Apple acquisition


'Apple acquisition' Articles

Apple May Have Acquired AI Visual Search Startup Fashwell

Apple may have purchased image recognition startup Fashwell, a company that designed an engine able to recognize products in images to make photos shoppable. Fashwell CEO Matthias Dantone, CSO Lukas Bossard, and CTO Michael Emmersberger all list Apple as an employer as of January 2019, suggesting an acquisition in late 2018. Dantone's LinkedIn profile says that he works on Apple's machine learning team, while Bossard and Emmersberger are listed as machine learning managers at Apple. Five of six other former Fashwell employees also now list Apple as an employer on their LinkedIn profiles, with many of those also on Apple's machine learning team. Fashwell's website is still up and running, but hasn't been updated since late 2018, and the same goes for the company's Twitter account. Based on information shared on the Fashwell website, Fashwell developed a Visual Search tool to allow shoppers to search for products using an image.FASHWELL's Visual Search is a search by image solution that we distribute through a flexible API. Add a camera icon to every search bar & allow your customers to shop with any image on your mobile applications and website. Visual Search improves search success and prevents shop drop-offs, and it's 2x faster than text-based searches - leading to 35% m-o-m growth in usage, higher than any other user channel.Fashwell's API also supported image tagging to make any image shoppable using its Virtual Search technology, making it easy for companies to auto-tag images with "speed, precision, and at scale." A product tagging API could be used

Apple Reportedly in Process of Acquiring Self-Driving Vehicle Company Drive.ai

Apple is in the process of acquiring self-driving vehicle startup Drive.ai in order to boost its own development of a self-driving vehicle system, according to unnamed sources cited by The Information's Amir Efrati and Alex Heath. The planned deal is described as an "acqui-hire," suggesting that Apple is interested in the company primarily for its employees rather than its technology. The acquisition could reportedly result in dozens of Drive.ai engineers ending up at Apple, where they would likely work on autonomous driving systems. "We don't comment on speculation," an Apple spokesperson told The Information, suggesting that the acquisition may not be finalized. Drive.ai was founded in 2015 by a group of Stanford University students. Based in Mountain View, California, the company launched a self-driving shuttle service in select cities in Texas, but the report claims it has been "struggling" recently and looking for a buyer. It looks like that buyer may be Apple. (Thanks, Chris!)

Apple Acquired Tueo Health, a Startup Developing an Asthma Monitoring App

Apple in 2018 acquired Tueo Health, a startup working on an app to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in sleeping children, reports CNBC. Tueo's CEO and COO, Brownwyn Harris and Anura Patil, changed their employers from Tueo to Apple in late 2018, which is perhaps when the acquisition was completed. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment to CNBC on the acquisition, and it's not known how much Apple paid for the company. It's possible, given the lack of comment from Apple and the absence of the company's standard statement related to acquisitions, that it was an acquihire rather than a traditional acquisition. Tueo had been working on a mobile app that was designed to pair with commercial breathing sensors to manage asthma symptoms in children. The app was meant to send alerts to parents if a child's breathing changed over the night.We use commercially available sensors to monitor asthmatic children while they sleep. Our technology leverages the data from these sensors to create a personalized baseline for each child. Alerts are automatically sent to parents when there are deviations from their child's baseline. These alerts are interactive and informative - we provide contextual information and just-in-time education and support to help them better manage their child's asthma.It's not known if Apple plans to incorporate some sort of related feature into a future product, but there have been rumors that the Apple Watch could include sleep monitoring capabilities in the

Apple Has Reportedly Acquired Italian Startup Stamplay

Apple has acquired Italian startup Stamplay, which offered an API-based back-end development platform, according to Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. The report claims Apple paid around five million euros for the company. The report does not cite Apple's standard statement for acquisitions, which typically reads "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." We've reached out to Apple for our own confirmation, but we did not immediately hear back. Nevertheless, one telltale sign of the acquisition or at least an acqui-hire is that Stamplay's website was almost entirely stripped of information within the past few weeks, as is usually the case following Apple acquisitions. Stamplay describes itself as a "low code workflow automation platform, empowering organizations to streamline manual work by integrating data and business applications used every day." The "API-based development platform" enables developers to build and launch "full-featured cloud-based web apps." From the startup's LinkedIn page:The powerful web-based editor includes everything a developer needs to create and run a powerful backend for their app, including popular APIs like Stripe (payments), Sendgrid (email), Twilio (SMS and VoIP), Pusher (realtime notifications) and many more.The report was brought to our attention by setteBIT: Apple avrebbe acquisito l’italiana (emigrata in UK) Stamplay, startup che realizza app con "poco codice" (sito già svuotato e dipendenti a Cupertino. Anche @Giuliano84 & @NicolaMattina? https://t.co/I

