Google is buying Bump, an app which allows smartphone users to send pictures, contacts or other files to each other by bumping them together.
Bump was initially made available on Apple's iPhone as a substitute for NFC - Near Field Communications - technology which enables the same functionality on Android and other NFC-equipped smartphones.
The decision to buy Bump seems to have been partly driven by the impending release of Apple's iOS 7, the latest version of its iPhone software. That introduces a technology called AirDrop which could be used to transfer similar data types - including photos or web addresses - using a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to multiple devices at once without requiring the phones to touch. "There's no bumping your phone," said Apple's iOS software chief Craig Federighi when he showed the feature off to developers in June at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. Apple already implements AirDrop on its desktop and laptop computers.
For Bump, that could mean that its biggest platform, iOS, would become less useful if people begin using AirDrop instead of its app.
Google also has its own NFC project, called Beam, announced in October 2011. And Samsung has implemented its own "bump" technology using NFC to move files between devices./The Guardian/