Buddybuild, a Vancouver, Canada-based application development service, today confirmed that it has been purchased by Apple. In a reversal of Apple’s typical statement that “we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans” for “smaller technology companies” bought “from time-to-time,” Buddybuild itself explained exactly what it will be doing within Apple.
The Buddybuild service promises “a continuous integration, continuous deployment, and user feedback platform for development teams,” currently helping developers to release iOS and Android apps using GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket. With Buddybuild, every “git push” to the developer’s preferred git service automatically triggers a secure new build of the app, the running of unit or UI tests, and preparation of the app for beta testing or deployment to Apple’s TestFlight service.
In other words, Buddybuild streamlines the process of developing an app by building it, testing it, and readying it for sharing with testers. Apple similarly purchased the third-party service TestFlight in 2014 to assist developers in testing and gathering feedback for iOS apps; Buddybuild provides a more comprehensive approach.
According to Buddybuild’s site, the team has joined Apple’s Xcode engineering group and will build developer tools for iOS. For the time being, the team will remain in Vancouver and preserve its namesake service so that iOS apps can continue to be shipped by existing customers.
Buddybuild presently offers its service to iOS and Android customers, but will discontinue Android and Free Starter services on March 1. As of today, it is no longer accepting new customers for iOS or Android.
Apple confirmed the acquisition with VentureBeat but did not provide any additional information.