It has been confirmed today that Apple recently purchased the beta testing platform TestFlight and its parent company, Burstly. True to their regular form, the spokespersons from Apple have yet to divulge any details on the reasoning behind their acquisition, leaving the web abuzz with speculation.
Burstly is a Santa Monica-based company that provides developers with “solutions for the app lifecycle” via their popular tools, TestFlight and SkyRocket. TestFlight is an invaluable resource for developers, making the arduous process of mobile app testing more manageable by aiding in App distribution and team management, as well as allowing for testing on unlimited devices and beta testing transparency.
Apple’s acquisition comes as no surprise for several reasons – foremost the fact that TestFlight has been behaving oddly in recent days. On Wednesday, the company announced that TestFlight would be terminating support of Android devices and pulled its SDK from any new users seeking to download the package (existing teams will still be able to upload builds with the SDK). Both TestFlight and SkyRocket both updated their privacy policies on Tuesday, seemingly in preparation for the shift to their new parent company.
The news could be good for developers who use TestFlight, as Burstly’s engineers have already been put to work under Apple’s management, and the fusion could lead to a more powerful and unified beta testing platform.
Apple has purchased a slew of other mobile app development platforms in the last several months, including:
- WiFiSlam: a mapping app that only utilizes ambient WiFi signals present in buildings to get better indoor locations
- Embark: a company that makes mobile apps for mass transit riders
- HopStop: an online service that provides public transit directions worldwide
- AlgoTrim: a Swedish startup that builds codecs and focuses on maximizing performance data/mobile/video/graphics on minimal memory requirements
- Topsy: a platform that offers monitoring and analytics for social trends (namely Twitter).