We now have more details on Facebook’s plans to acquire Bangalore-based Little Eye Labs, an Indian startup whose primary product is a software tool for analyzing Android apps’ performance. Multiple sources have told us that the two companies exchanged the term sheets few weeks ago, and that a final announcement could be made by mid-January. The deal size is expected to be in the range of $10-15 million. Overall, the Little Eye Labs acquisition fits right into in Facebook’s mobile ambitions, an area where it has lagged rivals like Twitter, despite having some 874 million of its 1.19 billion-strong (September figures) user base logged on via mobile devices. And Facebook has been on the lookout for startups that could potentially help it gain a greater foothold on mobile devices. As part of its aggressive mobile strategy, Facebook acquired Parse, a mobile-backend-as-a-service startup in April of this year. A Facebook acquisition of Little Eye Labs would mean a lot for an Indian startup that’s less than one-and-a-half years old, and it would mean much more for the Indian startup ecosystem as a whole, where acquisitions of this profile have been tough to come by. While exploring potential acquirers, Little Eye Labs also pitched to Twitter, but Facebook seemed to offer a better deal, another source added. One of the sources who shared some details about this proposed acquisition said that if the deal closes, most of the Little Eye Labs’ founding team will move to Facebook’s U.S. headquarters, and work there as part of the mobile engineering team. Little Eye Labs caught the attention of potential acquirer(s) in Seedcamp, London, where the startup was refining its product along with 20 other companies. Gaurav Lochan, who joined Little Eye labs from India’s largest e-commerce company, Flipkart, earlier this year, had this to say about using the startup’s tool for fixing a bug in Google’s official I/Q app at the event. Flipkart, was also the first customer for Little Eye Labs. Kumar Rangarajan, co-founder of Little Eye labs, had even acknowledged that the company was in discussions with Facebook earlier this month, after reports of the acquisition first surfaced. However, Rangarajan could not be reached at the time of publication. A Facebook spokesperson, who had earlier declined to offer any comments, has also not responded. The Little Eye founders — Kumar Rangarajan, Satyam Kandula, Lakshman Kakkirala and Giridhar Murthy, all worked together previously at IBM. Continue reading
It always seems like the flagship phones get the most attention, but what about a device that doesn’t even bother trying to claim that title? Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has been saying for months and months that one of the company’s priorities was to improve the experience of using a low-cost smartphone, and the end result of drive was the cheapo Moto G. Continue reading
After a whirlwind trip in Toronto, my co-host Darrell Etherington and I are back in our respective countries and ready to talk about what’s new with Android. But first, a heartrending disclaimer — we were not wearing festive sweaters while recording the show like the image would indicate, but we did get a little festive talking about Google’s new Play Edition devices, what’s new in the world of Google Glass, and our picks for last minute Android-centric gifts. That’s got to count for something right? Continue reading
Few things in life are more frustrating that trying to find a new place to live (especially if you’re itching to move to the housing market hellholes that are New York City and San Francisco). It’s no wonder then that so many startups — Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, Apartment List, Rental Engine, Zumper, Nestio, the list goes on — are trying to make it all just a little bit easier.
Of these myriad startups, apartment-centric Lovely has been especially busy these past few months: it closed a (sadly undisclosed) Series A and snapped up automated rent payment startup Rentmatic to help prove its worth to property owners too. So what was next on their agenda? Getting a new Android app out the door, which the company finally did earlier today. Continue reading
Google has just released a white version of the Nexus 7 tablet, in white and packing 32GB of storage, available now for $269 on the Google Play Devices store, so long as you’re in the U.S., U.K. or Japan. There’s no LTE version and no 16GB model, unlike with the black Nexus 7, but if you’re looking for a color match tablet for your white Nexus 5 you’re now in luck. Continue reading
Google and LG have been getting awfully cozy lately — the web giant tasked the Korean company with delivering its two most recent Nexus smartphones, and if you’re the type to put stock in rumors, it seemed like a new Nexus tablet (bearing the model number “LG-V510″) would be the next fruit of their union.
Well, according some files posted to LG’s own site, it isn’t. Not exactly, anyway. Continue reading
San Francisco-based Fleksy offers predictive text typing that’s so intuitive it can be used without even a glance at a screen, and now the app is finally exiting beta on Android. Fleksy works by analyzing a user’s typing pattern, no matter how sloppy, and making predictions about what keys they’re trying to hit, and it does this so well it enables even users with impaired or no vision to use a touchscreen keyboard. Continue reading
Remember the YotaPhone? The delightfully kooky Russian smartphone that pairs a bog-standard LCD screen with an eInk display on its rump? It’s been teased for a launch for months now, but the company behind it has just spilled the beans at a press event in Moscow: the YotaPhone will launch in Russian and Europe today complete with a confirmed €499/19,990 RUB price tag, right in line with rumors that flew around earlier this year. Continue reading
The first handset from Finnish smartphone startup Jolla is simply called Jolla. It launched last week, after around two years in the making. TechCrunch got hands-on with the device for a few hours at a London press event, where two co-founders, Marc Dillon and Sami Pienimäki, were also on hand to answer some questions. Continue reading
Google Ejects Android ROM-Maker Cyanogen’s Installer App From Play – Citing Developer T&C Violations
Well that didn’t take long. Google has removed Cyanogen Inc.’s alternative Android ROM installer app from its Play store. Cyanogen raised $7 million from Benchmark Capital back in September to turn its geek-beloved aftermarket version of Android into a mainstream flavour of the platform — with the ultimate aim of using its Android variant to compete with standard Android (and iOS) for consumers’ attention. Continue reading