SWISS APP DEVELOPER Bitspin has become the latest company acquired by Google.
The developer is best known for Timely, a well received alarm app that, while offering nothing particularly groundbreaking in functionality, is aesthetically pleasing, skinnable, and makes more than a slight nod to Android's Holo design specification.
Immediately after the announcement, Google removed the free version of the app from the Play store and made the premium edition free.
Bitspin confirmed the acquisition on its company blog, saying, "For new and existing users, Timely will continue to work as it always has."
There are two main attractions to the purchase from Google's point of view. First, the app has the look and feel of what Android's developers try to achieve with their system apps, and we could see it incorporated into future iterations of Android.
In addition, Bitspin's collective CV is more than a little impressive, since its employees are graduates of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), several of whom have interned for Google in the past.
Although it might seem unrelated, the purchase of Bitspin appears to tie in with Google's recent spending spree on robots, as part of a strategy of buying up future and popular technologies in the hope of securing its place as the number one mobile operating system. Google has been coming under increasing attack from rivals such as Windows Phone that court device manufacturers to make their products instead.
No details of the agreement have been released, and it is unclear whether Bitspin will remain a separate subsidiary or be absorbed into Google. However, we probably can expect to see more purchases like this in the coming weeks and months. µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home