Apple has reportedly acquired Burstly, the firm that owns mobile ad management platform SkyRocket software and app-testing tool TestFlight. Speculation is rife with what Apple
has planned with the company - TestFlight in particular has been closely linked with the Apple iTunes
store for a while, with developers using it to ensure their apps pass App Store's stringent requirements.
The deal was reported
by TechCrunch, which received a possible confirmation from Apple, via company spokesperson Kristin Huguet, who said, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
There were several signs that Burstly was in a the process of restructuring, as the report notes, with TestFlight announcing a 21 March termination of support for Android app testing, and discontinuing the SDK for TestFlight. FlightPath, a mobile analytics platform in beta, was also shutdown. According to the report, the company did not make these announcements clear to users, and responded to tweeted questions by asking users to send an email.
Odder still is how these product announcements - which greatly impact the company's mobile developer user base - have been handled so far. There's been no mention of them on the TestFlight changelog, for example, no company blog post, no emails, and no mention of them on social media channels - that is, unless you count the replies to confused developers from @testflightapp, the company's main Twitter account. Developers are being asked to reach out directly to the company via an email form instead of being given a more useful public reply.
TechCrunch notes that Burstly has successfully kept its deals under wrap in the past, most notably with the TestFlight acquisition in late 2011. The team from Burstly has already moved into Apple offices, according to the report.