The deal, which could be announced as early as this week, marks the end of a bidding war between Silicon Valley heavyweights, Google and Facebook.
Waze is a social mapping app that provides directions for travelers using traffic updates crowd-sourced from users. The app has grown in popularity in the wake of the Apple Maps fiasco that provoked Apple CEO Tim Cook to recommend alternative services, including Waze, Google Maps, and MapQuest.
The app, which reportedly has more than 40 million users, is a lucrative venture for Google, who will have the opportunity to boost their maps services with the addition of users who contribute data to help fellow travelers avoid traffic delays.
Additionally, the acquisition eliminates a competitor for Google.
Windsor natives Kevin Macilvane and his son, Kevin Jr., launched their startup, babe.e.book, back in July. The mobile app, which is available as a free download here, is designed for new parents who wish to privately share photos, videos and stories of their children within their designated network. Here’s more from about babe.e.book and what it’s like working together:
How did you come up with the idea for babe.e.book?
The idea for babe.e.book came about as a solution to a family dilemma. My wife and I were expecting our first born and lived 700 miles away from our closest relative. We needed a safe, convenient way to capture our journey as new parents and share it with the people who mattered the most to us, our family and close friends. We needed something more personal than Facebook and less time consuming than putting together a mass text message or email. We needed a private place for our growing family to share and stay connected.
How has the startup process been for you so far? What are the short- and long-term goals?
We’ve had a lot of fun bringing this idea to life. We’ve had our share of challenges and difficulties (every startup does) but continue to listen, learn and constantly improve. We have a lot of goals, daily/monthly/quarterly goals that we are laser-focused on. Our number one priority every day is improving user experience. We work extremely hard to fix bugs and optimize our mobile app’s performance, while listening to our users evolving needs.
Short-term (by the end of 2012), we are focused on expanding to the Droid platform. Longer-term (no later than the close of Q2 2013), we plan on rolling out an in-app upgrade that enables users to opt in or out of extremely valuable product and service opportunities – stay tuned!
As father and son, how is it to start a business together?
Kevin Jr: [My dad is] the smartest, most focused man I have ever met. Naturally we butt heads but its healthy — we speak daily over the phone and constantly challenge each other to think from different perspectives. He has a tremendous amount of experience (over 30 years) starting and running businesses, he possesses a wealth of knowledge for me to draw from and I never take that for granted.
Kevin Sr.: I have gone from being extremely frustrated with working with young creative minds (who generally fly by the seat of their pants), to a member of a team who has relearned how to: listen, take risks, and make collective decisions. My respect for my son has never been so high, as I have witnessed his keen sense of insight and caring for his fellow man to create a technology that will help reshape the way the world treats the future of our society — the children.
The app, myUConn, is available now for iPhone and Android and features practically everything you could think of. It includes a course catalog, an events calendar, dining menus, maps, live tracking of buses and even the school’s radio station.
As a UConn grad this is something I definitely wish was around for my college career. What about you?
For many college students, summer has already begun, and in just about a month high school seniors will be graduating. Those students will have a few months to enjoy the summer, but then it’s time to plan for college.
Remembering to pack all of the essentials for move-in day can be tough. That’s why, in 2011 as a high school junior, Caroline Staub created the app “The College Checklist.” The app, which comes in a girls and boys version, comes loaded with a list of essential items, so all the student has to do is check them off.
Caroline, who is graduating from Miss Porter’s this year and headed to Villanova for college, has sold close to 1,000 copies of the iPhone app and has also launched a Nook version. She plans on using her app to assist her with her own packing process.
It’s never too early to start planning, so check out the app here.
Eastern Connecticut Health Network announced yesterday the launch of their official iPhone app, MyECHN. With the free app, patients and families can now keep track of their medications, find a physician and follow ECHN news and events.
Within the app, patients can access important health information from MyDoctors, MyMedications, MyInsurance, MyAllergies, and MyAppointments. Searching for doctors is also made easy as users can search by name, specialty or distance. A potential doctor can be contacted with one click or added to the user’s MyECHN folder for future reference.
“Social media is a great way for hospitals to connect with their respective communities and receive instant feedback to help us improve the patient’s experience,” ECHN’s Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing Adam Jeamel said in a press release. ”These are exciting times and another great way to stay connected.”
iNetRadio, a free Internet radio mobile app that provides music, news, weather, sports and entertainment stations, announced today that it has added music cloud hosting to its service.
Now, in addition to existing stations, users can upload their own music to iNetRadio with the cloud hosting option. Cloud hosting music allows users upload their collection to a server that they can access anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection.