Google buys messaging client Emu, should help make Hangouts “smarter”


Google Emu acquisition

Emu is probably the best messaging client you never heard of. Billed as “texting with a built-in assistant” the company announced today via their site that they’ve officially packed their bags for Mountain View and starting August 25th, they’d be shutting down the app (which has since already been removed from the Google Play Store). Sounds so sudden especially considering other Google acquisitions remain alive and kicking many, many months after they’ve been absorbed into the company.

So what exactly does Google have planned? We’re guessing Google will use the talented team at Emu to supercharge Hangouts with new and exciting features. Exactly what? Well, how about Emu’s smart assistant feature for starters. Emu was a unique messaging app in that it understood the context of messages sent/received (not as scary as it sounds).

Emu screenshots

This meant Emu was able to offer helpful little links appended to messages with everything from sharing locations, scheduling appointments, to showing available movies, to snoozing message reminders for later. The app would even auto notify users when/if the other user was driving, this way everyone is safe and the other party isn’t left in the dark in the event you take too long to reply back. Awesome.

Honestly, we’re only upset we didn’t know about Emu sooner. Seemed like a great cross platform messaging client that could mop the floor with rival services like Kik. With the power of Google Now and Emu, expect your phone to become a whole lot more automated in the coming months. Here’s to a brighter future at Google. We can’t wait to see what comes out of the new partnership.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I’ll be the first to say, “oh dear god…” I don’t want all of that crap inside of my messages.

    1. Hopefully it’ll be a togglable feature.

  2. Maybe hangouts will finally be able to assign different ringtones to each contact. Install font packs? C’mon Google, right now it could pass for an apple app. Very un-customizeable

    1. You can already set per contact ringtones

      1. Where? Is that new in kitkat? Or is that in emu?

        1. Hangouts>click on a text thread>click on top right 3 dot menu button>People &options>Chat message sound

          1. Too bad it’s not part of the system contacts app, which is where the phone call ringtones are set.

          2. True but keep in mind Hangouts is an individual app for messaging. One app can’t control another as it’s all an individualized system.

            Also, Hangouts came out after People so we may see a more integrated system in the future, I haven’t given L a try so I wouldn’t know if it implements it.

        2. No. It’s built into hangouts

  3. Hangouts is broken by design. It was already “fixed” with Google Talk. No company can fix it, it just needs to be thrown away and something else put in its place.

  4. What about the update we really want, voice integration? iPhones have it, I don’t really understand the political angle behind the holdup.

  5. Still waiting for the day Google messaging is as good as iMessage was years ago. It’s the biggest thing lacking in Android. Hangouts, regardless of its terribly name that no one knows what it is, should automatically switch between Data over Hangouts, and SMS/MMS like iMessage does. It would save tons of money in texting for end users and companies like mine who supply a cellphone.

    1. your cellular company still charges for text messages in 2014? wtf?

    2. Except if you ever try to leave that system, you’re locked in. People have had issues leaving iOS because their messages stay in Apple limbo.

  6. This sounds amazing. They’re already reading my emails, so read my texts and start suggesting what to answer.

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