Samsung to Buy SmartThings
Samsung said it has agreed to purchase a startup called SmartThings. SmartThings, which is based in Washington, develops technology for the Internet of Things. It sells a home controller device for $99, but has also created an online service to help developers design and create their own internet-enabled and smartphone-controlled gadgets. The company claims 8,000 apps and 1,000 devices use its platform. SmartThings will move its operations to Palo Alto, Calif., where Samsung has a developer facility, but SmartThings' CEO Alex Hawkinson said the company will be run independently. The move is largely seen as a way for Samsung to counter steps made by Google and Apple to expand the functionality of their smartphones and tablets to control household items. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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 Home Gains More Home Automation Powers
Google today expanded the number of third-party smart home apps that can be controlled by its Google Home product. Owners of Google Home can now control Belkin Wemo and Honeywell smart home products via Google Home.
Google Talks About Android's New Design
Google today talked about the next version of Android during its I/O Developer conference. According to Google, it represents one of the biggest releases of Android ever, and includes 5,000 new APIs for developers.
Samsung to Buy AI Startup
Samsung today said it has agreed to purchase Viv, an artificial intelligence startup run by the team that originally developed Apple's Siri. Siri's creators left Apple to form Viv, which is based in San Jose.
I'd be disappointed if they bought dumb things...