Apple has purchased Burstly, the company behind iOS app beta platform TestFlight. The specific details of the buyout have not been disclosed, but TechCrunch reports that Burstly’s engineers are working at Apple already.
Burstly is also the company behind FlightPath, a relatively new app analytics tool that was recently shut down without explanation. SkyRocket is another project of Burstly’s that offers tools for ad monetization in mobile apps. A couple of days ago, Burstly announced that TestFlight would not only stop offering its SDK to developers, but stop supporting Android by March 21st.
While not a common name to regular users of the App Store, TestFlight a popular tool used by developers to distribute and track private betas of their apps. Beta testers and members of the tech press are commonly sent TestFlight invitations to try apps before they go on sale for everyone in the App Store.
Third-party App Store developers have expressed complaints over Apple’s app management tools for awhile. Strides have been made by Apple in recent months to improve the app management experience, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. Burstly’s engineering talent will assumedly be used to mature Apple’s own developer services.
TestFlight’s over-the-air app distribution, team management tools, and in-depth reports made it a great tool for developers during the beta testing process. It’s unclear how long TestFlight will remain useable now that it is owned by Apple.
In the wake of TestFlight’s absence, more attention will likely turn to HockeyApp, an alternative beta testing platform that is also widely used by popular app makers.