Google has acquired PushLife, an app developer which brought mobile users the ability to transfer their iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries to non-Apple devices. The move stands as yet another sign that the web search giant is working hard behind closed doors to polish off work on its iTunes competitor, Google Music.
The news comes from an announcement posted on PushLife’s home page. “We’ll be joining Google’s engineering team in Canada, and will be working on building better mobile applications for all users,” the announcement reads. “The past three years have been an incredible ride and, while we will eventually be discontinuing the PushLife service, we look forward to more adventures at Google.” Startup North pegs the company’s sale price at $25 million.
The Google Music app was reported to be undergoing in-house testing in late March. An earlier leak of the app revealed that it was designed as a cloud-based system, streaming music stored on Google’s servers directly to a user’s mobile device. The launch of the app was at least partially held up by ongoing negotiations between Google and the big four record labels, reports said at the time.
Barely two weeks later, Google took the step of removing the Grooveshark music app from Android Market. While the app removal is pinned to its alleged violation of copyright laws, it is possible that Google’s ongoing negotiations with the record labels led to pressure being exerted on this front. In any event, if Google Music really is launching soon, one less music streaming competitor on Android Market certainly won’t hurt.
With the company’s annual Google I/O conference scheduled for May 10-11, 2011 and Amazon’s recent foray into the cloud streaming space, it is reasonable to believe that this PushLife acquisition is yet another sign of a forthcoming announcement.