Apple Purchases Machine Learning Startup Laserlike

Apple last year acquired Laserlike, a machine learning startup located in Silicon Valley, reports The Information. Apple's purchase of the four-year-old company was confirmed by an Apple spokesperson with a standard acquisition statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Laserlike's website says that its core mission is to deliver "high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web to you." The company built a search app that used discovery and personalization machine learning techniques to build a Laserlike app described as an "interest search engine" that provided news, web, video, and local content relevant to each user. The Laserlike app is no longer available following the acquisition, but the company's website continues to cover what it was focused on:We live in a world of information abundance, where the main problem is sifting through the noise and discovering the stuff you actually care about. For instance, if you care about knowing when the next SpaceX livestream launch is because you like to watch it with your kids, or if the car you bought two years ago has had a recall, or if a company you're interested in announces it's opening a new office where you live, or if there's a music festival coming to your town, you don't know when to look for these things, and there's no product that informs you automatically. This is one of the things we want to fix on the Internet. Laserlike's core mission is to deliver high quality information and diverse

Apple Acquires Voice App Startup PullString

Apple recently purchased PullString, a San Francisco startup that enables the design and publishing of voice apps through its PullString Converse platform, reports Axios. PullString could be used to improve the voice capabilities of Siri, Apple's personal voice assistant. On its website, PullString says that it can be used to "collaboratively design, prototype and publish voice applications for Amazon Alexa."At PullString, we strive to help people talk effortlessly with voice technology that surrounds us. Working at the intersection of creative expression and artificial intelligence, we provide agencies and enterprises with the leading solution to collaboratively design, prototype, and publish highly engaging voice applications for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IoT devices.According to Axios, PullString was founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives and when it was first started, was used to create interactive voice apps for toys. The company broadened its horizons over the years, though, following the introduction of products like Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. Apple has not officially confirmed the acquisition and details about the purchase price are not

Apple Buys DataTiger, a UK Digital Marketing Startup

Apple recently purchased Data Tiger, a UK startup focused on digital marketing, reports Bloomberg. The acquisition, says Bloomberg, could improve Apple's digital marketing and make it "more relevant to customers." DataTiger's website is blank, but a LinkedIn page for the company says that it offers a set of tools that enable customers to build marketing software that "puts data to work." Using DataTiger is the fastest and easiest way to increase retention & monetisation. With our platform you can individually optimize the marketing flows for your customers in real-time across all channels. DataTiger can be used as an online tool, importing your data and set up user flows in minutes, with all of your data living in the cloud - or it can be fully customized in-house, building your own marketing solution via our APIs + open-source front-end components.Specifically, the site more accurately takes advantage of customer data to send relevant materials and advertisements to them. Apple appears to have made the purchase in December, and based on a regulatory filing discovered by Bloomberg, now controls Operatedata, DataTiger's legal name. A spokesperson has yet to confirm the acquisition,

Shazam App is Now Ad-Free Following Apple Acquisition

Two and a half months after Apple announced the completion of its Shazam acquisition, the music recognition iOS app is now completely ad-free [Direct Link]. Previously, Shazam would present users with various border advertisements throughout the app, similar to most other ad-supported iOS apps, but as long as you are on version 12.5.1 you will no longer see any ads in Shazam. The app still opens on the main "tap to Shazam" screen, where you can discover a song by allowing Shazam to listen to it. To the left of the main screen is the "My Shazam" area, where the app keeps a list of all the songs you have Shazamed recently. To the right of the main screen is Shazam's "Discover" tab with artist, song, and playlist recommendations, user posts, friend Shazams, and more. Shazam finally going ad-free comes one year after Apple first announced its plans to acquire Shazam back in December 2017. At the time, Apple said, "Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit," and that the two companies "have exciting plans in store." In September 2018, Apple completed the acquisition and said that the Shazam app would become ad-free soon. In October 2018, Shazam began informing its users about the Apple acquisition and aligning its data privacy policies with those of Apple. Shazam has been built into Siri since iOS 8 and there are connections with Apple Music in the Shazam app, and Apple is expected to further integrate the music recognition service with its products down the

Apple Has Reportedly Acquired British Startup 'Platoon' Focused on Discovering Up-and-Coming Music Artists

