You guys remember Bump? It's been a while since we've had a reason to discuss the app, but that changes today; Google just bought the company. For those who may not be familiar with Bump, it's an app that allows files, images, apps, and the like to be transferred from device to device by touching the two together. It was actually pretty popular a few years ago, before NFC and Android Beam (which, honestly, still doesn't work correctly half the time) came along.


The thing that makes Bump a more compelling option over NFC, however, is that it's cross platform – as long as both parties have the Bump app installed, it makes transferring information from Android to iOS incredibly easy.

The acquisition was announced today on the Bump blog, though details are basically non-existent at the time. Bump's CEO and co-founder David Lieb penned a short entry that announced the company's joining with Google, but also confirmed that "Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now" (emphasis mine), which alludes to possible changes in the future.

At this point, it's unclear what Google wants with Bump – maybe they'll put the team on fixing the way Android Beam works (read: making it actually work).

Time will tell.


Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • leenephi

    Yeah. One of the features I felt nervous about when demoing to an iPhone user. :P

  • RedPandaAlex

    Awesome. Hopefully that means they're getting serious about seamless device-to-device sharing.

  • DeadSOL

    Wow! It seems that it's not only me having the issues!

    It's a nightmare trying to send files via Android beam or NFC. Thank goodness wifi-direct works directly.

    • Matthew Fry

      I've never gotten wifi-direct to work. If it even finds the other device and manages to initiate the transfer it fails almost all the time.

      • Ashok

        Try Superbeam, it works! It combines the power of NFC(or QR code) and wifi direct or simple wifi!

      • yahyoh

        LOL buy TW device and it will work like charm :D

        • Matthew Fry

          Was trying it between two SGS3s.

          • Andrew

            Did you have sbeam enabled on both? Otherwise it goes through bluetooth

          • Matthew Fry

            Honestly I can't remember. I just had one annoying day where I was trying to transfer an 11 MB apk between devices and I tried WiFi Direct, NFC, Bluetooth, Pushbullet (10 MB limit) etc. I was about to throw the phones at the wall.

          • yahyoh

            hmm not sure but i think sending apk's isn't allowed ?

          • yahyoh

            hmm i always send files between GS3 and Note2 and from note2 to another note2 , try S beam it will be easier :)

        • anzensepp1987

          What has NFC/Wifi-Direct to do with TW? - Exactly, nothing.

          • Sashank Narayan

            Android Beam uses Bluetooth as the transfer medium. TouchWiz - more specifically S-Beam - uses WiFi direct. TouchWiz devices have both Android Beam and S-Beam. More confusion to the end-user, but it works. I think Android Beam should have been smarter since the start. Few phones already had WiFi direct when ICS was released, and that time Android Beam had limited functionality so Bluetooth was ok. Since JB it can be used to transfer pictures and videos too, so it should have been smarter to detect if both devices have WiFi direct, and fall back to Bluetooth if they don't. WiFi direct is severely under-used in Android because it doesn't work system-wide, without apps like SuperBeam, WiFi Shoot etc.

          • yahyoh

            S beam = NFC + WiFi direct , Android beam : NFC + Bluetooth

        • Kenya

          Try HitcherNet (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kharybdis.hitchernet). It works the best of any of the others and connects and sends flawlessly with my S3 to HTC. The new multi-send functionality is badass!

    • enoch861

      I've gotten both to work flawlessly albeit this was from an S3 to a Note 2. I was shocked at how well it worked though.

    • Bjajjull
  • Cherokee4Life

    You would think that Android would have a built in feature already that would allow Android to Android device transfer without NFC and apps...(flawlessly) This is nice to hear but it seems real late.

    • Michael Lee

      Apple just came out with that... Before iOS 7, they never had it either, right? I may be wrong.

  • Steve Bennet

    beaming anything on google maps is always frustrating and hardly ever seems to work. I mean cmon, why can't I just beam a search result to another phone???

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    Bumps algorithm for matching people was pretty significant and has SEVERAL applications. I could even imagine (this is wild speculation) it being used as a very intelligent way to auto-tag people in pictures on Google+. You know, with the location tracking that already happens combined with the timing of a photo or direct communication with somebody, it would be really easy to stack additional features.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that a non-trivial part of the acquisition has to do with patents.

    • Fatty Bunter

      That's a really cool/creepy idea.

  • Josh Legoza

    Its really frustrating that I have all Nexus devices, and android beam STILL sucks. I'd be a little more forgiving if a Nexus 4 didn't NFC well with a Galaxy Tab or something. The fact that I'm trying to do it across stock android devices and this built in feature is half baked at best is frustrating.

  • http://gplus.to/cable Jordan

    Great acquisition for Google. I'm actually suprised this didn't happen earlier. Excited to see what they are going to do with Bump.

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      I see a AirDrop competitor... could be wrong tho...

  • Bleakvision

    Good for them, the app wasn't going anywhere lately.

  • bL4Ck

    The way Android Beam works is so inconsistent... i can beam some stuff, but other no, and it always fails when you need it the most, the way Samsung Beam works is much better, this feature should be streamlined and work the same for every NFC enabled Android device.

    • Roh_Mish

      WiFi direct file transfer should come to stock android like in SBeam.

  • anon

    Its because Android KitKat is meant to fix fragmentation and be on low-spec devices so Google wants to bring Beam like tech to Other non-NFC phones and tablets. That's my guess