Google buys iPhone messaging App Emu


New Delhi: Sometimes it is rather surprising when a company buys another app, which functions similarly and this time Google has bought Emu, the messaging app for iPhone that has a ‘personal assistant’ built in.

Most of the features of Emu are shared by Hangouts and Google Now and this means there will be an obvious overlap. It looks like Google have seen something that a regular market guy has missed.



Meanwhile the worst news in store of the Emu users is that 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.



There are doubts that the company is either looking to make use of the Emu employees to bolster Hangouts and Google Now or Emu has a few patents or may be both. While the takeover amount is not disclosed, the fact is that Google has been one of the smartest spenders in the market.



What is interesting is that built Emu was led by a former Apple employee, who had worked on Siri and now will be joining Google. It looks like the company is looking to build itself while trying to handicap Apple at the same time. A few months ago, Samsung had bought the company that builds voice assistant for Siri.



Here are some of the features shared by Emu and other Google applications:



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.