Apple has acquired Platoon, a London-based A&R startup focused on discovering rising music artists, according to Music Business Worldwide. Platoon was founded in 2016 by Saul Klein, co-founder of defunct British video-on-demand service LoveFilm, and Denzyl Feigelson, who is a 40-year music industry veteran and has been advisor to Apple about matters related to iTunes and later Apple Music since 2003, according to his LinkedIn profile. The startup reportedly worked with California singer Billie Eilish before she signed to Interscope in 2017. The 16-year-old recently debuted a new song "Come Out And Play" as the backdrop to Apple's "Share Your Gifts" holiday ad. Feigelson will lead Platoon's team of 12 full-time employees from its London headquarters, where it has two recording studios, according to the report. Platoon is expected to continue supporting artists across areas including tour support, original content, social media marketing, and global expansion strategies. A&R, for those unaware, is all about talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters. A&R representatives often act as a liaison between artists and record labels or publishing companies. Typically when Apple makes an acquisition, it issues a statement that reads "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans." Apple has yet to confirm the Platoon acquisition, however, and some acquisitions turn out to be acqui-hires instead. If the acquisition did happen, though, it will

Apple Purchases AI Device Startup Silk Labs

Apple has acquired Silk Labs, an AI startup that focuses on making AI software "lightweight enough" for consumer hardware like cameras and speakers, reports The Information. Apple purchased Silk Labs, a small startup with approximately a dozen employees, earlier this year. Silk's website says that it aims to "bring next-generation visual and audio intelligence to connected products" with "state-of-the-art image and audio recognition." Silk's site suggests its technology has a number of potential uses for home security, retail analytics, package monitoring, digital display metrics, access control, parking lot monitoring, and building surveillance with capabilities like people detection, facial recognition, audio detection, object recognition. Silk used to have a blog where its technology was explained, but it is defunct, as is the company's Twitter account, which has not been updated since 2017. The company's website, does, however, provide insight into its technology, though there's no word on how Apple might be planning to use it. Silk, like Apple, is said to be focused on a privacy-forward AI experience. The company did come out with a product called Sense, which debuted on Kickstarter three years ago. Sense was designed to be a "digital brain" for smart home products, communicating with them to improve interoperability and to learn a person's smart home needs over time. The startup was founded by Andreas Gal, Chris Jones, and Michael Vines, with Gal previously serving as Mozilla's Chief Technology

Apple's Acquisition of AR Startup Leap Motion Fell Through Twice, Due to 'Eccentric' Founders and Poor Management

A new article by Business Insider today takes a look into failed talks that occurred between Apple and startup Leap Motion, which the Cupertino company tried to acquire twice in less than five years. Leap Motion is a company that focuses on making advances in the fields of virtual reality, augmented reality, and hand tracking technology. According to multiple unnamed insiders, the most recent deal was nearing completion in spring 2018 before poor management, "swirling negatives," and "eccentric behavior" of Leap Motion's young co-founders Michael Buckwald and David Holz halted the talks. Prior to that, in 2013 the first meeting was held between the two companies and things reportedly went very poorly after Holz -- then 24 years old -- said he had no interest in joining Apple. Sources say Holz was insulting to Apple's staff, told the company representatives that Apple was no longer innovative, its technology "sucked," and discussed the ways that Google's Android was better than iOS. During this time, Apple was said to have been mainly interested in Leap Motion's team to help work on its own AR and gesture-based projects. Despite this poor first meeting, Apple continued to express interest in acquiring Leap Motion in the ensuing years, particularly as augmented reality and virtual reality technologies began to be more mainstream. Some of Leap Motion's original employees even left the company to work for Apple over the years, and are now helping with Apple's various AR projects, some former Leap Motion employees said. The latest rumors point towards Apple

Shazam Informing Users About Apple Acquisition, Account Data Now Aligned With Apple's Privacy Policy

Nearly one year after Apple announced its acquisition of music recognition service Shazam, and one month since the acquisition was completed, Shazam has now begun informing users of Apple's plans with their data (via iGeneration). You can see the new splash screen if you have a Shazam account and open up the app. If you've created a Shazam account in the past, which allows you to share Shazams between devices, this data will now move to Apple and fall under the protection of Apple's Privacy Policy. This has been expected since Apple completed the acquisition, but now we're one step closer to Apple's overhaul of Shazam, which will remove all ads from the app. Shazam explains that if you don't want your data to be automatically transferred, you can delete your Shazam account within the app. This will erase all personal data associated with Shazam, including your email address and connected Facebook account. Shazams will remain in the app but they will no longer sync between devices and they will be gone if you delete and reinstall Shazam. The company points out that analytics logs and how you used Shazam won't be erased even if you delete your account, but the logs will no longer be personally identifiable at that time. If you never created a Shazam account and continue to use Shazam under Apple's ownership, any Shazams recorded will not be associated with you. At the time of the acquisition announcement, Apple said that it was "thrilled" for the Shazam team to be joining Apple. Down the line, the company hinted that users can expect more integration with Apple

