Category Archives: Mobile

Apple confirms $3 billion acquisition of Beats

Apple today confirmed its long-rumored acquisition of Beats Music and Beats Electronics for a total of $3 billion, according to a Beats press release.

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It’s a three-pronged acquisition including the acqui-hire of Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine; Beats subscription streaming service; and the Beats hardware.

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Apple’s Tim Cook in the Beats Press Release. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.”

Beats Music is a subscription streaming service that generates customized playlists based on a user’s musical tastes — similar to Pandora’s Music Genome Project, as well as other recommendation platforms.

Beats Photo by Flickr user briansolis / In-column photo from Twitter.com/tim_cook

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Improving Search: Microsoft, Yahoo look to reviews, location

Yahoo is reportedly partnering with location review service Yelp to improve local search, according to @WSJD.

Earlier in the week, Microsoft made a $15 million investment in location and review app Foursquare, combined with a partnership to utilize its location data.

It’s a wonder why this didn’t happen sooner, connecting location, reviews and search.  After all, Google has its own location and reviews in Google Places, which is now a part of Google+. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer played a key role in Google Search and Google Maps while at Google.

Connecting the dots might tell us that Yahoo and Bing are parting ways.  According to CNN Money, a clause in the partnership states that either side can opt out in 2015.

Photo by flickr/stickergiant

New Square Reader Arrives

Square introduced a new, thinner mobile payment reader this month. Mine arrived today. It’s a more sleek design but retains the same look Square’s known for.

square-logo-blackSquare is a mobile payment company founded in 2010 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. Dorsey is also co-founder at social network and microblogging platform Twitter.

Square Register allows merchants to accept credit and debit card payments on iOS and Android mobile devices. The Square Wallet app enables users to pay for merchandise, sans card, at Square-equipped merchants.

In 2012, Starbucks partnered with Square to bring the service to more than 7,000 Starbucks locations nationwide.

Image Credit: Square Inc.

Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, and Conan Share A Lyft

220px-Lyft.svgLyft is a ride-sharing app that enables users to find Lyft drivers near their location on-demand.

The San Francisco-based startup launched in 2012 and, as of June 2013, has raised $83 million from Andreesson Herowitz, Founders Fund, Mayfield Fund, K9 Ventures and Floodgate.

For the purposes of full-disclosure: I was recently hired by Lyft as a mentor in the State College, Pennsylvania market.