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Motorola acquisition boosts Android streaming

Mobile unit buys firm behind ZumoDrive

Motorola Mobility, which includes Motorola's mobile device and home business, has acquired media streaming company Zecter, and plans to use the company's products and technology to enhance its Android-based smartphones, the company said on Wednesday.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Two Zecter products are currently commercially available: ZumoDrive and ZumoCast. The latter is used to stream content stored on the user's computer to, for example, a smartphone or a tablet. Content can be streamed across any connection, even 3G, according to Zecter.

ZumoDrive, meanwhile, allows users to upload content to Zecter's cloud and then access it via Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, as well as smartphones based on Android, created by Google, and WebOS, created by Palm (now part of HP).

Motorola will integrate Zector's product and technology with Motoblur, which is Motorola's own extension to the Android OS. Today it is used to better organize and present Facebook, MySpace and Twitter messages on the phone's homescreen. It also comes with the ability to find lost phones using GPS.

As cheap, Android-based smartphones from Chinese vendors like Huawei and ZTE become commonly available, Motorola will have to find new ways to make its products more attractive, including tightly integrating media streaming.

As part of the transition, the distribution of the ZumoCast software will be suspended while "enhancements are made", according to a statement. Existing ZumoCast users will not be affected, it said. Zecter will continue to support and improve the software for Apple's iOS, according to a blog post.

The ZumoDrive solution will be unaffected by the acquisition, and will continue to work on other platforms than Android, as well.


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