Digital and Physical Worlds Collide as Google Buys Bump

Bump, the developer of the eponymous app that enables people to share files simply by bumping their smartphones into one another, has been bought by Google for an undisclosed amount.

In tech world, it’s not unheard of for big companies to assimilate smaller ones. This usually occurs when tech giants need something that the smaller ones make or have. In this particular case, Google needed some sort of proximity-based smartphone file-sharing app, and the one made by Bump seemed to fit in the description.

On the Bump Blog, David Lieb – CEO and co-founder of the company, stated: “Our mission at Bump has always been to build the simplest tools for sharing the information you care about with other people and devices. We strive to create experiences that feel like magic, enabled behind the scene with innovations in math, data processing and algorithms. So we couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world.”

One of the best things about the Bump app is that it is cross-platform. In the above picture you can see an iPhone and an Android user exchanging files. Still, file-sharing can go even further, in Bump’s vision, by enabling you to transfer files between iOS or Android devices and computers, simply by bumping the spacebar of the keyboard with the smartphone or tablet on which the app is installed. The following video explains how this can be done.

As a bonus for this transaction, Google also got a second app, called Flock. This one enables sharing photos with Facebook friends depending on the geotags and on who has been tagged in the images. In other words, the Flock app gives you no excuse for forgetting to share pictures with your friends.

Bump and Flock will continue to exist in their current form, but Google might decide to alter them at some point. Moreover, these might be pre-installed in future versions of Google’s mobile operating system, Android. Even though it might seem unnatural for competitors to develop apps for one another, I have no doubt that the iOS version of Bump and Flock will continue to exist, in order to keep the users of both platforms happy.

If you liked this post, please check the Nokia buyout by Microsoft and the Motorola buyout by Google.