Google acquires mobile app development toolkit provider LaunchKit

LaunchKit's ScreenShot Builder helps enable developers to optimize images for both the Apple App Store and Google Play. Image credit: LaunchKit
Editor's Corner
Dan Kobialka



LaunchKit, a mobile app development toolkit provider, is officially going Google. Google announced it has acquired LaunchKit, and the LaunchKit team will join Google's Developer Products Group as part of the transaction.

"LaunchKit now helps almost 50,000 developers build, launch and monitor their apps … and we'll be taking everything we've learned building LaunchKit and continue our mission at an even larger scale," LaunchKit co-founders Brenden Mulligan and Taylor Hughes wrote in a blog post.

The news is likely bittersweet for mobile developers for a number of reasons:

First, LaunchKit said it will continue to operate independently for existing users for the next 12 months before it will be discontinued. On the other hand, LaunchKit has open-sourced its tools, which means developers worldwide now can set up their own instance with the company's mobile app development tools.

LaunchKit offers many tools to help developers deploy and promote their apps, including:

  • App Website Builder – Empowers developers to launch a smart website for their apps
  • Sales Reporter – Provides developers with daily app sales reports in Slack and email
  • Screenshot Builder – Enables developers to create high-quality images to showcase their apps on the Apple App Store or Google Play
  • Review Monitor – Offers app user reviews in Slack and via email to help developers find ways to improve their apps

LaunchKit has already made a world of difference for many developers. In fact, its Screenshot Builder tool has been used to create more than 1 million screenshots, resulting in over 8,000 websites. However, LaunchKit's decision to open-source its products indicates the company is unlikely to bring its core tools to Google any time soon.

It remains to be seen how the LaunchKit team will support Google's Developer Products Group, but Google's addition of LaunchKit is notable. For now, Mulligan and Hughes pointed out the LaunchKit team will "focus [its] efforts on building great developer tools at Google."

With LaunchKit at its disposal, Google may be able to deploy new tools that make it easier than ever for developers to launch successful Android apps. And as the launch of Android 7.0 Nougat rapidly approaches, it may be only a matter of time before Android developers can reap the full benefits of Google's LaunchKit acquisition. - Dan@FierceDeveloper