Today in Apple history: Apple acquires the company behind Touch ID

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Touch ID
Touch ID was a massive step forward for Apple.
Photo: Apple

July 28: Today in Apple history: Apple acquires AuthenTec, the company behind Touch ID July 28, 2012: Apple buys biometrics company AuthenTec, acquiring the technology that will power future authentication and secure payments initiatives.

With a price tag of $356 million, the deal gives Apple the right to use AuthenTec hardware, software and patents. In the short term, Apple engineers start working to build Touch ID sensors into the iPhone 5s. Longer-term, AuthenTec’s mobile wallet tech paves the way for Apple Pay.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs considers buying Yahoo

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Yahoo
Apple could have made an offer with Disney.
Photo: Yahoo

February 4 Today in Apple historyFebruary 4, 2008: Steve Jobs reportedly considers buying the search engine Yahoo. Apple is one of several interested companies, following reports that Microsoft offered $44.6 billion for web portal the previous week.

Nothing ultimately comes of it, but Apple’s interest is later confirmed in an authorized biography of Apple’s CEO and co-founder.

Today in Apple history: Apple brings back Steve Jobs with NeXT buyout

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Steve Jobs returned to Apple on December 20, 1996.
Steve Jobs pictured on December 20, 1996.
Photo: Tim Holmes/Flickr CC

December 20: Today in Apple history: Apple buys NeXT for $429 million, bringing Steve Jobs back to Cupertino December 20, 1996: Apple Computer buys NeXT, the computer company Steve Jobs founded after leaving Cupertino a decade earlier.

The deal costs Apple $429 million. It’s a massive price to pay for the failing NeXT, which already saw its hardware division crash and burn. The price is worth it when you consider what Apple gets as part of the deal, however: the return of Steve Jobs.

Apple snaps up startup that makes finding podcasts more like listening to radio

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iPhone FM radio chips
Why can't finding the right podcast be more like this?
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr CC

Apple quietly snapped up podcasting app Scout FM, which tries to make podcasting sound more like tuning into radio stations, for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.

Scout FM worked by letting users choose particular topics, then automatically customizing a radio station-like podcasting listening experience for them. It was intended as a way to cut through the findability clutter of hundreds of thousands of available podcasts.

Congress may scrutinize Apple’s ‘copy-acquire-kill’ strategy

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Tim Cook goes to Washington
This is one of the questions Tim Cook could field tomorrow.
Screenshot: Apple

Lawmakers reportedly will quiz Apple on its “copy-acquire-kill” strategy during Wednesday’s congressional antitrust hearing.

According to the Washington Post, this will be one of the areas that Apple will be scrutinized on to see if it has engaged in anti-competitive behavior. “Copy-acquire-kill” refers to buying companies to acquire their innovative features, before killing them to stop other platforms from having access to them.

Apple pulls its AI from Pentagon drone program

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A MQ-9 Reaper drone won‘t ever have Apple AI software.
The US Air Force’s MQ-9 Reaper can surveillance targets and strike them. Apple apparently doesn’t want any part of that.
Photo: US Air Force

Before Xnor.ai was acquired by Apple, the startup was working with the US military on Project Maven, a controversial Artificial Intelligence project related to drone imagery. That collaboration stopped when Apple purchased the company, according to an unconfirmed report.

Apple acquires Xnor.ai for faster, more private iPhone artificial intelligence

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Xnor.ai promises AI everywhere.
Xnor.ai’s artificial intelligence software for mobile devices is likely headed for iPhones.
Photo: Xnor.ai

Apple purchased Xnor.ai, a company that creates artificial intelligence software for mobile devices. The acquisition will apparently lead to AI applications running directly on iPhones, iPads, etc., not outsourced to the cloud. This should make these tasks more private and quicker.

Apple’s purchase of Intel phone modem biz is a done deal

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intel
Intel and Apple have formalized a deal that has the iPhone maker producing its own smartphone modem.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Intel Corporation says it has completed a $1 billion sale of most of its smartphone modem business to Apple.

The deal goes down as Apple’s second-biggest acquisition in its 42-year history. Apple will absorb patents, equipment and roughly 2,200 Intel workers.

What’s it like to have your startup bought by Apple? Stressful.

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What’s it like to have your startup bought by Apple? Stressful
Everyone thinks of the money. But there's a lot of work to get there.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

What’s it like when Apple buys your startup? According to David Hodge, founder of mapping app Embark, the answer is: stressful.

Apple bought Embark back in 2013 as part of its efforts to grow its mapping services. Embark focused on building free transit apps to help people navigate public transportation. In a new series of tweets, Hodge reveals the behind-the-scenes story of the Apple acquisition.

Apple snaps up virtual reality experts to boost AR push

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iKinema motion capture
iKinema is expert in motion capture, and that expertise is headed for Apple.
Photo: iKinema

Apple confirms it purchased a company that makes virtual reality and motion capture.software. The acquisition of iKinema could bolster the iPhone maker’s augmented relativity offerings, especially with a set of AR glasses supposedly coming next year.