Axios: Apple Has Acquired Asaii, a Music Analytics Platform 'Able to Find the Next Justin Bieber' [Update: No]

Apple has acquired San Francisco-based music analytics startup Asaii, according to unnamed sources cited by Axios. The deal, which has not been confirmed by Apple, was reportedly worth less than $100 million. Asaii built tools that allowed music labels to discover, track, and manage artists using machine learning. The platform pulled data from social networks and streaming music services, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, to find hidden talent. Asaii offered two products specifically: a music management dashboard for A&R representatives to quickly scout and manage talent, and an API for music services to integrate a recommendation engine into their platforms. "Our machine learning powered algorithms finds artists 10 weeks before they chart," the startup's website states. "Our algorithms are able to find the next Justin Bieber, before anyone else," another page claimed. The acquisition will enable Apple to bolster its content recommendations to users, and help it compete with Spotify's efforts to work directly with smaller artists and music labels, according to the report. Apple Music and iTunes are likely to benefit from Asaii's machine learning algorithms. Asaii was founded in August 2016 by Sony Theakanath, Austin Chen, and Chris Zhang, who have collectively worked at Apple, Facebook, Uber, Salesforce, and Yelp previously. All three individuals now work on the Apple Music team at Apple, as of October 2018, according to their LinkedIn profiles. In an email to customers shared by Music Ally last

Apple Has Acquired Danish Startup Spektral, Focused on Real-Time 'Green Screen' Technology

Apple has acquired Danish computer vision startup Spektral, according to a paywalled report from Danish newspaper Børsen. Spektral has developed a technology that can intelligently separate people and objects from their original backgrounds in photos and videos, and overlay a new background, resulting in what is called a "cutout." The solution is driven by deep neural networks and spectral graph theory. The technology can be thought of as real-time "green screen" processing powered by machine learning algorithms:Our pioneering and unique technology is based on state-of-the-art machine learning and computer vision techniques. Combining deep neural networks and spectral graph theory with the computing power of modern GPUs, our engine can process images and video from the camera in real-time (60 FPS) directly on the device.The report says Apple acquired Spektral, formerly known as CloudCutout, in late 2017. Spektral co-founders Henrik Paltoft and Toke Jansen, who now lists himself as a manager of computational imaging at Apple, are said to have received 200 million Danish krone, or roughly $30 million as of today's exchange rate. Spektral's website notes that its solution makes it possible to create unique and immersive mixed reality content. Apple could incorporate the technology into the default Camera app on iPhone, or Messages, or Clips, or use the technology in bigger ways as it continues to push into augmented reality. Spektral was founded in 2014 and raised $3.3 million in venture capital prior to its acquisition by Apple, according to Crunchbase

Apple Completes Shazam Acquisition, App Will Soon Become Ad-Free

Apple today announced it has completed its acquisition of music recognition service Shazam, after reaching a preliminary agreement in December. Apple says the Shazam app will soon become ad-free for all users. Oliver Schusser, Vice President of Apple Music:Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favorite app for music fans everywhere. With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.Shazam is a popular service that can identify the names and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more, simply by listening to and deciphering whatever is playing. Shazam has apps across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iMessage, and Mac, and has been built into Siri since iOS 8. Apple announced its plans to acquire Shazam in a statement provided to MacRumors and other media outlets back in December:We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it's used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement.Shazam issued the following statement at that time:We are

Apple Purchased Akonia Holographics, a Company That Makes Lenses for AR Glasses

Apple has purchased a startup that makes lenses for augmented reality glasses, reports Reuters. The acquisition lends further evidence to rumors suggesting Apple is developing an augmented reality headset. Akonia Holographics, the startup that Apple bought, advertises the "world's first commercially available volume holographic reflective and waveguide optics for transparent display elements in smart glasses." The displays that it makes are said to use the company's HoloMirror technology for "ultra-clear, full-color performance" to enable the "thinnest, lightest head worn displays in the world." Apple confirmed the purchase to Reuters with the statement that it uses when it makes an acquisition: "Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans." Akonia Holographics was founded in 2012 by holography scientists who focused on holographic data storage before moving on to develop displays for augmented reality glasses, according to the company's website. It's not clear when exactly Apple purchased Akonia Holographics, but sources that spoke to Reuters suggested the company had become "very quiet" over the last six months, indicating the acquisition may have been made in the first half of 2018. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple has a research unit of hundreds of employees working on AR and VR and exploring the ways the emerging technologies could be used in future Apple products. Apple is said to be exploring several prototypes, including a powerful AR/VR headset with an 8K display for each eye and a

