Apple acquires app testing and advertising company Burstly

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2014
The latest target of Apple's recently-busy mergers and acquisitions staff is Silicon Beach company Burstly, a deal that could bolster both the iAd platform and the Xcode development suite.

Burstly


Santa Monica, Calif.-based Burstly says they provide "solutions for the app lifecycle," supporting developers with app testing platform TestFlight and in-app ad management tool SkyRocket. News of the acquisition was first reported by TechCrunch.

Apple confirmed the deal to Re/code with the now-standard statement that "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Burstly has taken a number of steps to tighten its offerings in recent weeks, terminating TestFlight's Android support and deprecating access to its software development kit. Those actions now look to have been the result of the Apple agreement.

No financial terms were disclosed, and it is unclear whether Apple is interested in Burstly's technology, team, or both. So-called "acquihires," in which larger tech companies buy startups simply to assimilate their employees, have become increasingly common as competition for engineering and design talent heats up.

This is Apple's second known acquisition this year after the company bought photography app developer SnappyLabs early in January.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Wish apple would purchase foursquare (so Google or Microsoft doesn't)
  • Reply 2 of 36
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,895member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gordon Werner View Post



    Wish apple would purchase foursquare (so Google or Microsoft doesn't)

     

    I don't want Apple buying companies for the sake of buying them. Many people also wish Apple would buy Twitter and Pebble, but if they don't have a use for them, then its wasteful to and hurtful to buy a company without a purpose. 

  • Reply 3 of 36
    "AppleInsider reports on Apple's acquisition of smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally speculate about their purpose and plans." :)
  • Reply 4 of 36
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,311member
    macxpress wrote: »
    I don't want Apple buying companies for the sake of buying them. Many people also wish Apple would buy Twitter and Pebble, but if they don't have a use for them, then its wasteful to and hurtful to buy a company without a purpose. 

    Absolutely on the main point. Twitter isn't going to sell more iPhones. Square might though. Apple might have their own solution.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post





    Absolutely on the main point. Twitter isn't going to sell more iPhones. Square might though. Apple might have their own solution.

     

    wouldn't the opposite be true? If they bought twitter and made it iOS only, it would sell more iPhones than Square would as more people use twitter than Square...

     

    (yes i know you mean payment services, but the fact I would need an extra device to take a payment isn't too appealing)

     

    P.S. I don't really want apple buying either company.

  • Reply 6 of 36
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,311member
    justp1ayin wrote: »
    wouldn't the opposite be true? If they bought twitter and made it iOS only, it would sell more iPhones than Square would as more people use twitter than Square...

    (yes i know you mean payment services, but the fact I would need an extra device to take a payment isn't too appealing)

    P.S. I don't really want apple buying either company.

    If they made Twitter iOS only they would lose the Android and Windows - and other - users who would instantly not be able to use twitter and all iOS and Mac users who wanted to talk to people cross platform.

    To buy square is to buy the technology and technologists. Not the device. They may not need it.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    asdasd wrote: »
    Absolutely on the main point. Twitter isn't going to sell more iPhones. Square might though. Apple might have their own solution.
    I think the people who wanted Apple to buy Twitter thought/think Apple needs to be more social and it would bolster their cloud services. I'd like to see Applr acquire Square as I think it would fit nicely into a mobile payments strategy that Apple surely is working on.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    For the bargain price of $19B

    /s

    I do agree, though, that Apple needs to think about acquiring more talented software dev teams and developers in the iOS department. Facebook swallowed Push Pop Press, Made by Sofa and Instagram. All three of which Apple should have acquired IMO. And don't we just know it's only a matter of time before Google, Facebook or Amazon acquires '53'. Apple needs to buy up these guys, and soon. It'll be a sad day indeed when 53 gets acquired by anyone but Apple, and it's gonna happen.

