Apple buys app development service Buddybuild

Apple continues to ramp up its efforts to court developers by making it easier to create and iterate their apps for its platforms. The iPhone giant has now acquired Buddybuild, a Vancouver-based app tools startup that describes itself as “mobile iteration platform” focused on continuous integration and debugging tools — essentially giving an app development team a simple workflow for iterating and pushing their apps out into the world through GitHub, BitBucket or GitLab.

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

No financial terms have been disclosed for the deal. Apple tells TechCrunch that the team (currently employing around 40 or so engineers) will stay put in BC, a fact that the startup celebrated by noting that it’s “always been proud to be a Canadian company.” 

As part of the acquisition, Buddybuild will be rolled into Xcode, Apple’s suite of development tools for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, although Apple and Buddybuild have not given a specific timeline of when that will happen. 

Buddybuild’s service will continue to be available to existing customers as a standalone product through the company’s site — though new customers will no longer be accepted through that portal, beginning today.

But the deal also means the effective end of the Android app development that the company added last February. That aspect of the service will be sunset in March. Apple similarly discontinued Android compatibility when it acquired TestFlight, effectively removing a key development tool from Google’s ecosystem. 

The system should fit nicely into Apple’s existing set of tools, bringing additional methods for testing, debugging and deploying mobile apps through a proprietary channel.

More to the point, it should make developing and iterating apps for iOS that much easier than before.

Apps are a key battleground for smartphone makers: they lure users to buy their devices, and when the pace of smartphone acquisition slows down as markets mature, apps increasingly become a revenue stream in their own right.

Apple, whose iPhones have long been outstripped by devices powered by Google’s Android in terms of market share, still generates considerably more revenue from apps than the latter. Of the $17 billion generated in Q3 from apps globally (excluding China), Apple accounted for around $11 billion of it, according to App Annie.

But with Google outstripping Apple in downloads, you can see some of the math that might lead Apple to making sure its platform and app tools remain developer-friendly and replete with new features and tools to make it easier to use.

The move echoes Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight back in 2014, which began to require users to employ Xcode to utilize the service.  

Buddybuild was founded in 2015 by former Amazon employees Dennis Pilarinos and Christopher Stott. In its nearly three years of existence, the startup has managed to raise around $8.8 million, including a $7.6 million Series A led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield back in May of 2016.

Stewart Butterfield has served as an advisor for the company, and Slack has become one of its more prominent clients. The remaining roster of existing customers is an impressive one, including Mozilla, Hootsuite, Reddit, SoundCloud, FourSquare and The New York Times.

Buddybuild added in its blog post that Vancouver has become something of a hotbed for software development, and adding Apple’s extra cache should make local recruitment even easier if the company does decide to grow.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

Uber Deemed Transport Service by EU Top Court Adviser

Uber Deemed Transport Service by EU Top Court Adviser

Uber provides a transport service and must be licensed, the European Union’s top court said on Thursday, in a potential blow to the US firm which says it is merely a digital enabler.

“The Uber electronic platform, whilst innovative, falls within the field of transport: Uber can thus be required to obtain the necessary licences and authorisations under national law,” the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) said.

While the opinion of the Advocate General is non-binding, the court’s judges follow it in most cases and a ruling would mean EU member states can regulate Uber and other such companies as a transport rather than “information society” service.

The case was brought by an association of Barcelona taxi drivers who argued that Uber engaged in unfair competition with its UberPOP service – which used unlicensed drivers.

Uber, which no longer operates UberPOP in Spain, said it would await a final ruling later this year, but added that even if it is considered a transportation company, this “would not change the way we are regulated in most EU countries as that is already the situation today”.

However, such a ruling would “undermine the much needed reform of outdated laws which prevent millions of Europeans from accessing a reliable ride at the tap of a button,” an Uber spokeswoman said in a statement.
Uber, which allows passengers to summon a ride through an app on their smartphones, expanded into Europe five years ago.

But it has been challenged in the courts by established taxi companies and some EU countries because it is not bound by strict local licensing and safety rules which apply to some of its competitors.

The Advocate General said Uber drivers “do not pursue an autonomous activity that is independent of the platform. On the contrary, that activity exists solely because of the platform, without which it would have no sense.”

Uber could not be regarded as a mere intermediary between drivers and passengers because it controlled economically important aspects of the urban transport service, Maciej Szpunar said in the opinion.

“The service amounts to the organisation and management of a comprehensive system for on-demand urban transport,” the ECJ statement said.

