Google buys Siri-like messaging app Emu

The text app that injects relevant information into conversations could bulk up the search giant's Google Now and messaging features.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam


Google is buying Emu, a messaging app that adds context to conversations, according to the startup.

Emu placed a farewell message on its website on Tuesday, alerting users that it would be shutting down the app on Aug. 25 to transition over to the tech giant. Existing users won't be able to send, receive or download messages.

"We're super-excited," the message reads. "But to focus on our next chapter, we have to close the last one."

Google confirmed the purchase but would not disclose the terms of the deal.

Emu acts a bit like Siri, or Google Now, by adding relevant information to messages after users enter them. It uses location awareness and artificial intelligence to display information about a variety of subjects, like places and movies, or help you schedule a calendar event or reserve a table at a restaurant.

The similarity to Siri is not surprising, given that Emu CEO Gummi Hafsteinsson previous worked with Siri's technology at Apple.

It's not clear how Google will integrate Emu's features into its technology but the company has been actively sprucing up its messaging and communications services.

Updated 5:32 pm PT: Added comment from Google.