Apple has acquired Buddybuild, a startup that offers services to aid app developers with user testing and iteration.
Apple will roll the Vancouver-based Buddybuild team into its Xcode engineering division, where the team will create new tools and features for iOS developers. We don’t know exactly what form those will take yet, but it is likely they’ll still be related to debugging and collecting user feedback. Buddybuild’s currently offered services and products are similar in some ways to Apple’s existing tool TestFlight (also an acquisition), which allows app developers to share test beta app builds.
Apple has always made courting developers a cornerstone of the strategy for its platforms. Let’s call it “trickle-down platform development”—first you give developers powerful tools and an app store that puts their concerns front and center, then they create software that draws consumers to the platform. Each time Apple succeeds in attracting developers to build an app experience that is unique to its ecosystem, it’s a win from Apple’s perspective.