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Raizlabs launches AppBlade, to simplify testing and deployment of mobile apps

Posted by Scott Kirsner  August 10, 2011 11:29 AM

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appblade.jpgGreg Raiz of Raizlabs, one of Boston's leading developers of mobile applications, tells me that his firm just signed up the paying first customer for a new service called AppBlade. AppBlade's goal is to make it easier for big companies or consultancies like Raizlabs to manage the testing and deployment of new apps for mobile phones and tablet computers.

"We've been using it with our clients for a while," Raiz says, "and we're starting to roll it out to other developers now." AppBlade can monitor who within a company has installed an app and who hasn't; trigger auto-upgrades of apps to make sure everyone has the latest version; provide reports on app usage and clues as to why an app may be crashing; and can nuke an app remotely if, for instance, a salesperson quits and you no longer want her to have access to your customer info. AppBlade is useful primarily for apps that haven't yet been released through Apple's online store, and also those internal corporate apps that aren't intended to be released to the public.

Raiz says the firm started to develop AppBlade late last year, and has been using it with clients like Rue La La, Sermo, and uTest. He describes AppBlade as "a start-up within our own company," funded by Raizlabs' revenues.

AppBlade's biggest competitor out of the gate will be TestFlight, which offers a free version of an app distribution-and-testing service. "We're trying to be a premium offering, and provide a lot of value," he says. AppBlade will be cost $49 a month for app developers (which will cover up to 10 apps), and $49 per year, per user for corporate customers.

Raizlabs helped develop the original RunKeeper fitness app, and has also worked with clients like Benjamin Moore, Intuit, Bank of America, and Hallmark.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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