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Google could add a new twist to file-sharing with Bump
Google snapped up Bump today and there’s some interesting potential for how it might use the technology.
The Bump app, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times, lets users “bump” their phones together to share contact information, photos, videos, and files. There are Android and iOS apps and the app works cross-platform.
While 100 million downloads is really impressive, if Google built this technology into Android, it would likely become even more widely used. That would give it more potential to solve an annoying pain -- sharing contact details. Passing a business card seems so old-school these days but entering contact information directly into a phone isn’t exactly elegant either. Hitting a few buttons and then tapping phones is a great way to share contact details.
But Google could be interested in more than just an easy way to share contacts. Bump also works with computers -- to “bump” a phone to a computer, you hit the computer’s space key. At first, this seems a bit odd and kludgey because it’s hard to imagine too many scenarios where a phone user wants to share contact details or other files with a computer user.
But it could get interesting for individuals sharing photos or files among devices. There are lots of cloud-based options that let you upload a file or photo from your phone and then access that photo from your computer. But if, say, Google Drive is your primary online storage center, you’re not getting the best experience. It takes a lot of clicks to get to the file. The technology behind Bump could end up letting Google offer an easier way for individuals to share files on Drive between devices.
Changes are surely afoot. In a blog post about the acquisition, Bump’s CEO wrote this: “Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now; stay tuned for future updates.” That “for now” seems to imply that things are likely to change.
Flock, which was also created by the folks behind Bump, lets a group of people easily share photos, say, from an outing they took together.
Speculation online is that Google bought Bump for $30 million. The company raised $20 million in funding from backers including Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
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