Google buys Bump, the smartphone file sharing company

Google logoBump, the company best known for their data sharing app that requires you to "bump" two smartphones together, has been bought by Google. Besides their namesake app, Bump also developed an app called "Flock" (no, not the social Web browser) that will automatically create geotag-based group photo albums with your Facebook friends.

Bump posted the announcement on their company blog earlier today:

We’re excited to announce that the Bump team is joining Google!

Our mission at Bump has always been to build the simplest tools for sharing the information you care about with other people and devices. We strive to create experiences that feel like magic, enabled behind the scene with innovations in math, data processing, and algorithms. So we couldn't be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world.

Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now; stay tuned for future updates.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of you who have used our products so far. It continues to be a pleasure to serve you, and your feedback and evangelism inspire us every day.

David Lieb

CEO and cofounder



Bump logo

It remains unclear what Google would want with the company.

The Bump app could be seen as primarily a competitor to NFC, a "tap to share" feature that Google has been pioneering in Android. Sharing with Bump isn't any easier than Google's usual solutions of "NFC" or "The Cloud," though it has a small leg up on NFC since it doesn't require any additional hardware (and therefore works with iPhones). Currently, there really is no easy way to transfer a file from an Android phone to a computer outside of a cable or a sync app like Google Drive. Bump will allow you to transfer from a smartphone to a computer by loading the bump website and hitting the spacebar with your phone. It's also worth noting that in iOS 7, Apple added "AirDrop," an ad-hoc Wi-Fi file sharing feature. It's possible Google feels they need to keep up.

The other possibility is that Google's acquisition-happy Google+ division bought Bump for the Flock photo sharing app, but Google+ already has an automatic group photo feature called "Party Mode." Flock seems to basically be a geotag matcher that would be pretty trivial to clone. Flock scans your photo album, and if a stored photo location matches a friend's (a friend that is also using Flock), it creates a group album. With only 280 ratings on the current version on the App Store and only 10,000 to 50,000 installs on Google Play, it's not exactly setting the world on fire.

The acquisition announcement letter also states that Bump's two apps will keep working and continue to receive updates. With announcements like this though, you can never be sure how long that will last. For now we can only guess at what exactly Google wants with the company.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google

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