Apple buys mobile app management and analytics firm Burstly

This is big news for iOS developers. The rumors were flying ever since Wednesday:

Burstly, the makers of an in-app ad management platform called SkyRocket and the parent company of popular mobile app testing platform TestFlight, has been acquired, we’re hearing. Though we’re working to get more information on this now, including deal terms, our understanding is that Apple is the acquirer here.

This rumor was confirmed earlier today by Re/code.

TestFlight is a widely adopted app build and distribution system. Looks like the current implementation will be winding down.

On Wednesday, TestFlight announced it would be terminating Android support as of March 21, for example, while also announcing that it was discontinuing its TestFlight SDK. According to support documentation, only existing teams will be able to continue to upload builds with the SDK. New users and those who have never uploaded the SDK are now being asked to remove it from their builds.

So far, I’ve not seen a public comment from Burstly or TestFlight. Questions are redirected to their email support page. Still digging.

  • Foul move to shut down Android support but that’s OK… we’ll just move to the official way.

    • There’s always HockeyApp, which is a better product anyway. It’s more reliable, it’s faster, and as a pay product it’ll probably remain independent.

      (However, I think TestFlight does a better job of walking iOS users through the setup process.)

      I have no plans to move over to TestFlight, but I’m hoping some of TestFlight’s ease of use gets moved into ADC.

      • I’ve heard about Hockey but we’re going to just use the native Play Store functionality.

        The iOS setup process is ridiculous anyway. It’d be nice when Apple finally has TF “embedded” directly into the flow. XC5 is miles ahead of 4 so I expected 6 to seriously step it up and be way easier.

        • Xcode really isn’t the problem anymore. If I have physical access to a device, Xcode can do everything that needs to be done quickly.

          But the devices I can’t borrow for five minutes? TOTAL pain in the ass. That’s where HockeyApp/TestFlight shine, and where I’m hoping Apple improves.

          • XCode, being the tool to manage building the app, definitely needs work though. The “Fix Issue” button helps a ton along with the direct account integration but the facts you layout above are spot on.

            Once you get beyond doing your own apps and need more folks in there, ADC won’t work.

            Ultimately, even though I think it is a foul move, I like the acquisition, from an iOS developer perspective. WWDC should be fun this year. 🙂

          • Right, but Xcode can’t really be fixed to support devices remotely. Even if there’s a simple “Add a UDID” command in Xcode, the major problem is getting the UDID from the user to begin with. And Apple’s made that HARDER recently.

            They need the iOS developer mode to activate a way to send UDIDs to developers, even if it’s via iTunes Connect. Or, better, to just associate applications with AppleIDs instead of UDIDs.

          • True. I really just mean the integration w/ pushing to remote devices.

            I look forward to what they do with TF. Direct integration to ADC would be pretty sweet.

  • “… while also announcing that it was discontinuing its TestFlight SDK.”

    From the context, I’m guessing this is the Android TestFlight SDK, but does anyone really know?

    • From the Android SDK page:

      We are refocusing TestFlight on iOS. While we will continue to support app development on iOS, support for Android beta testing on TestFlight will stop by March 21, 2014. If you require technical support, please contact

      [sign in required]

      • According to Gruber’s post on it, they are stopping new customers from joining too so it sounds like they are shutting it down from public consumption in preparation of direct ADC integration.