    And don't get me started on Loren Brichter consulting for Facebook. If they hire him full time I'll be crying myself to sleep that night. Ive needs to hire Brichter as his right-hand software design man. He's the most talented iOS dev on the planet; Apple need him.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    Pfft. Facebook won this week simply because spending $19bn > Apple spending. /s
  • Reply 10 of 36
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ireland wrote: »
    And don't get me started on Loren Brichter consulting for Facebook. If they hire him full time I'll be crying myself to sleep that night. Ive needs to hire Brichter as his right-hand software design man. He's the most talented iOS dev on the planet; Apple need him.
    I agree with you here. Apple should snatch up any talented software devs they can. And Loren Brighter is a good one. Although he might no want to go back to Apple.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    I'd bet if Apple bought Square they could sell some pretty kick-ass cash register solution to small businesses at a pretty amazing price! Imagine the integration with iOS 9 that would have. The experience for coffee shop/small business owners and customers would probably be a dream solution. One can dream.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I agree with you here. Apple should snatch up any talented software devs they can. And Loren Brighter is a good one. Although he might no want to go back to Apple.

    Let him work remotely, give him $50M, whatever it takes!
  • Reply 13 of 36
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,311member
    ireland wrote: »
    For the bargain price of $19B

    /s

    I do agree, though, that Apple needs to think about acquiring more talented software dev teams and developers in the iOS department. Facebook swallowed Push Pop Press, Made by Sofa and Instagram. All three of which Apple should have acquired IMO. And don't we just know it's only a matter of time before Google, Facebook or Amazon acquires '53'. Apple needs to buy up these guys, and soon. It'll be a sad day indeed when 53 gets acquired by anyone but Apple, and it's gonna happen.

    And don't get me started on Loren Brichter consulting for Facebook. If they hire him full time I'll be crying myself to sleep that night. Ive needs to hire Brichter as his right-hand software design man. He's the most talented iOS dev on the planet; Apple need him.

    Seriously most people in Apple should be better than app devs as most people write code to a much higher standard and at a much lower level. The problem for everybody is that OS devs are not that common. And the best apple devs are calling in rich.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ireland wrote: »
    I'd bet if Apple bought Square they could sell some pretty kick-ass cash register solution to small businesses at a pretty amazing price! Imagine the integration with iOS 9 that would have. The experience for coffee shop/small business owners and customers would probably be a dream solution. One can dream.
    Yes!!!
  • Reply 15 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    For the bargain price of $19B



    /s



    I do agree, though, that Apple needs to think about acquiring more talented software dev teams and developers in the iOS department. Facebook swallowed Push Pop Press, Made by Sofa and Instagram. All three of which Apple should have acquired IMO. And don't we just know it's only a matter of time before Google, Facebook or Amazon acquires '53'. Apple needs to buy up these guys, and soon. It'll be a sad day indeed when 53 gets acquired by anyone but Apple, and it's gonna happen.



    And don't get me started on Loren Brichter consulting for Facebook. If they hire him full time I'll be crying myself to sleep that night. Ive needs to hire Brichter as his right-hand software design man. He's the most talented iOS dev on the planet; Apple need him.

    Loren Brichter used to work at Apple.  I would think if he wanted to keep working there, he would have.

  • Reply 16 of 36
    foadfoad Posts: 697member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    For the bargain price of $19B



    /s



    I do agree, though, that Apple needs to think about acquiring more talented software dev teams and developers in the iOS department. Facebook swallowed Push Pop Press, Made by Sofa and Instagram. All three of which Apple should have acquired IMO. And don't we just know it's only a matter of time before Google, Facebook or Amazon acquires '53'. Apple needs to buy up these guys, and soon. It'll be a sad day indeed when 53 gets acquired by anyone but Apple, and it's gonna happen.



    And don't get me started on Loren Brichter consulting for Facebook. If they hire him full time I'll be crying myself to sleep that night. Ive needs to hire Brichter as his right-hand software design man. He's the most talented iOS dev on the planet; Apple need him.

