Original author(s)Bump Technologies
Initial releaseMarch 27, 2009; 15 years ago (2009-03-27)
Final release3.5.6 (iOS) (February 14, 2013; 11 years ago (2013-02-14))
3.4.9 (Android) (February 14, 2013; 11 years ago (2013-02-14)) [±]
Operating systemiOS 4.3 and later,
Android 2.2 and later
SizeiOS: 5.6 MB
Android: 7.5 MB
Available inEnglish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
TypeUtility software

Bump was an iOS and Android mobile app that enabled smartphone users to transfer contact information, photos and files between devices. In 2011, it was #8 on Apple's list of all-time most popular free iPhone apps,[1] and by February 2013 it had been downloaded 125 million times.[2] Its developer, Bump Technologies, shut down the service and discontinued the app on January 31, 2014, after being acquired by Google for Google Photos and Android Camera.[3]


Bump sent contact information, photos and files to another device over the internet.[4] Before activating the transfer, each user confirmed what he or she wants to send to the other user.[5] To initiate a transfer, two people physically bumped their phones together. A screen appeared on both users' smartphone displays, allowing them to confirm what they want to send to each other.[6] When two users bumped their phones, software on the phones send a variety of sensor data to an algorithm running on Bump servers, which included the location of the phone, accelerometer readings, IP address, and other sensor readings. The algorithm figured out which two phones felt the same physical bump and then transfers the information between those phones.[7] Bump did not use Near Field Communication.

February 2012 release of Bump 3.0 for iOS, the company streamlined the app to focus on its most frequently used features: contact and photo sharing.[8] Bump 3.0 for Android maintained the features eliminated from the iOS version but moved them behind swipeable layers.[9]

In May 2012, a Bump update enabled users to transfer photos from their phone to their computer via a web service.[10] To initiate a transfer, the user goes to the Bump website on their computer and bumps the smartphone on the computer keyboard's space bar.[11] By December 2012, various Bump updates for iOS and Android had added the abilities to share video, audio, and any files. Users swipe to access those features.[12][13]

In February 2013, an update to the Bump iOS and Android apps enabled users to transfer photos, videos, contacts and other files from a computer to a smartphone and vice versa via a web service. To perform the transfer, users went to the Bump website on their computer and bump the smartphone on the computer keyboard's space bar.[2]


The underlying idea of a synchronous gesture like bumping two devices for content transfer or pairing them was first conceived by Ken Hinkley of Microsoft Research in 2003.[14] This idea was presented at a user interface and technology conference that same year. The paper proposed the use of accelerometers and a bumping gesture of two devices to enable communication, screen sharing and content transfer between them. Similar to this original concept, the idea for Bump app was conceived by David Lieb, a former employee of Texas Instruments, while he was attending the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for his MBA.[4] While going through the orientation and meeting process of business school, he became frustrated by constantly entering contact information into his iPhone and felt that the process could be improved.[4] His fellow Texas Instruments employees Andy Huibers and Jake Mintz, who was a classmate of Lieb's at the University of Chicago's MBA program,[15] joined Lieb to form Bump Technologies.[4]

Bump Technologies launched in 2008 and is located in Mountain View, Calif.[16] Early funding for the project was provided by startup incubator Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital and other angel investors.[17] It gained attention at the CTIA international wireless conference, due to its accessibility and novelty factor.[18] In October 2009, Bump received $3.4m in Series A funding[19] followed in January 2011 with a $16m series B financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz.[20] Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen sits on the company's board.[20]

The Bump app debuted in the Apple iOS App Store in March 2009 and was “one of the apps that helped to define the iPhone” (Harry McCracken, Technologizer).[21] It soon became the billionth download on Apple's App Store.[4] An Android version launched in November 2009.[22] By the time Bump 3.0 for iOS was released in February 2012, the app had been installed 77 million times, with users sharing more than 2 million photos daily.[23] As of February 2013, there had been 125 million Bump app downloads.[2]

Other apps created by Bump Technologies

Bump Technologies worked with PayPal in March 2010 to create a PayPal iPhone application.[24] The application, which allows two users to automatically activate an Internet transfer of money between their accounts, found widespread adoption.[24] A similar version was released for Android in August 2010.[25]

The Bump capability in PayPal's apps was removed in March 2012.[26] At that time, Bump Technologies released Bump Pay, an iOS app that lets users transfer money via PayPal by physically bumping two smartphones together.[26] The tool was originally created for the Bump team to use when splitting up restaurant bills.[26] The payment feature was not added to the Bump app because the company “wanted to make it as simple as possible so people understand how this works,” Lieb told ABC News.[27] Bump Pay was the first app from the company's Bump Labs initiative.[28] A goal of Bump Labs is to test new app ideas that may not fit within the main Bump app.[29]

ING Direct added a feature to its iPhone app in 2011 that lets users transfer money to each other using Bump's technology.[30] The feature was later added to its Android app, now called Capital One 360.[31]

In July 2012, Bump Technologies released Flock, an iPhone photo sharing app.[32] An Android version was released in December 2012.[33] Using geolocation data embedded in photos and a user's Facebook connections, Flock finds pictures the user takes while out with friends and family and puts everyone's photos from that event into a single shared album.[34] Users receive a push notification after the event, asking if they want to share their photos with friends who were there in the moment. The app will also scan previous photos in the iPhone camera roll and uncover photos that have yet to be shared. If location services were enabled at the time a photo was taken, Flock allows users to create an album of photos from the past with the friends who were there with them.[34]

Acquisition by Google

On September 16, 2013, Bump Technologies announced that it had been acquired by Google.[35] On December 31, 2013, they broke the news that both Bump and Flock would be discontinued so that the team could focus on new projects at Google. The apps were removed from the App Store and Google Play on January 31, 2014. The company subsequently deleted all user data and shut down their servers, thus rendering existing installations of the apps inoperable.[3][36]

