An unexpected move was revealed Friday when iOS developer Fly Labs announced they had been acquired by Google. Fly Labs has been praised for their assortment of powerful video editing apps which share a minimalist design, and an inherent usability. In the announcement, the Fly Labs team states that the app had been downloaded more than 3 million times in the last 18 months and the announcement also confirmed that the purchase is one which equates to a full-on acquiring, with both the team and their app’s video editing features being folded into Google Photos.
Earlier this year, Google Photos became a standalone app from Google boasting a variety of new features. More recently, Google has announced that the app now caters for more than 100 million users. The photo sharing and storage platform has a long history with Google, starting with the 2004 purchase of the image sharing site Picasa; only the tenth acquisition ever made by the company. Google Photos’ piecemeal evolution took place over the course of a decade, bolstered along by numerous video and photo related acquisitions.
Video editing has remained something of a weak spot within Google’s realm of offerings though. Photo editing was greatly enhanced when Google acquired Nik Software in 2012. Nik created Snapseed, a powerful photo editing app, full of features that have since found their way into Google Photos. Google is positioning the Fly Labs suite of video editing applications: Clips, Fly, Tempo and Crop on the Fly, to elevate their video tools, like Snapseed did for Photos.
With the rise of processing power and storage in mobile phones and the trend of the increasing amount of Android handsets being equipped with impressive cameras, video shooting is only going to become more prevalent. This seems like a needed addition that could not have proven more timely for Google. The team at Fly Labs seem properly thrilled about the merger, and while they regret that the current iOS apps will no longer be updated, they did announce that all the current apps are now free, and will remain in the app store for 3 months. Once dropped from the store, they will not be updated but the apps will continue to work.