Apple has bought Buddybuild, a start-up service that offers support to app developers with user testing and iteration. Until now, Buddybuild has offered its services to iOS and Android customers. However, after the acquisition, the start-up would no longer offer Android and Free Starter services starting March 1.
Buddybuild – what it does for app developers?
Buddybuild, the Canadian start-up, has also confirmed the news of it being acquired by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). On the other hand, the iPhone maker made the usual statement, “we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans” for “smaller technology companies” bought “from time-to-time.”
All the employees of Buddybuild will join Apple’s Xcode engineering division to create new tools and features for the iOS developers. Most probably the tools and apps will be related to debugging and collecting user feedback, notes Ars. As of now, the start-up offers services and products that more or less resemble Apple’s TestFlight, a tool that enables app developers to share test beta app builds.
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Buddybuild focuses towards continuous integration, deployment and a user feedback platform for development teams that help the developers release iOS and Android apps using GitHub, GitLab and BitBucket.
In simpler words, Buddybuild is concerned with organizing the process of developing an app by building, testing and readying it for sharing it with testers. In 2014, Apple purchased the third-party service, TestFlight, which helps developers in testing and collecting the feedback for the iOS apps. Buddybuild does the same, but in a more comprehensive way.
How does the acquisition help Apple?
Google’s Android platform outsmarts the iPhone ecosystem in terms of the market share. However, when it comes to revenue, the App Store is a clear winner. Apple accounted for $11 billion of the total $17 billion generated in the third-quarter from the apps across the world excluding China, according to the data from App Annie.
Now, the acquisition of BuddyBuild could help Apple up the number of downloads, which is still behind Google’s Android. The Tim Cook-led company aims to increase its software and services revenue twofold by 2020. According to Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, the App Store may be a major contributor in that growth.
This acquisition would also strengthen Apple’s coding platform – known as Xcode. Over the years, the company has taken several steps to improve the Xcode, like releasing new and simpler language, developing a revenue-sharing model for subscription apps and moving a major part of its software research out in the open, according to CNBC. Apple also acquired Workflow.
About two years back, when Apple started releasing these changes, developers stated that there are certain drawbacks in the company’s ecosystem, including the incapability to fix bugs. The developers also stated that start-ups and small staffs were finding it hard to catch up with the frequency at which Apple was rolling out the new iOS system, notes CNBC.
Hopefully all these issues are now resolved. The Cupertino, California-based company is well aware of developers’ role in the success of its eco system. Apple starts with offering powerful tools to the developers, who in turn use these to create a successful app, which attracts the consumers to the platform – a win for Apple and app developers alike.