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Google Acquires App Developer Bitspin

Freelance Technology Reporter for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Google has acquired Bitspin, the Swiss developer of the customiseable alarm clock Timely, in the latest of a string of intriguing mobile purchases

Google has acquired Bitspin, the Swiss maker of the free Timely alarm clock app for Android, according to a post by Bitspin on the company’s website.

“We’re thrilled to announce that Bitspin is joining Google, where we’ll continue to do what we love: building great products that are delightful to use,” the company stated. “For new and existing users, Timely will continue to work as it always has.”

Bitspin did not announce the price of the acquisition.

Customisation

Timely, which is available for free on Google Play, allows users to customise many features that they want to use in the alarm clock app, according to the company. One of the most useful features of Timely is that it uses the cloud to back up and synchronise a user’s alarms with multiple devices. The app also features what Bitspin calls “hand-crafted, high quality sounds” and a Smart Rise feature to make waking up by the alarm sounds a pleasant experience.

Google-Logo-On-WallUsers can choose the colors of the app as well as its appearance and more, including Google Now integration, recurring alarms, screen animations and adaptive snooze features.

“The Bitspin team has shown they can build great, user-friendly applications and we’re excited to welcome them to Google,” a Google spokesperson told eWEEK, but said beyond that the company isn’t disclosing any terms of the deal or other details.

The Bitspin deal is just the latest in a progression of acquisitions made by Google in the last year.

In September 2013, Google bought Bump, which created the Bump app that lets users move files from smartphones to computers and vice versa by “bumping” the spacebar with the device to make the transfer. The company was acquired for a reported $40 million (£25.2m).

Bump bumped off

On 31 December, 2013, however, just four months after the Bump acquisition, Bump’s chief executive David Lieb announced that Google is discontinuing Bump on 31 January.

“Back in September, we announced that the Bump team was joining Google to continue our work of helping people share and interact with one another using mobile devices,” wrote Lieb. “We are now deeply focused on our new projects within Google, and we’ve decided to discontinue Bump and Flock [a photo-sharing app]. On 31 January, 2014, Bump and Flock will be removed from the App Store and Google Play. After this date, neither app will work, and all user data will be deleted.”

The Bump app allows users to move files from smartphones to computers and vice versa by “bumping” the spacebar with the device to make the transfer, or by bumping their smartphones together. Flock is an app that lets users easily share photos with friends on their devices.

Bump users will have until 31 January to save and download all of their data that they have in the app, according to the company.

Waze acquisition

In June, Google made another intriguing mobile app acquisition when it bought Waze, a crowd-based traffic and navigation app for mobile devices. The transaction was rumoured in various reports on 10 June, but Google unveiled the finished deal on 11 June.

Waze collects and communicates user-generated reports on traffic and navigation information to help drivers ease their commuting stresses. Google paid about $1.3 billion to acquire the Israel-based Waze to add to Google’s growing portfolio of popular and revenue-enhancing mapping tools.

Google’s discussions with Waze began after previous talks between Waze and Facebook failed to reach a similar agreement. Those discussions came after yet another rumoured deal arose in late 2012 when Apple purportedly was about to purchase Waze.

At the time, the rumours called for Apple to acquire Waze to bolster its own mapping services, which had suffered after Apple tried to build a Google Maps replacement for its iOS 6 operating system in September 2012.

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Originally published on eWeek.