Google has acquired Pixate for an undisclosed sum. The move gives developers another way to design and test their apps. Google's first course of action was to make the base Pixate Studio app free to download and use.
Pixate was birthed in Palo Alto back in 2012. The company was supported by Y Combinator and Accel Partners to the tune of $3.8 million in Series A funding. The founders' goal was to make designing and prototyping native Android and iOS mobile apps easier and more accessible to developers. The company thanked its early supporters for helping it evolve and create the toolset available today. Pixate claims to have customers ranging in size from single-person developers to global corporations.
"Our small team at Pixate has some really big ideas, and with the help of Google we’ll be able to bring those ideas to the design community at scale," said Pixate CEO Paul Colton in a blog post. "We’ve become an essential part of the workflow for tens of thousands of designers, and are excited about expanding our mission at Google to reach millions of product teams worldwide."
Google's was quick to make Pixate Studio free. Now anyone can access the basic tools at no cost. A paid version is also available, which will let teams work together for $5 per month or $50 per developer per year.
What does Pixate offer?
The free Studio app lets developers create complete app prototypes or craft interactions that look and feel real. Designers can then easily share their creations with others for feedback and more. Prototype creation has moved completely inside the Studio. Cloud accounts power team collaboration. Pixate says new features are on the way, such as canvas zoom, easy duplication of animations, and audio/video support. Pixate works with Android and iOS devices.
Google also released Form 1.3, a design tool aimed just at iOS. Form 1.3 is meant for advanced designers that are looking to "break ground on new types of interactions, gestures, and animations."
It includes Material Design patches that allow for prototyping with the latest design components, such as touch ripples. Form 1.3 lets developers run designs natively on the iPhone at 60 frames per second, and a new Form Viewer can now open and share documents directly from the app. Last, Form 1.3 lets developers build custom components, pull live data, and prorotype with an Objective-C SDK.
More information is available here.