Report: Apple acquires AlgoTrim, a data compression startup

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Apple’s been on a bit of a buying spree lately. Just within the last couple of months it has picked up Embark, Hopstop, and Now Swedish industry news service Rapidus is reporting that Apple has acquired AlgoTrim, an eight-year-old data compression software developer.

AlgoTrim develops algorithms for lossless compression of processing instructions in operating systems and applications. This can help speed up processing and reduce the use of flash memory. Until now the company has been primarily focused on Google’s Android operating system, with its software installed in approximately 100 million Android handsets. It isn’t a terribly profitable company, reporting just 3 million SEK (or $460,929 USD) revenue in its latest year-end report.

So what does Apple want with a data compression company? It can help reduce iOS data usage, for one thing. AlgoTrim specializes in mobile imaging and video. By reducing the size of images and video while retaining the same level of quality, it means that Apple can deliver content to your phone faster, with less strain on processing power and battery life.

Another interesting idea, posited by TechCrunch, suggests that AlgoTrim can help Apple improve the quality of images taken by the iPhone’s camera. AlgoTrim promises to deliver “modern computational photography” to mobile phones, which uses a combination of technologies like actuators, computing and sensors to move beyond the traditional limitations of digital photography. In other words, AlgoTrim might be able to help Apple develop its own imaging technology similar to Nokia’s PureView pixel oversampling.

It’ll be interesting to see how Apple decides to incorporate AlgoTrim’s technology, but it’s likely a win for iPhone users all around.

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