Google has acquired a Californian startup which created a highly praised rich messaging application featuring a full fledged personal assistant along the lines of Apple’s Siri. Emu, which was started by veterans of Apple and Google, will be short lived however. The app only launched a few months ago and Google has confirmed it will be shut down later this month.
Google on Thursday agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint over the unfair billing of millions of dollars worth of in-app purchases, to the tune of at least $19m. The case also forced a change in Google’s billing practices as children were the users of the applications which allowed in-app purchases without authorisation.
The lines between network operator and OTT communications provider blurred further this week as Telefónica O2 UK partnered with cloud-based messaging and voice software developer Nexmo. Nexmo writes the underlying APIs that power the likes of Viber, Line and Kakao Talk.
Internet video player Netflix has struck yet another peering agreement with a US carrier, this time AT&T, essentially paying for better quality of service for customers using the provider’s network. The deal was confirmed by AT&T and sits against a background of uproar over network neutrality debate in the US.
UK-based media empire BSkyB created a multinational pay TV business on Friday with the £4.9bn acquisition of Sky Italia and a 57.4 per cent stake in Sky Deutschland. The move puts Sky in a leading position in the pay TV market in the UK, Italy and Germany.
European carrier Telefónica has unveiled a collaborative security working environment aimed at helping developers and researchers create and share their own digital intelligence gathered from different sources. It offers security researchers and intelligence analysts and developers a free infrastructure to create topologies using the modules available in the community as well as custom developed modules.
Internet company Yahoo has confirmed the acquisition of mobile analytics specialist Flurry as it seeks to reinforce its commitment to “building and supporting useful, inspiring and beautiful mobile applications and monetisation solutions.”
Social network Twitter has acquired payments infrastructure firm CardSpring for an undisclosed sum. The San Francisco-based startup develops a web service API that makes it easy for payment companies and point-of-sale vendors to work with developers to create card-linked services.
As spectrum efficiency becomes ever more important, UK public broadcaster the BBC is teaming up with equipment vendors Huawei and Qualcomm and mobile operator EE to demonstrate the benefits that multicast 4G broadcast can offer compared with unicast streaming.
Apple and IBM have joined forces to target enterprise mobility through business applications that bring IBM’s strengths in big data and analytics to Apple devices. The move is intended to strengthen Apple’s presence in the enterprise space with more than 100 industry-specific tools and native apps, developed exclusively for the iPhone and iPad.
Syntonic Wireless, which bills itself as an “AT&T sponsored data provider” unveiled its Sponsored Content Store for AT&T mobile subscribers, pitching an “open marketplace where AT&T wireless customers can access free or premium mobile content without impacting their data plans.”
Although device and software maker BlackBerry has fallen on hard times, it’s long been thought the company may carve a niche for itself in the automotive software space. So it was unsurprising when the company revealed this week that it has sold its European research and development centre in Bochum, Germany, to local auto firm Volkswagen.
A battle of the beats is brewing after it emerged that Google has acquired curated mobile music service Songza for an undisclosed sum. According to various sources on the web, Google has splashed out anything between $15m and $49m on the three year old startup.
Automotive manufacturers continue to look to the future, with Toyota recently tapping up IBM to build and design an application development platform that will foster the creation of in-car services to improve the driver experience. The project is part of Toyota’s newly established telematics service, called T-Connect.
Following its acquisition of content delivery network provider EdgeCast, Verizon Digital Media Services has started adding direct local connectivity to many of the world’s largest broadband providers, streamlining delivery and distribution of content to ensure high-quality user experiences and handle traffic spikes as connected devices, user bases and file sizes continue to grow.
On the eve of the Google I/O conference, the company’s annual developer shindig, home automation pioneer Nest Labs launched a developer programme to connect its thermostat and smoke alarm devices to the wider Internet of Things.
Telefónica’s UK mobile operation, O2, on Tuesday said that its customers can now pay for items in the Google Play store through direct carrier billing —adding the cost of apps and content into their monthly bill or deducting it from their prepay credit.
Software developer Mozilla began repackaging Firefox OS applications for the Android OS this week as it continues to champion open web technologies. Android users can now install apps designed and built for Firefox OS from the Firefox Marketplace and have them behave as they would on Mozilla’s platform.
Vodafone Group is moving its global innovation centre from Silicon Valley to London, as it seeks to benefit from a wealth of technology skills and talent in the UK and Europe.
Mobile communication technologies can play a major role catering to the world’s one billion disabled people, according to an independent study published in the UK today. But that role is not yet being fulfilled.