A/B testing

YC-Backed Taplytics Lets You Run A/B Tests On iOS Without Waiting For App Store Updates

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Y Combinator-backed Taplytics is launching its A/B testing platform for iOS applications today, which allows app makers the ability to test different experiences and quickly push out minor fixes, like visual bugs or typos, without having to wait on the App Store’s slower release cycle.

The company was founded around nine months ago by Cobi Druxerman, Aaron Glazer, and brothers Andrew Norris and Jonathan Norris. The team, who has known each other since high school, came up with the idea for Taplytics based on their own experiences building apps together over the last couple of years. For example, before Dropbox rolled out its own automatic photo uploader, members of the team built a handy app called “Cloud Photos,” which let you easily snap and save your photos to the cloud.

“We’ve been building mobile apps for a while and kept running into different problems – whether that’s the need to A/B test, or the need to get updates for apps out a lot quicker, or managing the process between dev and design,” explains Taplytics co-founder Druxerman. He says they ended up building interfaces for their own apps to help manage these concerns, and later those ideas grew into what has today become Taplytics.

The product itself is designed to be very simple and straightforward to use. Developers download the SDK, then it’s just a line of code to get started. After setup is complete, anyone tasked with tracking engagements and conversions can manage the A/B testing campaigns from a web interface.

To use Taplytics, users pair an app on a development device to a web dashboard where they can then tap on any part of the app to select it for changes. From there, they can create variations, turn them on or off, and run experiments. These could include previews of experiments you want to trial before pushing out updates to the App Store, as well as making immediate changes to live apps without having to first re-code and redeploy them.

Nor do you have to pre-plan for your A/B testing – you can decide what you want to test for after the app is already live.

Main experiment list

“Everything is managed in our web interface,” explains Druxerman. “That really allows you to push for every aspect of your A/B test, whether that’s changing of the elements, the changing of your flows, or the setting up of your goals,” he says. Being able to change which views buttons display when pushed is something no one else is currently doing, the company notes.

There are a number of A/B testing services on the market today. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have all built their own internal systems, and there are a bevy of startups too, including Arise, Pathmap, Vesel, and Leanplum, for example. There’s even a competing company, Apptimize, which recently raised $2.1 million and which also came out of Y Combinator.

Asked what makes Taplytics unique, Druxerman says they have a very specific focus on simplicity and ease-of-use. “The whole concept of the one-line code integration and not needing to code any other part of the experiment is what sets us apart,” he says. “Some other platforms may go a bit deeper in other areas, but we feel that, if it’s not extremely simple to use, people just aren’t going to get the full power of the platform.”

Experiment wizard 5

The platform itself is $20/month for 10,000 monthly active users and goes up to $150/month for unlimited users. A free tier is available for apps with up to 5,000 monthly actives. The Palo Alto-based company currently has 250 customers, including 500px, Frank and Oak and Pivotal Labs.

Today, however, is the “official” launch for the service, which is available now to any interested iOS developers. Later this year, an Android version will also be introduced.