Apple Eats SnappyCam, Google Gobbles BitSpin

The two major mobile operating systems made small acquisitions recently aimed at enhancing the respective iOS and Android platforms. Apple has acquired the one-person startup SnappyLabs, maker of the SnappyCam app, which takes full resolution photos on the iPhone at over 20 frames per second. TechCrunch first reported and confirmed the purchase.

The SnappyCam app was among the most popular paid apps in the photo category, in that it offered burst mode rapid sequential photos that were superior to the native burst mode in the iPhone and iPad cameras. The app has since been withdrawn from the iOS App Store. Its owner and sole employee is John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD who figured out a way to exploit the inherent qualities of the iPhone camera in new ways.

Separately, Google acquired BitSpin, makers of the Timely alarm clock app for Android. Timely allows users to create a wide range of customized smartphone/tablet alarms that can be synchronized across devices. The company describes itself as a small team of computer scientists based in Zurich. “The mission of our company is to create new apps and services with a focus on user experience and design,” the company states. “Our extensive knowledge of the web and mobile platforms allows us to combine simplicity with design, creating experiences so delightful they seem like magic.”

BitSpin announced the acquisition by Google at its site and declared that the app and team would continue to work as it has.

Apple and Google appear to be pursuing a small-scale acquisition strategy aimed at making incremental refinements to their respective mobile operating systems and core platform apps. 

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