A company snapping up a popular Android developer can be a precursor to shenanigans. And shenanigans aren't anything new for Treydev Inc, a Romanian developer which we've reported on before. The dev makes popular custom user interfaces that mimic the behavior of Android device maker skins. Earlier this year Treydev's most popular apps were switched over to the developer account for ZipoApps, a holding company with a few dozen apps on the Play Store of varying function and quality.
The close corporate ties between OnePlus and Oppo have never been much of a secret, at least to anyone who studies the nitty-gritty of the mobile business-to-business world. Despite keeping a very distinct identity, they're both part of the same parent company, and have been more open about the resources that they share for the last six months. Today OnePlus dropped a bit more of the pretense, and said that it's going to "further integrate" with Oppo.
When the news broke that Discord talked to Microsoft regarding a $10 billion plus sale, people were quickly worried it might pan out like the Redmond Skype acquisition back in 2011. The communication platform gradually turned into a bloated, buggy piece of software that's next to impossible to shut down on Windows. It looks like Discord may not have to face that fate, after all. The gaming focused chat startup halted talks with Microsoft and other interested parties.
Cortana, Microsoft's digital voice assistant named after that hologram lady from HALO, didn't exactly set the world on fire. Most Windows users I've seen treat it like an annoyance to be avoided, instead of an integral part of the system, as Google's Assistant and Apple's Siri have become. But based on its latest corporate purchase, Microsoft might be taking another stab at voice-powered interaction.
Dish, the parent company of Dish Network, Sling TV, and both Boost Mobile and Ting as of last year, is still very much in the M&A mood. It's just purchased Republic Wireless, yet another Mobile Virtual Network Operator. News of the acquisition was posted to Republic's forums by CEO Chris Chuang.
Square, the company that makes those little portable payment machines you use when you're in a small restaurant or paying for a caricature, is buying Tidal, that music streaming service that's obsessed with audio quality. If it seems like an odd match, consider that musicians often need to get paid in non-traditional ways—that's how it's being pitched in the official announcement, anyway.
Last week, Google remotely disabled a pretty popular Chrome extension, which was found to contain malware. The lead up to that point was complicated, but the ultimate cause can be tied back to a change in ownership in June 2020. It's a common refrain at this point: Developers cash out (as they're allowed to do), but the new unscrupulous owners are only interested in a quick buck. Sometimes these acquisitions come with a tweet or a blog post; in the best cases, the app or extension will even tell you outright that it's under new ownership. But you can't always rely on that.
To stay relevant in an ever-changing world, it's important to experiment, and Twitter isn't resting on laurels — it is constantly looking for new ways to engage users. Shortly after introducing Stories-like Fleets to users around the globe, the San Francisco-headquartered company announced the testing of audio chat rooms, called Spaces. To help build the latter — which is seemingly a tougher nut to crack — the team behind podcast app Breaker is joining Twitter.
Google received good news from the European Commission earlier this week, as its acquisition of health tracking wearable company Fitbit was approved conditionally. But just because the $2 billion dollar deal has gained the thumbs-up from one regulatory body doesn't mean it's completely in the clear — Australia has threatened Google with a $400 million fine if the merger moves forward without approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.