Thursday, 7 August 2014

Google picks up messaging/virtual assistant app Emu

Google’s got big plans for Hangouts. We’ve already seen recent improvements to how it handles text messaging, and word is that major integration with Google Voice is just over the horizon. But what then? How will we see Hangouts mature into an even more well-rounded messaging tool? A new Google acquisition may clue us in to where things are headed next, as it snatches up Tinker Square, developer of messaging app Emu.
Emu works like a cross between something like Google Now and a traditional text messaging app. It analyzes your conversation and pops-up relevant content, like your calendar when you’re talking about making plans, or showtimes for a movie you mention.
While there was an earlier Android beta, this acquisition is all the more interesting because the currently available Emu app is iOS-only. Now that Google’s buying the company, though, even that iOS version is going away later this month.
And while nothing’s certain for what becomes of Emu next, chances seem good we’ll see at least some of this functionality come to Google Hangouts. When that might happen remains to be seen, but we’ll be keeping Emu in mind as we check out Hangouts updates down the road, especially as we get into 2015.
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