Google acquires Emu texting and virtual assistant app
The app adds scheduling and location functionality to text messaging
By Grant Gross | Published: 19:57, 06 August 2014
Google has acquired Emu, a text-messaging app with a built-in virtual assistant created by a veteran of Apple's Siri team.
The Emu team announced the acquisition in a blog post Wednesday. Emu and Google did not disclose the details of the deal.
Emu was founded in 2012 by Gummi Hafsteinsson, formerly vice president of product for Apple's Siri and a senior product manager at Google, and Dave Feldman, a veteran of AOL, Yahoo and TechCrunch. Feldman helped design Yahoo Messenger for Windows and for the iPhone.
Emu's team is "super excited," they said in the blog post, adding that they will shut down the Emu app Aug. 25.
Emu added scheduling functionality, location sharing and reminders to text messaging. It also allowed users to set up a "magic reply" telling people texting them that they were driving and couldn't immediately respond.
"Emu understands the content and context of messages, and magically adds relevant information to help you get things done," the team said in a blog post. "Wondering whether you're free for lunch on Friday? Emu brings your schedule directly into the conversation. Running late to pick up your daughter? Don't describe where you are; Emu can share your location with a single click and update it as you get closer."
Emu has been available on Android devices since late last year, and it launched on the iPhone in April.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is email@example.com.