Apple is stepping up its efforts to court developers as it just acquired Canadian startup Buddybuild to help app developers with user testing and iteration.
Buddybuild is located in Vancouver, Canada, and it serves as a "mobile iteration platform" specialized in integration and debugging. Simply put, the startup is designed to make things easier for developers, enabling them to test, iterate, and release their apps though GitLab, GitHub, or BitBucket.
Apple Acquires Buddybuild
Apple has not disclosed any financial details of the acquisition, and it doesn't plan to relocate the Buddybuild team, at least, not for now. The startup confirmed the acquisition in a blog post on Wednesday, Jan. 3, noting that it's "always been proud to be a Canadian company" and it's glad that it will remain in Vancouver.
"We're excited to share that the buddybuild team has joined the Xcode engineering group at Apple to build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community," says Buddybuild.
Under the terms of the deal, Apple will integrate Buddybuild into its Xcode engineering division, which handles development tools for macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. The companies have yet to mention a timeline for when Buddybuild will become part of Xcode.
What's Next For The Buddybuild Service?
From now on, Buddybuild's service will remain available to existing customers to create, test, and release apps, but it will be available as a standalone product on the official website. New customers, meanwhile, will no longer be able to join Buddybuild stating today.
Apple has always made efforts to court developers as a means to boost its platforms. If developers have quality tools and a solid app store, they can develop great software that attracts consumers to the platform. Some app experiences are exclusive to Apple's ecosystem, which further boosts the company's appeal.
With this latest acquisition, Apple aims to make things even easier for developers, which in turn should help attract more to its platform. This should translate to more quality app experiences, more customers, and a stronger ecosystem altogether. Apple is also looking to increase its software and services revenue, and this acquisition could play a big part in fulfilling that goal.
Following the buyout, Buddybuild's current free starter plans, as well as the tools to develop Android apps, will be discontinued on March 1, 2018. This echoes Apple's move when it acquired TestFlight back in 2014 and similarly ditched Android compatibility. Apps can make or break a device, and Apple is well aware of it.