Just after the iPhone 6 and 6-Plus went up for preorder, Phones4U shuttered their doors. The UK stores — all 140 of them — shut their doors. The more immediate news had to do with iPhone 6 preorders not being honored, but that didn’t solve the bigger picture. Vodafone has stepped in, though, and will assume Phones4U wholly.
We talk a lot about Apple Pay, and for good reason. It’s the sleeper hit from Apple’s iPhone 6/Apple Watch announcement Tuesday, giving us more reason than ever to pay for goods and services with our phones. Now, it seems as though there may have been a different aim for Apple Pay initially, as the company was reportedly in talks to acquire Square.
Today, Google is announcing they’ve made another acquisition, this time in a startup named Polar. If you’re unfamiliar, don’t worry — the company focusses on online polls, not an app you’re missing out on. It’s being reported that Polar will be cobbled into Google+, suggesting that Google is, at least in some respect, forging ahead with its social layer.
You may have not heard of Mojang AB, but you’ve likely heard of their cornerstone product Minecraft. The Swedish Development house behind the super-simple game are reportedly in late stage acquisition discussions with Microsoft. The deal is said to be valued at roughly $2 billion.
Remember the new partnership between OUYA and Chinese OEM Xiaomi reported last month? Apparently, that isn't the only thing the two have been talking about. Sources are now claiming that the gaming startup is currently engaged in acquisition talks with big Chinese companies, painting a rather dreary picture for the former darling of Android gaming.
Google may be getting some new digs — in Los Angeles. A massive hangar, once owned by Howard Hughes, is reportedly being eyed by Google. People familiar with the discussions say Google is close to inking a deal to buy the oddball facility. The only question remaining is “why?”.
Google’s X Lab creates some amazing stuff, but many have one common thread: they’re weird looking. Be it Glass, the autonomous car, or Project Loon, they’ve all got a polarizing aesthetic. In trying to make sure we like what we see from Google X, the company has snapped up Gecko Design to help with future iterations of their products.
In the wake of Tumblr working with Ditto to scan your social pics, we learn that Google has acquired Jetpac. The small startup scans pics from social websites, and uses them to offer up suggestions about where to visit while you’re vacationing. Though the Jetpac vision is travel, Google may have a more straightforward approach for us.
There’s a company called PrivateCore that’s just this week been acquired by none other than Facebook. Their mission - or at least what they hope to bring to Facebook - is to "help make the world more open and connected, in a secure and trusted way." How well do you think they’ll do?
Google is serious about YouTube content. As silly as that may sound, they’ve started a content creators’ studio in Hollywood, and are even enlisting help from major studios. To perhaps serve the content creation master, Google has purchased Directr, an app geared toward more professional-looking videos for small businesses.
One of the neat things about iMessage is its ability to recognize times mentioned, offering them up as a link to the Calendar. Click on a mention of 12:30pm, and your calendar will automatically start setting up an appointment for that time. That type of feature may be coming to Hangouts soon, with Google’s acquisition of Emu.