Apple to Shut Down Texture App for Windows Following Acquisition

Following its acquisition by Apple, Texture this week announced plans to shutter its Texture magazine subscription app for Windows users at the end of June. As noted by The Verge, Texture recently sent out emails to its users letting them know that the Windows service will be discontinued on June 30th, and the company also added a notice to its website. Texture says the Windows app, which has not been updated in some time, is being shut down to "keep things working smoothly." The discontinuation of the app may have been on the horizon regardless of the acquisition by Apple based on its infrequent updates and poor reviews.Texture is an all-access pass to the world's best magazines. To keep things working smoothly, older versions of the app sometimes need to be retired. After June 30th, 2018, the Texture Windows app will no longer be available. Your Texture subscription will continue to be available on compatible phones or tablets running iOS or Android and on Fire HD tablets along with ongoing access to all the magazines you have selected as your favorites.Windows users who are losing access to Texture through the Windows platform will be able to continue to access Texture using smartphones and tablets running iOS or Android, but there will no longer be a way to read Texture magazines on a Windows PC. Apple first announced plans to acquire Texture in mid-March. At the time, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple was "committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users."

Apple to Acquire Digital Magazine Subscription Service Texture and Integrate Into Apple News

Apple today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire digital magazine subscription service Texture, available on iPad, iPhone, and other platforms. The deal is pending approval and financial terms were not disclosed. Apple's services chief Eddy Cue, who revealed the news at the SXSW media festival in Austin, Texas today alongside Apple's press release:We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world's leading publishers. We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.John Loughlin, CEO of Next Issue Media, a conglomerate of publishers and media companies which own Texture:I'm thrilled that Next Issue Media, and its award-winning Texture app, are being acquired by Apple. The Texture team and its current owners, Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers Media, and KKR, could not be more pleased or excited with this development. We could not imagine a better home or future for the service.Texture, founded in 2010, provides unlimited access to over 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month. Magazines can be read on up to five devices per subscription, with the ability to download issues for offline reading. Available magazine titles include People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Maxim, Men's Health, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN The Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. New issues are available alongside a searchable archive of thousands of past issues. Apple

Apple Hires a Few Dozen Employees From Silicon Valley Data Science Startup

Apple has hired several data scientists from Silicon Valley Data Science, a consulting firm that offers data engineering and data science services, reports Bloomberg. A few dozen employees from Silicon Valley Data Science joined Apple in December and January to help the company better use its data to improve its advertising efforts. According to the Silicon Valley Data Science website, the startup helped businesses improve customer retention, increase engagement, improve conversion rates, develop new revenue-generating data products, streamline operations, and more. At Apple, the team will work on ad-related analytics to bolster Apple's advertising efforts. One area of focus could be better optimizing App Store ads. Founder and CEO of Silicon Valley Data Science Sanjay Mathur is one of the employees that has taken a position as Apple. His LinkedIn profile now says that he leads "strategy and analytics initiatives for a group at Apple." Several other LinkedIn profiles from former Silicon Valley Data Science employees now list data scientist positions at Apple. The company's former CTO, for example, now works on "Algorithms," while the former Head of Data Science is now Apple's "Principal Data Scientist." While the Silicon Valley Data Science website is still up, the company shut down in December and its services are no longer

Apple Acquires Canadian App Development Startup Buddybuild

Apple recently purchased Vancouver-based app startup Buddybuild, according to a blog post on the Buddybuild website (via iMore). Buddybuild's website describes the company as a "continuous integration, continuous deployment, and user feedback platform for development teams." In other words, Buddybuild offers tools for developers that are designed to let them quickly and easily build apps through GitHub, BitBucket, or GitLab. The entire Buddybuild team will be joining the Xcode engineering group at Apple to "build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community," with Buddybuild being rolled into Xcode itself. Buddybuild will continue to operate out of Vancouver, Canada, and the Buddybuild service will remain available to existing customers for building, testing, and shipping iOS apps.We're excited to share that the buddybuild team has joined the Xcode engineering group at Apple to build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community. We've always been proud to be a Canadian company, so we're also pleased that we will be staying right here in Vancouver -- a hotbed of developer and engineering talent.Though the service will remain available for current customers, the company is no longer accepting new customers. Current free starter plans and Android app development tools will be discontinued on March 1, 2018 following the