Apple acquires beta testing platform TestFlight through Burstly purchase

TestFlight App

Apple has acquired Burstly, the company behind the popular beta testing platform Test Flight, TechCrunch reported (now confirmed by Recode). TestFlight recently pulled its SDK as well as Android support  prompting speculation that big changes were on the horizon. Some speculated that an Apple acquisition could behind it all and would make sense considering the fragmented beta testing experience for app developers. While neither company has commented publicly confirming the acquisition, we were pointed to hints of the acquisition just before TechCrunch reported the rumor as likely and later updated its reporting to note that the acquisition had already occurred… Read more

Google acquires smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion in cash, Father of iPod now Google employee

Nest-Thermostat-Auto-Away

Google has confirmed in a press release that it is acquiring Nest Labs, the company behind Nest smart thermostats and fire alarms started by Father of the iPod Tony Fadell. Earlier reports were quickly confirmed along with the transaction price of $3.2 billion in cash in an official announcement posted on the company’s Investor website. In the statement, Google said that Fadell will be staying on board as a Google employee and continuing to run Nest:
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Apple completes buyout of PrimeSense, the 3D body sensor company responsible for Microsoft’s Kinect

Globes reports that Apple has completed its purchase of PrimeSense, the Israel-based firm behind the technology in Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, and Apple confirmed the acquisition to AllThingsD. As noted earlier this year, the deal will cost Apple somewhere between $300-350 million. PrimeSense previously denied any talks with Apple.

On Friday, the acquisition of Israeli gesture recognition company PrimeSense Ltd. by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was closed. The deal, which has not been formally announced, was made at a company value of $300-350 million, and follows lengthy negotiations by PrimeSense with several potential buyers.

The sensor firm is no longer working with Microsoft, as the Xbox manufacturer has moved to all in-house work for its latest Kinect-based technology. With Apple reportedly working on a gesture-controlled 3D interface, possibly for some sort of television-related product (or a media hub to rival the Xbox One, perhaps?), the PrimeSense purchase makes perfect sense.

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Apple acquires Matcha.tv iOS streaming media aggregation and discovery tool

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Popular online media aggregation and discovery app for iOS, Matcha, suddenly disappeared from the App Store in late May without any explanation by the company or Apple. Tonight it became clear exactly what happened.

According to Venture Beat, Apple has acquired Matcha.tv for an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million. Although, the final total could be higher once the deal is completed. Unsurprisingly, Matcha.tv CEO Guy Piekarz declined to comment on the potential acquisition and Apple served Venture Beat their typical canned response that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Matcha.tv launched in January of 2012 and steadily grew its fan base by providing an easy way to browse streaming movie and TV shows across all the major sources including Netflix, iTunes, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others. During its time on the App Store it amassed a favorable 4.5 star rating from iTunes reviewers and was also received well by tech pundits. At first glance this service would seem as a nice way for Apple to fortify a full-fledged Apple TV service or expand their current offering with deeper airplay capabilities and controller integration. Tim Cook has repeatedly said that TV remains an area of “great interest” so it makes sense that they are arming themselves with the resources necessary to take their “hobby” to the next level.

Apple has already successfully completed several strategic acquisitions this year including Passif, a developer of low-power chipsets, and Hopstop, a mapping service.

Apple acquires Passif, a developer of low-power chipsets (for iWatch?)

Apple execs working on iWatch

According to Jessica Lessin, Apple has acquired chip development firm Passif. The company’s chip technologies are focused on utilizing low-power and work with low-energy Bluetooth technologies.

As Apple moves towards smaller devices, the talent and resources of Passif will be critical. Apple reportedly tried to buy the firm a few years earlier, but was only able to strike a deal within recent months. We previously reported that Apple has been poaching several employees from other chip makers to work on the upcoming iWatch.

Apple confirmed the Passif acquisition. In recent weeks, Apple has also acquired mapping firms Locationary and HopStop.

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Report: Twitter to launch iOS music discovery app that offers recommendations based on who you follow

Twitter-Music-iOS-appwe_are_huntedAccording to a report from CNET, Twitter might be preparing to launch a new standalone iOS music app as early as the end of this month. The report cites “a person familiar with the matter” and claimed Twitter would use technology it acquired through its purchase of music discovery service We Are Hunted to provide a music service dubbed “Twitter Music.” CNET says the service will provide customized content suggestions based on who users follow on Twitter. It would also apparently integrate with SoundCloud and carry Twitter branding unlike the company’s recently launched video sharing app Vine:

Twitter Music suggests artists and songs to listen to based on a variety of signals, and is personalized based on which accounts a user follows on Twitter. Songs are streamed to the app via SoundCloud.

The report provided a breakdown of how the app works, explaining that it will offer suggested songs and artists based on Twitter followers, links to songs people are listening to through the hashtag #NowPlaying, and popular and emerging tracks for trending and newly popular artists: Read more