Google today announced that it has acquired Limes Audio, a Swedish sound company specializing in acoustic echo cancellation and speech enhancement. The move reaffirms Google's intentions to continue improving sound and call quality across its suite of products, particularly in Google Hangouts.
Poor internet connections or noisy environments like coffee shops can have a significantly adverse effect on the audio quality in an online chat, making it hard to understand the person on the other end. Hardware solutions like noise cancelling microphones are designed to filter out ambient noise and today come standard in most mid- to high-end phones, but they do little to reduce echos — and do nothing to address connectivity issues. Read More
The mobile market represents the biggest chunk of video game sales on the planet. It's also the most diverse and contentious, with no clear formula for achieving success or return on investment. When something like Flappy Bird can bring in a million times its operating cost while presumably sure-fire licensed games flop, there's no reliable way to know if your developer's next game will break even. Kabam, a publisher focused on licensed titles from Marvel, Warner Bros., and Universal, is no exception. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will be selling most of its assets early next year. Read More
Video-sharing social network Beme has been racking up downloads over the last couple of months - since launching on Android in May, it's had between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads. Everything has to come to an end though, as CNN has acquired the company and its co-founder, Casey Neistat. He runs a popular YouTube channel, and will be working on a new network at the media giant, to launch in summer 2017.
Beme is, or was, an app that allowed users to share quick, raw, unedited video to their followers. Many of the users were part of Neistat's online following, but the app has been struggling recently against similar visual apps such as Snapchat or Instagram. Read More
Rich Communications Services, more frequently abbreviated to RCS, is something of a hot-button topic in the mobile tech world right now. It's essentially a replacement for SMS that incorporates a lot of the functions of popular new messaging systems like WhatsApp, supplanting the antiquated text messaging standard with something more capable and flexible. The problem is that "RCS" is something of a generic term, and every gigantic international megacorp and their gigantic international mother wants their own standard. After today, you can add Samsung to the list. Read More
Qualcomm has announced that it plans to acquire NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion USD, including debt, which will be the largest semiconductor deal ever. NXP, for those of who don't know, is a large player in the automotive, IoT, and security chips market. For reference, its chips are behind 14 of the top 15 most-popular infotainment systems. Read More
Verizon has a serious appetite for video content as of late. In addition to promoting the heck out of GO90 and its various American sports partnerships, the company bought AOL and Yahoo, which has media aspirations of its own. The latest horse to arrive at the stable is Vessel, a sort of alternative YouTube for creators who try to make "premium" videos that are good enough to warrant subscription payments from users. The service started up last year with channels from notable YouTube creators. Read More
Even if you're a regular gamer, you might not know about Ketchapp. The publisher is only a couple of years old, and the games it posts to the Play Store and App Store are uniformly small, simple titles. But what it lacks in ambition it makes up for in volume: by my count there are no less than 75 Ketchapp games on the Play Store, an impressive accomplishment in a short amount of time. Ketchapp seems to have caught the eye of some industry heavy-hitters, because it's being acquired by Ubisoft, one of the biggest game publishers on the planet. Read More
In a blog post today, Intel announced its planned acquisition of Movidius, a "vision" chip manufacturer that focuses on low-power hardware and algorithms to give machines sight. Having seen a market for its technology at its founding, Movidius set out to develop its own processing architecture to tackle large workloads and image processing while keeping expenditure low. This eventually became the company's Vision Processing Units (VPU), which allow for tracking, navigation, and mapping all while sipping at power. Because of the success in its endeavors, the company was able to partner with some big names in the tech space, including Google and its Project Tango. Read More
On the surface, there aren't lots of common points between Instapaper and Pinterest. One is focused on making web pages easier to read by getting rid of all superfluous content, the other is an online scrapbook of beautiful images. But there's more to each service, and once you consider them both as ways to save and organize interesting things you find online, the similarities become more apparent and this news makes more sense.
Pinterest is acquiring the Instapaper team from betaworks, the company that bought it from its original developer Marco Arment about three years ago. The financial details of the deal haven't been disclosed yet, but the Instapaper team has announced it on its official blog. Read More