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Apple buys the Buddybuild application development service

Apple continues to intensify its efforts to woo developers by facilitating the creation and iteration of their applications for its platforms. The iPhone giant has acquired Buddybuild, a Vancouver-based startup that describes itself as a "mobile iteration platform" focused on continuous integration and debugging tools – giving a simple workflow to an application development team. for iterating and distributing their applications around the world via GitHub, BitBucket or GitLab.

Apple confirmed the acquisition directly to us, and the startup also noted the move to a blog this afternoon.

No financial condition was disclosed for the transaction. Apple tells TechCrunch that the team (which currently employs about 40 engineers) will remain in British Columbia, a fact that the start-up celebrated by emphasizing that it was "always proud to be a Canadian company ".

As part of the acquisition, Buddybuild will be integrated with Xcode, the suite of Apple 's development tools for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, although Apple and Buddybuild have not given a precise timetable.

The Buddybuild service will continue to be available to existing customers as a stand-alone product via the company website – although new customers will no longer be accepted through this portal, as of # 39; aujourd & # 39; hui.

But the agreement also means the effective end of the development of the Android app that the company added last February. This aspect of the service will end in March. Apple has also terminated compatibility with Android during the acquisition of TestFlight, thereby removing a key development tool from Google's ecosystem.

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The system should seamlessly integrate with Apple's existing toolset, providing additional methods for testing, debugging and deploying mobile applications via a channel owner.

Specifically, it should make iOS development and iteration applications even simpler than before.

Applications are a battleground for smartphone manufacturers: they encourage users to buy their devices, and when the pace of smartphone acquisition slows, applications become more and more profitable.

Apple, whose iPhones have long been outpaced by Google's Android-powered devices in terms of market share, still generates much more revenue from apps than Google. Of the $ 17 billion generated in the third quarter by applications worldwide (excluding China), Apple accounted for about $ 11 billion, according to App Annie.

But with Google overtaking Apple in downloads, you can see some of the calculations that could lead Apple to ensure that its platform and application tools remain user-friendly for developers and populated new features and tools to make them easier to use. ]

The move echoes the acquisition of TestFlight by Apple in 2014, which began forcing users to use Xcode to use the service.

Buddybuild was founded in 2015 by former employees of Amazon, Dennis Pilarinos and Christopher Scott. In almost three years of existence, the startup has managed to raise approximately $ 8.8 million, including a $ 7.6 million A Series run by Kleiner Perkins Caufield, in May 2016.

Stewart Butterfield served as a consultant to the company, and Slack became one of his most prominent clients. The remaining list of existing customers is impressive, including Mozilla, Hootsuite, Reddit, SoundCloud, FourSquare and The New York Times

Buddybuild added in his blog that Vancouver has become a kind of nursery for software development, and adding the additional cache of Apple should facilitate local recruitment if the company decided to go develop.

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Supplementary report by Ingrid Lunden