Rest in Peace: Great apps killed by an acquisition

Acquisitions are part and parcel of the modern life of app development. For differing reasons, large companies have a habit of buying up smaller app developers. Sometimes -- take Instagram as an example -- the app in question lives on as its own separate entity. Others, like Snapseed, lose their apps on some platforms, but remain on others. And then, there's those that get killed altogether. So, lets take a look together at some of those apps which have gone the way of the Dinosaurs.

Kitcam and Photoforge 2

Kitcam and Photoforge 2 are the most recent casualties of the acquisition market. Big spending Yahoo! snapped up the team at Ghostbird Software just last week with a view to integrating them into their Flickr team. While existing users can continue to use their apps, and even re-download them to their devices, anyone yet to try them out is out of luck; both were removed from the App Store at the same time as the acquisition announcement. Kitcam is one of our favorite photography apps, and we're sad to see it go.

Sparrow

Sparrow quickly became a success, and earned a reputation as being one of, if not the best email clients for iOS. While it 'lives on' in the sense that it can still be downloaded for both iOS and Mac, the acquisition by Google ceased all active development for Sparrow. Thankfully we have plenty of options to fill the Sparrow shaped hole in our hearts, but it shall be missed.

Summly

Summly is another application that was acquired to come under the Yahoo! banner. It gave us summarisation's of news, little bite size snippets. While the app may have died, the service lives on as Yahoo! has integrated the service into their own mobile applications. The only drawback is that you have to use Yahoo! apps to get Summly, and not everyone wants to do that.

Wavii

Wavii is another service that was acquired by the mighty Google, absorbed into their own services and discontinued from the App Store. The Wavii acquisition was all about their natural language technology, which Google wanted to fold into their own voice recognition software. And with that, this promising, news aggregating iOS app faded away into the night.

Poster

This one is literally hot off the press, with Automattic having just acquired Poster in the last couple of days. Poster was regarded as a far better solution for editing and posting WordPress blogs than the official iOS apps, and now Poster has been acquired to be absorbed into the WordPress empire. Many say simply that WordPress should bin their own iOS app and re-release Poster as their own. Those people might have a point.

So, there's just a few great apps that were acquired by big corporations and either re-deployed or pulled completely. Join the discussion in the comments below, and share with us your favorite apps that were killed off by an acquisition. We'll pour one out for each and every one of them.

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Rest in Peace: Great apps killed by an acquisition

9 Comments

The most painful one for me was the removal of Essay for iPad (a Dropbox-powered rich text editor for iOS 4[!]) when developer Dirk Holtwick went to Evernote. He's the reason we have rich text in Evernote.

Evernote is great, I guess, but Essay was stunning. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/03/essay-for-ipad-adds-clever-keyboa...

Sadly, it got pulled shortly before iOS 5, so the keyboard became nonfunctional. (Remember, iOS 5 brought keyboard changes.) I still ache over the loss of that app.

So far no change, but Google bought up Waze recently, so we can only wonder how long before it t, too, joins the dinosaurs.

Yup, that's the recent one that's got me worries. In my mind, it's only a matter of time. Hearing about this acquisition kind of made me upset. I'm sure that once it gets assimilated completely, we'll have nothing like it offered from Google.

Moral of the story: Kick Yahoo! & Google in the ...

Was really sad to see KitCam go... I had actually purchased it only a few weeks back after reading a lot about it here on iMore and it pretty much became my goto camera on the iPhone. I'll probably still be using it, but don't like the idea of there being no further enhancements or updates to the application!

Well, time to look for replacement...

I too still will use Photoforge 2 for the foreseeable future. And hope that Waze is kept. But hopefully, at-least integrated properly into Google Maps. I was also just going to purchase KitCam when it was actually removed that very day in the store. It is sad to see these apps and others that are useful go the way of the Dodo.

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On a side note, For iPhone: Guitar Hero is somehow still available while Rock Band is not.

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Really surprised no one has mentioned AudioGalaxy. Acquired by DropBox only to be killed off. Nothing out there even comes close to replacing this app.

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