The acquisition of the team at a mobile app development startup Apportable by Mountain View-based Google last year went completely unnoticed by all. First reported by VentureBeat, the terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed by either parties, but sources are terming it as an ‘acqui-hire’.
Founded in 2011 by by Collin Jackson and Ian Fischer, Apportable allows developers to port their existing iOS apps to Android devices without inducing extensive changes to their original code. The two have been kind-of partners and worked together for a long time. Apportable, who had received a total of $7.4 million in funding, also saw participation from Google’s investment arm — GV.
According to sources, Google purchased Apportable in March 2015. Post acquisition, it is believed that both co-founders including another 11 members of the company’s engineering team have joined Google. The rest of the 65 employees have, thus, been laid off.
Apportable, however, still remains operational under the leadership of software engineer Jim Terry, whom Google appointed as chief executive. The same been done to ensure the ease of enterprise clients who’re still using Apportable’s technology. The contact page, alongwith the physical office address has been removed from the company’s website.
When operational as a separate entity, Apportable offered three core products — an enterprise-targetted flagship service, open-source game conversion app SpriteBuilder; and Tengu which allowed developers to reuse Swift and Objective-C code without compromising on the native UI of their app. Post the acquisition deal, any and all websites, applications or contacts for each of the aforementioned services are now unavailable for use by any new clients.
Apportable Tech Integration
Though it has been over an year since the acquisition of the team at Apportable, there is still no word on what the team members are working on inside the company’s Mountain View premises. But, it is more than likely that the company is still working on more tools to solve the regressive problem of choosing an intial OS for app development. This could ensure developers don’t have to wait for making a decision, thus accelerating the development process and promising more productivity.
It is also believed that the Apportable team could be working on developing Google’s new and upcoming operating system Fuschia. This could also been seen at the tech giant’s step towards fighting for a spot among others and becoming the first to deliver a seamless app porting experience to developers. With this acquisition, it goes head to head with Microsoft, who recently acquired mobile app development company Xamarin, working in a similar direction. Microsoft had also tried to release a Centennial tool to convert any application into a Windows app, but it failed to even see the light of day.