Google Buys BumpTop, But Why?


Yesterday, TechCrunch caught wind of a very interesting rumor that stated Google was either preparing to buy BumpTop, or that the deal has already gone down. Since then, the story has been confirmed by Google themselves, however there was no reason nor did their exist any details regarding the terms to which both sides agreed.

We’re happy to welcome the BumpTop team to Google, but we don’t have any specific information to share.

BumpTop is a desktop organizer that sits atop Windows and Mac-based systems and is intended to be used on touch-screen monitors or tablet devices. The technology is really cool and incorporates multi-touch to provide the user with a streamlined, pretty, and easy interface to handle every day computing needs.


With Google rumored to be working on their own tablet device, an acquisition of BumpTop makes us wonder: will we see it used for such a purpose? Even without the prospect of Android being equipped on the device (many are banking on Google’s new ChromeOS to be the system of choice) it gets us thinking about the possibility of Google taking small bits and pieces from BumpTop and using them to enhance the Android experience. We’ve already seen as much in Android 2.1’s gallery app thanks to Google’s partnership with CoolIris, so I see no reason not to expect they’d use this acquisition to pretty up more of the Android OS.

To boot, BumpTop will no longer be developed (or available for sale) for either Mac OS or Windows-based PCs, with the developer stating:

Today, we have a big announcement to make: we’re going to be taking BumpTop in an exciting new direction, which means that BumpTop (for both Windows and Mac) will no longer be available for sale. Additionally, no updates to the products are planned.

It’s clear, then, that Google needs this to be unique to whatever endeavours they’re planning with this move. We can’t say much given the lack of details – and we could very well see this being another case of the Grand Central acquisition where Google provided the same service under their own “Google Voice” brand – but when BumpTop returns (in some form or another) we’ll be right there to gawk all over Google’s plans to use it.

Irony report: Is it just me, or does that look like Steve Jobs in the image we used? Just sayin’.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I’m thinking that they’d want to grab some of the new multi-touch paradigms so they can use them later in Android. Avoids more patent headaches if they already own the technology (assuming some of these gestures are unique BumpTop).

  2. It kind of looks like Steve Jobs with a Hitler mustache.

  3. why? what about this on top of chrome

  4. Hmm… Android 3D LCD TVs + Touchscreen overlay + Bumptop = Minority Report?

    Hey a man can dream, right?

  5. Am loving it.Chrome or Android,its got my blessing.

  6. Never even heard of Bumptop before this. I think this is awesome. Right now Android alone on a tablet pc is nice but it doesn’t have a distinct feel that should be genuine to a tablet pc. Android integrated with this on a 10″ tablet would be a F-ing BEAST!

  7. Here’s hoping that Google will use this to produce a touch centric fully featured operating system as an alternative to Windows 7 (plenty of features, not designed for tablet interaction) and the iPad (designed for tablet interaction, but too lacking in functionality).

  8. so is there any point in downloading this if i don’t have a touch pc? like for a regular desktop/laptop?

  9. they added multitouch for windows 7, but yea, u can use with your mouse. It’s free right now to download.

  10. Wow. I want that. Now.

  11. that’s badass. my brain is just going in circles with the possibilities of google + bumptop + tablet.

  12. its not that great. i used for about 2 months and uninstall it. its feels like i got locked up inside a box. also, its cause video to lag a bit and gaming. i got a gaming system, btw.

  13. i was in the BumpTop beta- at the time it was very simple and not very useful on a desktop but I can see that on a touch screen device it would blow the competition out of the water

  14. Android, Chrome, and now BumpTop??? I used to admire Google. Now they appear to be a bunch of scatterbrains with no clear roadmap to nothing.

  15. Bumptop was cool, my wife loved it.

  16. LOL Steve doesn’t look to happy about this. I also hope this will let Android gain the patents it needs so Apple can shut up. Apple and Microsoft are getting scared or else they wouldn’t be pulling out their patents, I guess Android was the right OS when I bought my G1 then Google Ion and now my Nexus One. Android has come very very far.

  17. i downloaded it and it said it’s corrupted to download it again.. i’ve done this 3 times now.. wtf?

  18. I think this will be for Androids launch onto larger screened devices like tablets and TV’s. It might be for Chrome OS. And honestly I don’t understand why they even have a second OS. Just use Android with a different UI.

  19. Oh and expect both Apple and MS to start trying to stop or mooch off Android at all costs now. Google is lining themselves up to take the OS market by storm from the bottom up.

  20. At Bumptop.com they are allowing free downloads for only one more week, due to the acquisition. I think they’re getting some traffic right now, as my 17MB download is showing 2 hours left!

    And yeah, give me an (13″?) Android Tablet with this, and I’ll give up my plans to buy a MacBook.

  21. I think this is purely for ChromeOS or for a revised Google Desktop app for Windows.
    I have used this app myself for a while ended up uninstalling it, couldn’t really see the point but it might have more success on a touchscreen.

  22. Ok that is very cool

  23. I was wondering when someone would try do something with desktop 3d. Seems like a logical progression from where things are at now.

  24. Maybe Google wants to obtain patents related to 3D touch so that later they can use these things against Apple and Microsoft. I suspect that eventually it will be cheap, possible and desirable to have some kind of 3D touch UI on anything including desktop computers. At this point, Google has a valuable patent leverage to negotiate with.

  25. Oh, and I do mean ANYTHING to do with both 3D and Touch. Even a completely different interface. As long as it has both 3D and Touch, our badly broken patent system would have given Google a suddenly valuable patent.

  26. Not a big fan of this BumpTop thing (sounds a bit kinky) but it would be nice if Compiz Fusion somehow ended up on Android.

  27. This could be compelling if the following were pursued…

    Have you seen the “Google Sky” app for android. It is one of those things that always get a WOW! from people I show it to. The thing that generally solicits the wow is the way the app detects the pan/tilt actions of the handset and displays the sky as a virtual reality as if the screen was a window into the virtual environment.

    So imagine this… An Android phone; or a larger Android tablet; or my laptop/desktop acting as a window onto a virtual desktop that is larger than the desktop constraints of the video of the device. You could mabye pan/tilt around the desktop itself and interact with the same desktop from all my devices. Perhaps the dektop itself is hosted in the cloud.

    And here’s the kicker… What if several different people could interact with the same desktop? The collaboration possibilities are mind-boggling.

    Mike Smith – dominoconsultant.org

  28. @Peter
    i know perfectly Compiz Fusion effects cause i’m a proud Ubuntu user but i think they are too old…..However i’d like to see Bumptop on Ubuntu! It’s cool!

  29. @Claudio,

    It may be old but I still think it adds much more actual usability then Bumptop (although keeping in mind I have not yet tried it).

  30. Bumptop was great! simply a masterpiece of sotware in 3d desktop. Whe the hell google imposed a stop in public development of the BumpTop 3D Desktop project?!? Grrr!

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