This week is the Game Developers Conference (GDC) out in San Francisco, so we’re bracing for a whole rush of big stories to come out of the show this week. Well, the dam has officially broken, as we’ve just learned that Burstly has acquired iOS developer service TestFlight, and together the companies are launching TestFlight Live.
So what is this new service, you may ask? Well now iOS developers will be able to keep track of their apps’ downloads, audience engagement, revenue, stability and more. In short, it’s a sort of wondrous gotta-catch-’em-all metrics program that lets developers track pretty much every aspect of their products once they’ve been released without having to use a dozen different analytics programs or contract with a bunch of a monitoring firms. Best of all, the service is totally free and already built into TestFlight, so developers can start taking advantage of the TestFlight Live right away.
For consumers the news is a bit more of a mixed bag, as TestFlight Live is both helpful and a bit troubling. On the one hand, the service lets developers see exactly where apps are hanging or crashing, breaking down details like the device used and what version of both iOS and the app’s software users are running. In that respect it should be easier to work out bugs and release targeted updates that fix problems without causing new ones. The flip side is now the app can track pretty much everything you do with it, which could raise some privacy concerns down the road.
TestFlight is already the premiere program for iOS developers when launching pre-release code of their apps for testing or reviews, and now simply by leaving the code intact they’ve added a free, powerful analytics tool to the finished product. Burstly has promised to introduce paid, premium features for developers later on, so those who can’t get enough delicious data will soon have access to even more.