Awards and recognition

Bump Technologies received an Emerging Technology Award in 2010 from the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal for the “mobile” category.[37] Bump was named Best Overall Consumer App on TiE50's Top 50 Startups list for 2011.[38] Lieb and Mintz were named to Bloomberg Businessweek’s Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs of 2011,[39] and Mintz made Forbes' 2011 30 Under 30.[40] In 2012, Bump Technologies was named to the Fast Company Top 50 Most Innovative Companies.[41] Bump was also listed among Time's "50 Best Android Applications for 2013".[42]

See also


  1. ^ "All-Time Top 10 Free iPhone Apps". Business Insider. January 19, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah (14 February 2013). "With Its Latest Update, Bump's Mobile App Replaces USB Flash Drives". TechCrunch. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b "All good things..." 31 December 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Dalrymple, Jim (April 24, 2009). "Meet Bump, the App Store's Billionth Download". PC World. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  5. ^ Segan, Sascha (April 24, 2009). "Review: Bump, the One Billionth iPhone App". PC Magazine. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  6. ^ Benderoff, Eric (April 24, 2009). "New iPhone app works by bump, not touch". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on August 14, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  7. ^ Mager, Andrew. "Eight burning questions for Bump co-founder Jake Mintz". ZDNet. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  8. ^ Carr, Austin (2 February 2012). "Sharing App Bump 3.0 Slashes Most Features, Proves Less Really Can Be More". Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  9. ^ Webster, Scott (16 February 2012). ""Brand new" Bump 3.0 arrives in Android Market". AndroidGuys. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  10. ^ Foresman, Chris (25 May 2012). "Hands-on: app lets you "Bump" smartphone pics to your computer". ArsTechnica. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  11. ^ Paul, Ian (24 May 2012). "Share Smartphone Photos Wirelessly To Your PC With Bump". PC World. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  12. ^ LeClair, Dave (13 December 2012). "Bump app gets update with ability to share any file". Android Community. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  13. ^ Schramm, Mike (18 January 2013). "Bump adds support for sharing files via Dropbox". TUAW. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  14. ^ Hinkley, Ken (2 November 2003). "Synchronous gestures for multiple persons and computers". Proceedings of the 16th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology. ACM. pp. 149–158. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/964696.964713. ISBN 978-1581136364. S2CID 10639720.
  15. ^ "Our Team". Bump Website. Bump. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  16. ^ O'Dell, Josie (18 December 2012). "Bump photo-sharing app Flock finally flies over to Android". VentureBeat. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  17. ^ Kincaid, Jason (October 24, 2009). "Sequoia Capital Invests In Bump Technologies, The iPhone-Tapping Data Swap App". Techcrunch. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  18. ^ Hambien, Matt (October 8, 2009). "Bump app draws buzz at CTIA". Computerworld. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  19. ^ Kincaid, Jason (26 October 2009). "Bump Technologies Confirms Sequoia Funding, Reveals Roster Of Angels". TechCrunch. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  20. ^ a b Fried, Ina (January 10, 2011). "Bump Taps Into New Funding, Adds Andreessen, McAdoo to Board". All Things Digital.
  21. ^ McCracken, Harry (16 February 2012). "Bump Goes Back to Basics". Time Tech. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  22. ^ Webster, Scott (12 November 2009). "'Bump' Arrives for Android". AndroidGuys. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  23. ^ Newton, Casey (16 February 2012). "Bumping back the features for versio". SF Chronicle Blog. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  24. ^ a b Miller, Clair Cain (March 15, 2010). "Owe Someone Money? Just Bump Your Phones". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  25. ^ Warren, Christina (August 6, 2010). "PayPal For Android Gets a "Bump"". Mashable.
  26. ^ a b c Price, Emily (29 March 2012). "Bump Introduces Bump Pay, Allows You to Pay Friends By Tapping Phones". Mashable. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  27. ^ Stern, Joanna (29 March 2012). "Bump Pay: Just Tap Phones to Pay". ABC News. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  28. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (29 March 2012). "With Bump Pay, sending money is easier than ever". CNET. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  29. ^ Newton, Casey (30 March 2012). "Bump Pay: tap of Apple devices transfers funds". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  30. ^ "ING Direct introduces Bump payments option for iPhone users". Finextra. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Capital One 360". App Description. Google Play. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  32. ^ Kern, Eliza (26 July 2012). "Want more party photos? Say hello to Flock, another photo-aggregating app". GigaOM. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  33. ^ Zafra, Arnold (18 December 2012). "Flock photo sharing Android app released on Google Play store". Android-Apps. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  34. ^ a b Chaey, Christina. "The Team Behind Bump Aims To Crack Photo Sharing On Smart Phones". Fast Company Co.DESIGN. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  35. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (16 September 2013). "Google Buys Bump App for Easy Sharing". PC Mag. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  36. ^ "Google-acquired Bump shutting down this month". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  37. ^ "Silicon Valley businesses honored at 2010 Emerging Tech Awards". Silicon Valley Business Journal. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  38. ^ "2011 Tie50 Awards Program". Company Profile. TiE50. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  39. ^ "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2011". Bump. BloombergBusinessWeek. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  40. ^ Geron, Tomio (19 December 2011). "Bump's Jake Mintz Connects Digital to Physical World". 30 Under 30. Forbes. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  41. ^ "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies". Top 10 Mobile. Fast Company. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  42. ^ Jared Newman (1 July 2013). "50 Best Android Apps for 2013". Time. Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. Retrieved June 30, 2013.