MeetMe has agreed to buy mobile flirting app startup Skout for $28.5 million cash and about 5.37 million shares. The total value of the deal is estimated to be around $54.6 million, Venture Beat reports. “Under terms of the deal, it’s expected that Skout will remain operational and continue as a standalone brand following the close of the acquisition, which is expected to be in October.”
Preparing for its IPO, messaging-app maker Line Corp. has set its price range in Tokyo and New York next month at $26.50 to $31.50 a share. As such, the Japanese firm could raise up to $1.09 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. “The range gives Line a valuation of 20 to 24 times price to earnings,” it notes, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Slack is adding Message Buttons, which basically bring apps directly into user chats. “Buttons for a dozen apps have been added and are ready to use, and Slack says we’ll be seeing apps for others in the Slack App Directory in the future,” Slashgear reports. “With these Message Buttons, you can do all sorts of things directly within Slack.”
Burner is showing off a new bot that helps people blow off the unwanted advances of others. “Called Ghostbot, the bot lets you … respond to any number that may text you,” The Next Web reports. So, “If you were to go on a date that didn’t quite work out … you could assign Ghostbot to automatically respond to their follow-up texts.”
Will the next iPhone be enough to boost Apple’s slowing hardware sales? Judging by a report in The Wall Street Journal, that seems unlikely. Apple Inc. plans to break with its recent pattern of overhauling the design of its flagship iPhone every two years, and make only subtle changes in the models it will release this fall,” The Journal writes, citing sources.
Per a reboot, Apple’s first-party Photos app will soon include better facial recognition technology and “Siri intelligence,” MacRumors reports. The app will supposedly be capable of recognizing and distinguishing 7 facial expressions after scanning a user’s library and forming a “faceprint” for each individual in a picture.
Japanese telecom SoftBank Group has agreed to sell an 84.3% stake in Supercell to Chinese Web giant Tencent Holdings and partners. The deal is worth $8.6 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. Supercell is the creator of the hugely popular “Clash of Clans” mobile games. “SoftBank first bought a 51% stake in the Finnish gaming company [Supercell] for $1.53 billion in 2013 [and, last year] raised its stake to 73%.”
Beijing’s intellectual property authority has ruled that Apple violated the design patents of a Chinese device maker. As a result, the U.S. tech giant may be forced to suspend sales of its latest iPhones in the region. “Apple … said it’s appealing the ruling and is continuing to sell various iPhone 6 models during the process,” Bloomberg reports.
Users of Apple’s upcoming iOS 10 will be able to “delete” many of the apps that come pre-loaded on their iPhone or iPad. “But it turns out that deleting the apps doesn’t actually delete them,” TechCrunch reports. Rather, “Deleting the apps does remove them from the home screen and trash associated user data but, because these pre-loaded services are baked into iOS, the application binary remains present.”
Per a new partnership with Spotify, Bumble plans to give users of its dating app the option of listing their favorite musical artists. Even more interesting, “Users can then tap on an artist featured in someone’s profile and it will take them to the artist’s page in the Spotify app,” TechCrunch reports. “Bumble is betting that [music preferences] can be significant enough to influence whether or not you decide to swipe left or right on someone.”