Mozilla ended development on its smartphone operating system, Firefox OS, at the beginning of 2017. But since it was open-source, other companies have used the code for new products. KaiOS is one fork of Firefox OS, and was first released in March of 2017. Google has already developed applications for KaiOS, but now it's investing $22 million into the company building it. Read More
The Chinese market is notoriously difficult for American businesses to thrive in, and that's as true in technology as in any other industry. Google is clearly keen to increase its standing there, however, and has just announced a new partnership with one of the country's largest online retailers. Read More
The Google Assistant has come a long way in a short space of time, so far in fact that it's probably the most capable digital assistant around at the moment. However, the competition from Amazon's Alexa is stiff, and it's probably in more homes, so Google knows it mustn't rest on its laurels. To that end, it's opening a new investment program especially for startups who will drive the Assistant ecosystem forward. Read More
Pluto TV continues its climb into relevance. For those of you who don't know, Pluto TV is a television service that provides access to news, live sports, and themed channels for free. The company just received a $5 million investment from Samsung of all places. This money will be used to expand Pluto TV's content and marketing reach. Read More
Republic Wireless, the mobile virtual network operator that was doing hybrid Wi-Fi service before it was cool, is now an independent republic. The company received a $30 million capital investment from its parent corporation Bandwidth, according to The Verge, which allowed it to become its own separate entity. The Republic Wireless blog says that aside from a necessary change in names on customers' Terms of Service agreements, no significant changes to the service or business model are planned. Read More
At the beginning of this year, we heard news of Microsoft investing some of its millions into Cyanogen Inc., the commercial arm of CyanogenMod. Bloomberg later reported that the Redmond-based giant decided not to invest in the startup and was instead possibly considering another form of partnership. Now Cyanogen Inc. has announced the results of its latest round of funding, and Microsoft's name is nowhere to be found.
Cyanogen Inc. says it has successfully completed an $80 million round of Series C financing, and it will use its new funding to hire folks and speed up the development of its mobile platform. Read More
When we hear about smartphone advancements, usually it revolves around cramming more pixels onto our screens or beefing up our devices with even more powerful processors. Yet in this move to take everything mobile, where are the bigger batteries?
Dyson, the company that makes that cool-looking fan you picked up the other day, wants to help change things. The hand dryer-producer has invested $15 million in Sakti3, a Michigan-based company whose battery technology potentially has a higher energy density than the Lithium ion batteries powering our smartphones and Dyson's handheld vacuums.
No, it doesn't run Android. Yes, it's still relevant. Read More
Alibaba runs a global e-commerce site that is one of the most visited in the world. Now it wants to get into the smartphone business. If this idea sounds funny, remember, Amazon has been trying to do the same thing.
But Alibaba is taking a different approach. Rather than come out with its own brand, it's reportedly purchasing a $590 million stake of the existing China-based smartphone maker Meizu. According to Reuters, this is a minority stake in the company, not enough to give Alibaba control.
Alibaba already has an operating system in mind for Meizu's phones. It develops YunOS based on the Android Open Source Project but releases it as an alternative, similar to Amazon's approach. Read More
There are many ways to go after a competitor, and Microsoft isn't storing all of its eggs in one basket. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the company that challenges Android with Windows Phone is investing in Cyanogen Inc.
Yes, we're talking about the same Cyanogen that was built around a custom ROM towards the end of 2013. Microsoft is reportedly a minority investor in a round of equity financing that accumulated roughly $70 million for the startup, during which investors have valued the company in the hundreds of millions. Counting this latest round of financing, Cyanogen Inc. Read More