Apple has acquired Burstly, owner of the popular iOS beta testing platform TestFlight, the company confirmed Friday.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told Re/code.
Burstly is best known in Silicon Valley circles for its mobile app management platform, offering mobile analytics tools like FlightPath and, more recently, for acquiring TestFlight in 2012 — a testing tool for mobile developers.
News of the deal was first reported by TechCrunch.
TestFlight grew popular in the developer community for its powerful dashboard, letting developers release early versions of their applications to small crowds without having to go through the App Store for user testing.
Along with engagement and general audience metrics, TestFlight lets developers know how their in-app purchases and advertisements were performing. It also gives developers other insights, like what version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system people are using, or why their apps may have crashed during use.
It’s worth noting that after the Apple acquisition, TestFlight plans to end support for Android app testing on its platform, effective as of March 21. Not surprising, given that it’s Apple doing the buying, but likely an annoyance for developers who were reliant on the platform.
It’s unclear what Apple will do with Burstly and, subsequently, TestFlight. However, it follows an interesting trend of Silicon Valley giants purchasing smaller companies to bolster their developer tool offerings. In early 2013, Twitter acquired mobile app analytics and testing outfit Crashlytics; later in 2013, Facebook acquired the highly popular developer-centric startup Parse.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.