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Google buys Timeful to boost its apps' time management skills

Google buys Timeful to boost its apps' time management skills

The Timeful iOS app uses machine learning to schedule tasks in people's calendars

Timeful uses machine learning to create an optimal schedule for a person.

Timeful uses machine learning to create an optimal schedule for a person.

Google has acquired startup Timeful, whose iOS app uses machine learning to help people plan their days.

People link Timeful to their calendars and then enter tasks, projects, events and hobbies into the app. For example, a user can tell Timeful he likes to jog four days a week, wants to finish painting a room by the end of the month and has a work presentation due on Friday.

Timeful's algorithm will use this information to create a schedule tailored to a person's needs and preferences. The more information that is entered into Timeful and the more people use the app, the better it becomes at learning users' activity patterns, schedules and habits.

It's not clear how Google plans to integrate Timeful's technology into its products. On its home page, Timeful stated that its product's features will end up in Google Apps, the workplace email and productivity suite that includes Gmail, Docs and Drive.

However, Google made no reference to Apps in its announcement, mentioning instead individual products like Calendar and Inbox, the new email app now in preview that may eventually replace Gmail. Neither company indicated when Timeful's features will appear in Google's products.

For now, iOS users can still download and use Timeful, but its staff will now focus on Google projects. For people concerned that Google will eventually drop support for the app, Timeful offered instructions on how they can export their data.

Google didn't disclose how much it paid for Timeful nor whether all of the about 20 Timeful employees will join the search giant.

Neither Google nor Timeful immediately replied to requests for comment.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com


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