Apple Buys Indoor Location Company
Apple has acquired a small company, called WifiSLAM, that provides indoor location services. The company created a way for mobile applications to use Wi-Fi networks to pinpoint the location of any given phone. WifiSLAM offers its technology to application developers. Apple confirmed the acquisition to The Wall Street Journal, but didn't provide any details about the deal. The Journal says Apple paid about $20 million for WifiSLAM, which has a handful of employees, some of whom are former Googlers. Apple buys small companies from time to time.
Facebook to Make Its Instant Articles Compatible with Google, Apple Formats
Facebook wants content to be more readable across the web and took steps this week toward that goal by tweaking the SDK for its Instant Articles. Facebook's Instant Articles give publishers a way to streamline content for consumption on mobile devices, but Instant Articles aren't compatible with the mobile-first styles used by Google and Apple.
Google Uses Machine Learning to Tweak Sheets
Google today rolled out new features for its Sheets spreadsheet application. Most of the new features target the desktop-based version of Sheets.
Apple Debuts HomePod, Its Competitor to Google Home and Amazon Echo
Apple today announced the HomePod, a new in-home speaker similar to the Google Home and Amazon Echo. It features the Siri voice-based assistant and can act on spoken requests with a focus on music.
Apple Buys Another Navigation Company
Apple confirmed that it has acquired a small, high-precision navigation company called Coherent Navigation. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time," said the company in a statement, "and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Apple did not say when it bought Coherent, and neither did it say how much it paid for the company.