Twitter buys Fastlane, a popular tool for building iPhone apps, and adds Android support
Twitter's Fabric is a set of services designed to make life easier for application developers. For instance, Fabric's Digits product is an easy way for a developer to turn a phone number into an app username, turning your cell phone into kind of a universal identity.
Fastlane fits in well, helping developers ship more apps, faster. And getting a popular tool like Fastlane is important, as Twitter works hard to rebuild trust with the developers it shut down hard over the last few years.On stage at Twitter Flight, the company's annual developer conference, Fastlane was presented as a new integration with Fabric, Twitter's platform for app developers. Other popular developer tools like payments platform Stripe and the Amazon Web Services cloud were also announced as integrations.
But a Twitter spokesperson confirms that Fastlane was an acquisition. Technically, it was an acqui-hire, since it seems that Fastlane creator Felix Krause was also the company's only employee.
"In just a short time, Fastlane became the most popular iOS automisation toolset, used by thousands of developers around the world," Krause says in a blog entry talking about the deal.
For the last two months, Krause has been working from Twitter's San Francisco headquarters, he writes, focused on building out Fastlane.
Today, Fastlane also announced two new additions to the product: First, a new tool called "Scan," which automates testing, and second, beta support for Android apps.
Also important, as far as not annoying developers: Fastlane has always been available as a free download, available as "open source" for programmers all over the world to look at and improve on. Krause says his employment at Twitter won't change that at all.