Google buys Emu, a startup messaging app that's also a personal assistant
Google has acquired yet another startup. This time it's grabbed a little-known app called Emu.
Emu is described as "texting with a built-in assistant". You can use the app, which was supposedly created by "veterans of Siri, Apple, Google, TechCrunch, and Yahoo", to integrate with other mobile services and schedule appointments, share your location, set reminders, etc.
Emu also uses tricks like intelligent learning and natural language processing to understand messages and then serve up relevant information in real-time. However, starting later this month, the iPhone-only app will cease to exist in Apple's App Store.
"As of August 25, 2014, we’ll be shutting down the Emu app. It will no longer be available in the App Store, and existing users won’t be able to send, receive, or download messages. We know it’s an inconvenience, and we regret that," announced Emu through its website.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it's assumed the acquisition will help Google bolster mobile capabilities in the future, especially in regards to mobile messaging and serving up relevant information to people while on the go.
Although Google already offers similar features, including the ability to schedule things and share data, through services such as Hangouts and Google Now, the technology behind Emu could enable the company to streamline services into a single product or feature. That's just speculation however.
Palo Alto-based Emu, whose corporate name is Tinker Square Inc., is just one of many Google's acquisitions in recent months. According to a filing from a few weeks ago, Google reported that it tripled spending on deals to $4.2 billion in the first half of 2014.
It's also worth noting that the Emu buyout might simply be Google's way of contending wth Facebook, a rival social-networking service, which agreed to acquire messaging app WhatsApp for roughly $19 billion earlier this year.