Apple Acquires Weather App ‘Dark Sky’

· Andrew Orr · News

Dark sky logo

On its blog today, Dark Sky announced that it has been purchased by Apple. The iOS app will continue to be available in the App Store.

No, Apple Isn’t Going to Buy Disney

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple with bags of money

Disney stock is dropping and analysts like Bernie McTernan from Rosenblatt Securities think that tech giants like Apple should consider buying it.

We believe those with long-time horizons, like mega-cap companies with large cash balances and whose equity outperformed Disney over the last three weeks, like Apple, could take advantage of the volatility. The upside from acquiring Disney would be securing their content/streaming strategy and potential synergies from adding the emerging Disney ecosystem to the iOS platform.

Apple could also look into buying a private island, renaming it Island+, and forming its own country. I don’t know about you but sign me up for a squircle-shaped house.

Should Apple Buy Sonos?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Sonos logo

Writing for TechCrunch, Darrell Etherington argues that Apple should acquire Sonos, a company known for its speakers.

From an outsider perspective, it’s hard to find two companies who seem more philosophically aligned than Sonos and Apple when it comes to product design and business model. Both are clearly focused on delivering premium hardware (at a price point that’s generally at the higher end of the mass market) and both use services to augment and complement the appeal of their hardware…

I’m not much of an Apple pundit but I’m not seeing the need for Apple to buy Sonos. I think it would’ve made more sense for this acquisition in the past, but Apple already has the HomePod. Aside from the price and platform-specific complaints, I don’t think I’ve heard anything bad about the sound quality.

Automattic Buys Tumblr for Pennies on the Dollar

· Andrew Orr · Link

Automattic, the company behind WordPress, just bought Tumblr from Verizon for less than US$3 million. Verizon had acquired the site from Yahoo for US$1.1 billion.

As part of the deal, Automattic will gain 200 staffers from Tumblr. Verizon is said to have discussed a sale of Tumblr with a handful of different companies but ultimately landed on Automattic. “The sale price isn’t material to Verizon,” today’s report says citing “people familiar with the matter.”

Before you get excited, know that the porn ban will remain in place.

Apple Acquires Machine Learning Startup Laserlike

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple Logo

Apple has acquired Laserlike, a young startup founded by three former Google engineers. It’s a machine learning startup that could help Apple improve its recommendation algorithms in News, TV, Apple Music, etc (paywall).

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition of the four-year-old startup, which was founded by three former Google engineers, Anand Shukla, Srinivasan Venkatachary and Steven Baker, and had raised more than $24 million from Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures, according to CrunchBase. Terms of the deal could not be learned.

I look forward to getting better recommendations.

Offline Siri Edges Closer to Reality With Silk Labs

· Andrew Orr · News

Last week Andrew Orr wrote about a patent that Apple filed regarding more offline Siri capability. He thinks the latest news about Silk Labs provides stronger evidence for that.

Apple Could Improve Photos App With Regaind Acquisition

· Andrew Orr · News

Apple acquired the company earlier this year, so we don’t know if iOS 11 already makes use of this technology, or if it will come in a future version of iOS and the photos app.