Apple acquired Burstly, a Santa Monica based company on 21st February, 2014. The company has made products like TestFlight and SkyRocket. In accordance with their past thirty-three acquisitions (out of a total of fifty-five) Apple has not made the financial terms of the acquisition public.
How Does Apple Benefit From This?
TestFlight is a platform that allows iOS app developers to distribute beta versions of their apps without having to go through the stringent screening process of Apple’s App Store. Therefore, with this acquisition, Apple could integrate tools such as beta testing, engagement metrics, and in-app purchases and advertisements performance.
Previously, Apple’s own attempts at beta-test offerings were rather lacklustre. App developers could only generate 50 app promo codes per app release, and these were usually distributed to journalists so that they could review the app without paying for them. In November, 2013, the limit was increased to 100.
But with the acquisition of TestFlight, Apple has acquired a potent platform which it can use to further help app developers with the testing and subsequent enhancement of their apps.
However, the acquisition has attracted the ire of a few people, most of whom claim that now Apple has acquired Burstly, its products will now only focus on products by Apple and which run only on iOS. Most telling is that Burstly themselves have confirmed that they will now only be focusing on app development for iOS and that all support for Android beta testing will be stopped by March 21st, 2014, only a month after being acquired.
SkyRocket, the other major product made by Burstly, is an advertisement monetization app. Many speculate that SkyRocket should help in strengthening the performance of Apple’s own iAd mobile advertising network.
Apple’s Recent Acquisition Trend
The acquisition of Burstly follows a string of mobile development-focused purchases for Apple. Here’s a recap of a few more made during 2013:
- Acquired in March, WiFiSlam is a mapping app that uses only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings.
- In December, Topsy, a social analytics platform that taps into the “social web,” with a particular focus on pinpointing and tracking trends on Twitter in real-time.
- AlgoTrim, a Swedish company specializing in compression technologies to optimize memory handling in mobile devices in August.
- Cue, a Siri-like personal assistant that uses information from a user’s personal accounts to offer relevant information for the day in October.
In effect, it can be seen that Apple is focusing its attention on the mobile app platform with keen interest, and that 2014 should be a very interesting year for app developers for mobiles.