App Watch: Homemade photo filters, self-scheduling calendar and more

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This week we get creative, making our own photo filters with Vibrance, writing stuff in the amazing Matcha text editor, and scheduling efficient days to fit it all in with Timeful. What are you waiting for? Check out the most interesting new iOS apps and updates in our weekly roundup.

This week we get creative, making our own photo filters with Vibrance, writing stuff in the amazing Matcha text editor, and scheduling efficient days to fit it all in with Timeful. What are you waiting for? Check out the most interesting new iOS apps and updates in our weekly roundup.


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What Apple’s Massive 2013 Buying Spree Means For The Future [Year In Review]

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Apple may as well run Cupertino. Photo: Benjamin Feenstra
Apple may as well run Cupertino. Photo: Benjamin Feenstra

It was widely reported in January that Apple was in talks to buy Waze, an Israeli startup with a hugely popular maps app. Waze was rumored to be asking Apple for $750 million. The same outlet that broke the acquisition rumor quickly backpedaled and said no such deal was taking place. Google ended up buying Waze in June for $1 billion.

And so goes the buyout game in Silicon Valley, a power play where tech giants like Apple and Google court hot startups with the hopes of adding them to their war chests.

Apple had its biggest year ever for acquisitions in 2013, with a record 15 smaller companies joining the fold. A dozen of them have now been publicly disclosed.

For an entity as secretive as Apple, examining the companies it buys is one of the only ways to peek into its future plans. When AuthenTec, a company that specialized in fingerprint readers and identification software, was purchased in July 2012, speculation immediately followed. What did Apple want with fingerprint sensors? The answer ended up being obvious, and the technology debuted in Touch ID in September 2013.

Often the outcome of an Apple acquisition isn’t so immediately apparent.

Historically, Apple acquires far fewer companies than its competitors. But the line is starting to blur. Google publicly bought three times as many companies as Apple in 2012 and not even twice as many in 2013. Apple bought more companies than Microsoft in 2013.

So what does all of this say about Apple’s future?

Apple Acquires Closed Video Search Startup Matcha

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Matcha

Apple has acquired Matcha, a second-screen video search and recommendation service that was recently closed, for a fee believed to be between $1 million and $1.5 million.

Matcha was previously available as an iOS app, and it allowed users to get an overview of everything they could watch on a variety of cable TV networks and video-streaming services. But the service was closed back in May as it focused on a new direction — one which will now be controlled by Apple.