Google buys iPhone messaging app Emu, likely to bolster Hangouts and Google Now

Google buys iPhone messaging app Emu, likely to bolster Hangouts and Google Now
Google has pulled out its wallet again, this time to buy Emu, a messaging app for iPhone that has a "personal assistant" built in. The company that built Emu was led by a former Apple employee who had worked on Siri, and now the team is joining Google. The purchase itself is curious, because there is overlap between Emu, Hangouts, and Google Now.

Of the features that Emu touted as its big differentiators (which you can see in the video below), Google already either has the same or is working on the same features. Both Emu and Hangouts offer options to easily share your location in a chat. Emu is also big on intended events, so if you mention an event, it could be quickly added to your calendar, or set as a reminder for later. Google has something similar to this where Google Now will ask if you want to add an event to your calendar based on a Gmail message. Emu can also show restaurant recommendations or show you an information card for a specific restaurant if you mention it in a chat, which is something Google Now will do if you search for a place, or of course there are place recommendations in Google Maps. 

As yet, it is unclear if Google bought Emu to get more developers with experience building these features, or if maybe Emu has some patents around these features that Google would like to have in its portfolio. Perhaps the answer is both. The financials of the deal are unknown at this time. 

There is also bad news for those of you who enjoyed Emu, the app will be shut down as of August 25th. It will be pulled from the App Store, and users who already have it installed won't be able to do anything with it. So, be sure to save anything you don't want to lose. 


source: Emu via Droid Life

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33 Comments

1. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

That was a confusing commercial, how do they expect people to track both screens at the same time? It is a great little set of features they have there though. I assume Google bought them to bring that kind of experience into their fold as well as grab a couple Apple employees without breaking their little anti-poaching agreements.

6. Doakie

Posts: 2470; Member since: May 06, 2009

IPhone messaging app? Emu was on Android too. I used it 6 months ago...

8. register unregistered

For once I read only Google buys iPhone.

25. ryanlockovich

Posts: 27; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

I hope they don't replace google now cause I like it

30. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

It's not going anywhere. With wearables on the horizon, I'd imagine that Google Now is actually going to be front-and-center for the foreseeable future.

31. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

I agree. Google Now isn't going anywhere.

32. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Replace google now with... a messaging app? They're a bit different... it would be like trying to replace your washing machine with, say... a microwave oven...

33. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I dont like EMU not even Hangouts S:

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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