 

[“source-ndtv”]

SimpliSafe Home Security Service May Also Provide Small Business Solution

As the name implies, it is very easy to install the SimpliSafe security system and using it for your small business will save you lots of money.

Securing the place we live and work in used to be a task best left for professional, but like almost every other industry, digital technology is also democratizing security. SimpliSafe Home Security lets you install a wireless security system with all the bells and whistles, without needing an expert and paying an arm and a leg for it.

The SimpliSafe System

As the name implies, it is very easy to install the SimpliSafe system. It comes pre-programmed to work out of the box, and you won’t need to drill any holes or use wires, which saves hundreds on installation alone.

The Packages and Custom Build

You have the option of getting different business packages or you can custom build one for the perfect system. A business 5 piece package is as little as $229.96. You can get some that have as many as 13 components and you can even add more pieces to them for a total of up to 41.

If you decide to build your own, it starts with a core unit that includes the base station, wireless keypad and master keychain. From here, you can add all of the sensors, panic button, keypad, keychains, as well as the siren the company offers. This includes entry, motion, glass break, water, and freezer sensors.

SimpliSafe Security Monitoring Plans

One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional security systems is the monthly fees of the contracts that lock you in with multi-year commitments. With SimpliSafe, you get 24/7 professional alarm monitoring for less than 50 cents per day without annual contracts, and you can cancel anytime.

Access

Once the system is installed, you will have access to your business with your smartphone no matter where you are. The base houses a SIM card for cellular connectivity, and it has a backup battery that works in the event of a power outage.

As the name implies, it is very easy to install the SimpliSafe security system and using it for your small business will save you lots of money.

Conclusion

The system is easy to set up, wireless, without a long term contract allowing you to cancel anytime. It has a 100 percent guarantee with paid shipping for return after 60 days. The company says that this gives customers complete control. What do you think?

Images: SimpliSafe

[“source-ndtv”]

AT&T Expands SMB Remote Tech Support Service From PCs to Servers

Dallas (PRESS RELEASE – May 13, 2011) – Building on the success of the popular AT&T Tech Support 360 service, which provides remote IT support for small and mid-size business PCs, AT&T announced recently the availability of remote IT support for SMB computer servers as well.

With the new service – AT&T Tech Support 360 Server Support – small and mid-size businesses receive wide-ranging care for Windows servers from U.S.-based AT&T certified network engineers.

Features and options available with the service may include:

  • 24/7 server performance monitoring
  • Security patch management
  • Management of critical business applications, and network and Internet connectivity
  • Monitoring of firewalls, switches and routers
  • Consultative recommendations on best practices
  • Unlimited phone and live remote support
  • Regular reporting and updates

“With the growth of mobile applications, mobile devices, and remote workers, more small and medium business are investing in servers to run their business,” said Michael McDonald, analyst, AMI-Partners, an industry research firm. “As a result, the demand for remote IT server support is growing as well and we expect that it will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.”

In fact, AMI reports that North American small and mid-size businesses already have more than 3 million servers deployed, and projects that the market for remote IT server support will grow from $1.4 billion in 2010 to $5 billion by 2013, a compound annual growth rate of more than 50 percent.

AT&T’s Server Support monitors and reports on more than 2,000 hardware and software indicators to help ensure the health of SMB servers and systems. In the event of an application failure or other critical issue, customers are immediately notified and AT&T certified network engineers work remotely to quickly resolve the situation. They can even go onsite to business locations if necessary.

All online sessions are logged and recorded for security purposes. Because small and mid-size businesses need flexibility as well as security, Server Support makes it easy for customers to change passwords, disable old users, and set up new users.

“As businesses grow and get more complex, so do their IT issues,” said Ebrahim Keshavarz, AT&T Vice President of Small Business Product Management. “With Server Support, we have a solution that offers thorough monitoring, proactive maintenance, problem resolution – at a predictable monthly cost. By remotely monitoring and managing SMB servers, our aim is to prevent problems before they happen. But if they do occur, we react quickly to minimize any impact to their operations.”

For those small and mid-size businesses that have IT staff, AT&T’s new service can help offload day-to-day server support, enabling the customer’s technicians to focus on other business priorities, such as building websites, setting up networks, or ensuring that billing, accounting or other key software and applications are running properly.

Server Support subscription plans start as low as $99 per month per server. Premium plans that come with unlimited remote access support for hardware and operating systems start as low as $309 per month per server. Support for key SMB applications are available for an additional charge.

Interested small and mid-size businesses can get more information about Tech Support 360 Server Support by visiting tech360.att.com or by calling 877-888-7360. SMB’s can also contact their designated AT&T account manager with any questions or to get more information.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]