     

    Mike Matas as well as a few other folks from PPP worked at Apple before. He left Apple because he wanted to start his own company. Instagram wasn't some revolutionary app. The UI was sort of unique but not game changing. I think the concept behind it is cool enough, but a big part of their success was dumb luck. The focused nature of the application helped. That is where the market, including Facebook, is going. Also, a couple of the Made by Sofa guys have already left Facebook. They released a web development app called Cactus (http://cactusformac.com). Truly creative folks don't stay at large organizations for too long.

     

    As for Loren Brichter, he has constantly said publicly that he doesn't want to go back to working at a large company. He probably consulted on some of the physics stuff you see in Paper but that doesn't lead to him getting hired to work there permanently. He also worked at Apple. A lot of folks go to Apple to create great things but the cost of that is that you get burned out or because you work their, you can go anywhere and do anything. Having Apple as a previous employer gets you a lot of love in the Valley. Loren did an interview with Guy English and Rene Ritchie on Debug that goes into his philosophy. It's a good listen.

  • Reply 17 of 36
    foadfoad Posts: 697member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    I'd bet if Apple bought Square they could sell some pretty kick-ass cash register solution to small businesses at a pretty amazing price! Imagine the integration with iOS 9 that would have. The experience for coffee shop/small business owners and customers would probably be a dream solution. One can dream.

     

    Square is on the road to an IPO. Their valuation is crazy right now. I also don't see how much Apple would gain. They already are making the money on the hardware sales, which is the high margin part of the equation. Also, for mobile payment processing, Apple handles more transactions then Square does. Between the App Store, iTunes Music, Movie and TV, they process a crazy amount of transactions. They have the infrastructure to expand it even more. I would bet they are further along in mobile payment processing then a lot of folks think. They have been tippy toeing into it and I wouldn't be surprised to see a massive push in the relatively near future.

  • Reply 18 of 36
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,311member
    Sigh. The truely creative smarts at Apple do more than write apps, and don't need to leave to be creative. Quick name all he members of the original tiny iOS team? Who was the guy who ported the classic OS to OS X? name a kernel engineer? who is writing the objective C standards and adding to the c language, ( ie blocks)? what about the compiler team? The web kit team? The uikit team?

    Hopefully the real creatives are still at Apple.

    Instagram is about talking to a web service and getting back text and pictures, and it's pretty slow at doing that. It's like my first App by the standards of most Apple engineers.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    foadfoad Posts: 697member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post



    Sigh. The truely creative smarts at Apple do more than write apps, and don't need to leave to be creative. Quick name all he members of the original tiny iOS team? Who was the guy who ported the classic OS to OS X? name a kernel engineer? who is writing the objective C standards and adding to the c language, ( ie blocks)? what about the compiler team? The web kit team? The uikit team?



    Hopefully the real creatives are still at Apple.



    Instagram is about talking to a web service and getting back text and pictures, and it's pretty slow at doing that. It's like my first App by the standards of most Apple engineers.

     

    Maybe I should have phrased it differently. Apple is a hyper focused company and for some, that is a constraint for them. It can work for Apple and against them.

     

    I agree about Instagram. It was an app at the right place at the right time. Additionally, Instagram got bought because it was a threat to user engagement at Facebook. The same goes for WhatsApp. 

     

    There are amazingly talented people at Apple, but just as with any company, people can get burned out or want a change. It happens to folks at any high stress or highly creative company. I owned a rather successful post production company. I enjoyed running the studio but at a certain point, I got really burned out and needed a change.

  • Reply 20 of 36
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,311member
    What burtsly do is, however, very clever. They do have to know the internals of the system, and work within the sandboxed limitations of iOS to allow quick and easy distribution of iOS apps( .ipa files) prior to release. Getting that into Xcode would be awesome. And this is one service where kicking out Android distribution helps Apple.
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