday that it is buying New York City based AOL, previously known as America Online, for $50 per share in a transaction valued approximately at $4.4 billion.

The deal is believed to reinforce Verizon’s desire to enter the mobile video and advertising business, while giving them access to technology AOL has developed for selling ads and delivering high-quality web video. Read More

 

Apple buys Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 14, 2015

In a bid to potentially boost its mobile imaging prowess, Apple has purchased an Israeli camera technology company called LinX Imaging for a reported $20 million, according to a Dow Jones report cited in a tweet by CNBC and later confirmed by Apple.

LinX, which builds miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices, could help improve imaging features of future iPhones.

And because its technology is also used in tablets and so-called ultrabooks (ultra-thin notebooks akin to Apple’s MacBook Air), there’s a reasonable likelihood that we may see significantly improved cameras come to Apple’s Mac computers and iPad tablet lineup. Read More

 

Apple quietly purchased Dryft keyboard app last year

By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2015

Apple quietly purchased Dryft, a startup that develops keyboard apps, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The site says that the acquisition happened sometime last year, but the financial terms of the deal are still not known.

Dryft, who TechCrunch notes was a finalist in its 2013 Disrupt startup battlefield competition, gained notoriety for its custom mobile keyboard that would only appear when the user placed their fingers on their device’s display. Read More

 

Apple reportedly acquired search startup Ottocat in 2013 to improve App Store discovery

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2015

Apple has quietly acquired Ottocat, reports TechCrunch, a little-known startup with some interesting search tech. The deal went down a few years ago—sometime in 2013—but its impact is still being felt today. The site believes the company’s tech is behind the App Store’s fairly new ‘Explore’ section.

There’s little evidence of the acquisition, except for a patent granted to Apple that lists Ottocat co-founder Edwin Cooper as an inventor. The patent is titled “System and Method for Divisive Textual Clustering by Label Selection Using Variant-Weighted TFIDF,” and clearly incorporates Ottocat’s tech. Read More

 

Apple also bought UK data analytics company Acunu

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

Bloomberg is shedding more light on Apple’s recent acquisition of database firm FoundationDB, with a report Thursday revealing that the iPhone maker had secretly snapped up U.K.-based data analytics company Acunu, presumably to help bolster its iCloud and web services.

The transaction for an undisclosed sum occurred in late 2013. Together, the Acunu and FoundationDB acquisitions inject some fresh blood into Apple to help bulk up the company’s data and cloud-computing capabilities. Read More

 

Apple acquires database company FoundationDB to bolster web services

By Jake Smith on Mar 24, 2015

As it looks to build out its web services, Apple has acquired FoundationDB, a company that specializes in speedy, durable NoSQL databases, Apple essentially confirmed to iDownloadBlog after TechCrunch first reported the news.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said in a boiler plate statement it gives when it acquires smaller companies.  Read More

 

Apple reportedly buys music plug-in and effect maker Camel Audio

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2015

Apple appears to have acquired London-based maker of audio plug-ins and effects, Camel Audio, signaling its intent to bolster its own professional audio software such as Logic Pro X and the consumer-focused music making app GarageBand.

As noted by MacRumors, the revelation came indirectly via a change in the company’s listing on the UK government’s Companies House website. Read More

 

Samsung buys rumored Apple Car battery partner Magna International

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 23, 2015

The Apple Car rumor just took a more interesting twist with news that Samsung is acquiring Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Samsung SDI, the South Korean firm’s material and energy solution providing arm, itself confirmed the acquisition in a media release Monday, saying it was acquiring Magna International’s battery pack unit.

Magna, which has its headquarters in Aurora, Ontario, Canada, sells its vehicle battery technology to Tesla and other car makers and has recently been linked to Apple’s secret electric car project. Read More

 

Microsoft snaps up cross-platform calendar app Sunrise

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2015

Microsoft has just acquired the popular calendar app Sunrise. TechCrunch, which first learned of the deal, has pegged the value of the transaction at a cool $100 million.

Sunrise has an awesome iPhone and iPad app in the App Store. It’s also available for the Mac, across other mobile platforms and in the form of a responsive, lightweight application which runs smoothly in a web browser. Read More

 

Dropbox buys Office document-editing app CloudOn, service shutting down in March

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2015

Dropbox has snapped up CloudOn, a cloud-based Microsoft Office document editing application. The company said in a blog post announcing the deal that its more than 30 employees will be joining the Dropbox team and confirmed shutting down the service on March 15, 2015.

The free CloudOn iOS app, which launched in 2012, has been updated today with a note confirming the service will be no longer accepting new users as a result of the deal. Read More

 

Apple acquires British media analytics company Semetric ahead of Beats Music relaunch

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2015

According to The Guardian newspaper Wednesday, Apple has acquired British media analytics firm Semetric ahead of Beats Music relaunch.

Semetric’s Musicmetric analytics tool, launched in 2008, is used by record labels to track digital sales, streams and social networking statistics for artists.

It even tracks BitTorrent downloads. The service could become part of Beats Music streaming service relaunch later this year, speculates the report. Read More

 

Samsung makes offer to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015

Samsung has recently approached BlackBerry with an acquisition offer, reports Reuters. Citing a person familiar with the matter, the outlet says that the Korean electronics giant offered as much as $7.5 billion to buy the struggling handset-maker.

Read More

 

Facebook acquiring web video startup QuickFire Networks

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2015

Facebook is purchasing the San Diego, California-based web video startup QuickFire Networks for an undisclosed amount. The company announced the acquisition on its website today, saying that “key members” of its team will be joining the social networking giant as it “winds down operations.”

QuickFire is known for its propriety software tech that significantly reduces the bandwidth needed to view video online without degrading its quality. The startup will help Facebook build an infrastructure capable of supporting the massive influx of video consumption it’s currently experiencing. Read More

 

Microsoft buys email app Acompli for $200+ million

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2014

Confirming an inadvertent leak last month, Windows and Office maker Microsoft on Monday said it’s buying Acompli for more than $200 million. For those who haven’t heard about Acompli, it’s an efficient email app for iOS and Android that features an integrated calendar.

Framed as “part of our company-wide effort to help people accomplish more with their mobile devices,” the deal will bring San Francisco-based Acompli team together with work currently in progress by the Outlook team.

Microsoft’s stated goal is to“ deliver fantastic cross-platform apps that support the variety of email services” people use today to help them accomplish more and Acompli seems to fit the bill nicely.

“It will expedite our work to deliver the full power of Office to mobile devices,” said the software giant. Read More

 

Google buys iOS app prototyping startup RelativeWave, makes Mac app free

By Cody Lee on Nov 19, 2014

Google has acquired RelativeWave, the team responsible for the popular iOS app prototyping software Form. Form is available for Mac and iOS, and allows designers and developers to create rich interactive app prototypes and run them on their iPhone or iPad.

In a note on its website today, RelativeWave announced that they would be joining Google to continue their work on the software, saying they “want to get Form in the hands of as many people as possible, and this is [their] first step in accomplishing that goal.” Read More

 

AT&T acquiring Mexican carrier Iusacell for $2.5 Billion

By Cody Lee on Nov 8, 2014

AT&T on Friday announced that it is set to acquire Mexican carrier Iusacell for a total of $2.5 billion, including debt. The two companies have entered into an agreement, which will occur once investor group Grupo Salinas completes its own ongoing acquisition of Iusacell.

The plan, AT&T says, is to expand Iusacell coverage beyond its already near-9 million subscriber base in Mexico. The carrier sees a large potential for growth in the country thanks to recent competitive-friendly changes made to wireless regulations by President Peña Nieto. Read More

 
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