Apple has acquired Burstly, the company that owns popular iOS app beta testing platform TestFlight. The service lets developers distribute their apps to beta testers, track usage, and see crash logs, all remotely.
The acquisition was confirmed by Apple earlier today, with its boilerplate response that says “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Leading up to the acquisition, TestFlight stopped its beta testing service for Android apps, and discontinued the TestFlight SDK that let developers get a detailed look into usage patterns, analytics, areas of improvements, crashes etc.
The most likely reason Apple bought Burstly? Improved beta testing for iOS developers, possibly using the App Store as a distribution channel. Google has some great tools for Android developers to host and distribute beta builds of their apps, while Apple doesn’t have any similar service.
Burstly also runs an in-app ad management service, but it’s unlikely Apple has any interest in this. Apple already has the iAds advertising service, which doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention internally.