Late yesterday, the Financial Times reported that SwiftKey was in talks with Microsoft about a potential acquisition that could be officially announced during the week. The report was right and this morning both Microsoft and SwiftKey have made the news official on their respective blogs.
The financial details of the acquisition weren't disclosed, but yesterday's report mentioned a $250 Million figure — or about a quarter Instagram if you want. The rest of the deal's terms aren't perfectly transparent either, but SwiftKey's co-founders Jon and Ben made it clear that the keyboard will continue to be developed for Android and iOS.
Our number one focus has always been to build the best possible products for our users.
Cell phones need modems. They're pretty important if your plans include making calls and accessing data. Like processors and GPUs, most phone manufacturers don't make their own wireless modems or radios, instead incorporating pre-existing designs into their phones. Sony might soon be able to roll its own wireless components: the Japanese electronics giant has announced that it has finalized plans to buy Altair Semiconductor, a designer of LTE modems based in Israel, for $212 million USD.
The acquisition will allow Sony to produce its own LTE hardware, and possibly sell it to competitors, as is already the case with Sony's widely-used camera modules. Read More
Do you remember the huge scandal that was Carrier iQ? It's alright if you don't - it's been over four years since the company's data-logging mobile phone software was revealed, resulting in accusations of privacy violations, lax security, lawsuits both from and against the software maker and its partners, and eventually the removal of Carrier iQ code from phones via security patches. The months-long scandal basically killed Carrier iQ as a company... but now its corporate assets are owned by a carrier jokingly referred to as "the Death Star." There's no way that can go wrong, is there?
Yes, AT&T, in between attempts to snap up competing telcos and the country's biggest satellite TV provider, has somehow found time to buy a tiny but incredibly controversial software developer. Read More
Canada's mobile market might be only a fraction of the size of its southern neighbor's, but that's still millions and millions of potential customers. Shaw Communications, a major Canadian phone and Internet provider based in Calgary, is making a move to grab a portion of it. Yesterday Shaw announced its intention to buy Wind Mobile, the country's fourth-largest mobile carrier. Shaw will buy the company from its parent Mid-Bowline Group for 1.6 billion Canadian dollars (about 1.15 billion USD).
Wind has only been operating for almost exactly six years, and in an impressively short time has amassed just under a million subscribers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Read More
If you've heard of Fuhu, you're either a parent, a tech news junkie, or both. The Los Angeles-based company makes the Nabi line of tablets, some of the first Android-powered devices to be made and marketed directly for children, and the forerunner of more widespread "kid" tablet variants from Samsung and Amazon. Android Police has reviewed several of its tablet designs. Fuhu announced that the company is being acquired by Mattel, famous makers of Barbie, Hot Wheels, and all manner of other children's toys and games.
Concurrently, Fuhu is also filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That's alarming, but according to the lengthy post on the official Nabi Facebook page, it's more of a procedural method than an actual decommission of the company as it currently stands. Read More
With the number of online music streaming services floating around, there's seemingly an option out there for any type of music listener. Inevitably some of these services will be similar. Pandora provides Internet radio stations that mold to your tastes. Spotify provides an online library that lets you play what you want on demand.
Rdio lets you listen to radio stations that adapt to your taste. Sound familiar? Pandora apparently thinks so, because the company is now buying Rdio. Read More
As an Android user, you are forgiven for not knowing who or what Fly Labs is. The company's video editing suite of applications is only available on iOS so your exposure to its products may have been non-existent. But you're about to hear more about Fly Labs or at least its products' features since it has just been acquired by Google.
The company announced the acquisition on its site and Google Photos' product lead David Lieb reiterated the news, dubbing Fly Labs as the "creators of the world's best video editing apps." I don't know about the world's best, but Fly Labs has some very interesting products under its name. Clips puts fragments of videos together, reorders them, and tags music or voice recordings on top of them. Tempo edits slow-motion, fast-forwarded clips, and time-lapse videos. Fly uses gestures to edit videos, apply cuts and transitions, integrate picture-in-picture, or split the screen. Read More
You might know Activision Blizzard as the mega-publisher behind huge franchises like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. And you might know King as the mobile publisher behind Candy Crush Saga, the Bejeweled clone that's inexplicably become one of the most popular casual games on the planet. In a few months the two companies will be one and the same: Activision Blizzard has announced its intention to acquire King for a staggering $5.9 billion.
For comparison, that's approximately six times what Facebook famously paid to acquire mobile photo sharing app Instagram. Activision currently has practically zero presence on the mobile game front with the notable exception of free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone, while King's various games across Android, iOS, Windows, and web platforms have amassed hundreds of millions of downloads and billions of dollars in revenue from in-app purchases. Read More
I don't know about you, but sometimes Google Street View still blows my mind. Living in 2015, we have the ability to take out our phones and experience what it's like to walk the streets of a distant city. From my browser I've had views of Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia that I will likely never have in person. Read More
LastPass is one of the more well-known password managers out there. Now it's one that's joining LogMeIn. Both companies announced the acquisition earlier today. The buyer paid $110 million upfront with up to another $15 million payable in contingent installments dependent on retention and other markers over the next two years.
LogMeIn, despite having a name that already sounds like a password manager in its own right, is primarily known for its remote access software. From a corporate perspective, this sounds like a good match, but some LastPass users have already filled the announcement post with negative comments expressing their disappointment. Several have complained of LogMeIn's bad customer service and price hikes. Read More