Bump, the popular wireless file-sharing app for smartphones, has been acquired by Google. The startup company announced the buyout on their blog, saying that it “couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google.” Both Bump and Flock will continue to work as usual, according to the company, but it seems they may undergo some changes at some point, with the mention of “future updates” in the works.
If you’re not familiar with Bump, it’s an app for both iOS and Android that allows two smartphone users to “bump” their phones together in order to send files from one phone to another. NFC devices can already do this, but Bump doesn’t use NFC, making it a more-viable option for more device owners, since NFC isn’t widely adopted yet. Instead, Bump can use any other form of wireless communication.
Furthermore, the app actually uses the various motion sensors in the phones to feel the bump. That info is sent to Bump’s servers and it matches up bumps based on the time of the bumps and the intensity of the bumps. From that info, Bump can determine the two people trying to send files to one another, all of which happens in a matter of a few seconds.
While is Bump is a fairly popular app (seeing downloads into the tens of millions), the company has never made much of a profit, raising just nearly $20 million in total. The company released its newer Flock app last year, which is aimed that sharing photos with friends and family in a similar style that Bump does, but the app never really took off, still leaving Bump as the company’s flagship product.
Not a lot of information was disclosed about the acquisition, like the cost of buyout, future plans, etc., but it’s more than likely that Google will implement Bump’s features into Android, including the app’s wireless data transfer technology and group photo-sharing abilities, thus rendering Bump a useless app on Android once that rolls around, but we’re not sure when that will be.
However, if Google decides to implement these features into Android and then shut the app down, that could wreak havoc on iOS users, who will no longer have access to Bump. Then again, we’re guessing worthy alternatives will come around if that happens, as the “bumping” file transfer platform has been becoming a growing trend recently.