When Facebook snapped up virtual-reality company Oculus VR this week, it got us wondering what other interesting startups Apple might want to buy before Mark Zuckerberg can get his hands on them.
While Oculus is most well known for its Rift gaming headset, Zuckerberg sees a far more wide-ranging application for the company’s VR tech, envisioning it as a futuristic communications platform. “One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people,” he said in his post about the acquisition.
That’s the kind of big thinking Steve Jobs brought to the table when he talked about the way the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad would change the way people interact with technology. While Apple rarely dips into its $150 billion cash hoard to buy other hardware firms, here are seven awesome companies whose technology could help Cupertino enhance and improve its existing devices — as well as build entirely new ones.
Nokia’s HERE mapping app has been available in Apple’s App Store since the problematic launch of Apple Maps with iOS 6 last summer. But due to “recent changes in iOS 7’, Nokia has pulled HERE indefinitely.
Disappointed with iOS 6 Maps but sick of waiting Google to finally get its act together and release a native Maps app on the App Store. Good news: another big name in maps, Nokia, have launched their own native maps app for iOS today. Called Nokia HERE, the app leverages Nokia’s decade-long expertise in mapping and brings it to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, while also offering cool new features like Facebook integration, turn-by-turn directions, the ability to save maps for later, transit directions, and more.
Apple’s new Maps app leaves a lot to be desired, and while there are some decent alternatives out there, the only worthy replacement for Apple Maps is either Google Maps or Nokia’s Maps. Neither company has an iOS app ready to go just yet, but Nokia is planning to change all that.
In a few weeks Nokia plans to release a maps app for iOS called Here. The app will be free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners, and Nokia is hoping that it will persuade some iOS users to try out their smartphones as well.
Paypal has finally made it into the mobile payment market after being beat to the punch by the likes of Square and Intuit. PayPal may be late to the party but they have a more recognizable name in the world of payment systems and that may just be enough to push them to the front of the line. Besides their name, they’re also offering merchants a 2.7% flat rate on transactions versus the 2.75% offered by Square. PayPal didn’t stop there either, launching a full on geometrical attack by choosing a triangle as the shape of choice for their card reader dongle.