Good morning, Austin. We scanned the web to bring you what's happening in the tech world today. Here's what's going on:
Google launches a new video calling app
Taking aim at Apple's FaceTime, Google has unveiled a free new video chat application called Duo.
Duo, which was announced Tuesday, lets users make calls between Apple's iOS and Android devices, which FaceTime doesn't do.
It runs on Wi-Fi and cellular networks, and automatically switches between different types of speeds of connection and adjusting video quality.
As Bloomberg explains, traditional e-mail is taking the backseat to texting and messaging with younger users, and Duo is Google's attempt to keep its messaging tools relevant.
Snapchat buys mobile discovery app Vurb
Snapchat is reportedly in the late stages of acquiring Vurb, a mobile search and discovery app, for an estimated $110 million.
The deal will bolster Snapchat's messaging and search features. That allows Snapchat to follow Facebook's lead in creating a messaging app that's more of a platform.
Vurb's mobile app connects with Yelp for restaurant information and Fandango for movie tickets, as well as Google Maps, Foursquare and others.
According to Business Insider, Snapchat is more interested in Vurb's team, rather than its product, which has never gained a lot of traction with mainstream users.
India's WhatsApp rival Hike raises $175 million
Hike, a four-year-old messaging app, has raised $175 million, making it India's new tech unicorn.
The investment, led by Chinese internet giant Tencent, values the company at $1.4 billion, according to TechCrunch.
Hike, which targets younger users, includes standard messaging app features, along with free voice calling and a privacy option to hide chat messages.
It still has a long way to go in challenging Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which is by far the leading chat app in India, with more than 100 million active users.
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