Google bought a little startup that helps programmers make slicker apps

Google IO + Urs CloudGoogleGoogle Cloud boss Urs Hölzle.

Google has snapped up Divshot, a tiny Los Angeles-based startup for app developers, as it moves to make sure that its cloud computing platform is the premiere place to be for programmers.

The acquisition is confirmed by an official Divshot blog entry.

Basically, Divshot’s technology lets app developers use drag-and-drop tools to create slick user interfaces.

In kind of the same way that you can drag words, texts, and charts in a Microsoft Office document, Divshot let developers move stuff around with just a mouse to make stuff that looks cool.

Back in 2013, after raising a $US1.1 million seed round, Divshot had 40,000 users, according to TechCrunch. That seed round included participation from 500 Startups, one of Silicon Valley’s premiere startup farms.

Under Google, Divshot’s team will join Firebase, the search giant’s developer-focused app development platform. Developers turn to Firebase as the “glue” that holds mobile apps together on the backend, letting their apps do stuff like have saved data that syncs across devices.

“Both teams share a passion for creating fantastic developer experiences, and now we’re moving forward together toward that common goal,” wrote Divshot founder and CEO Michael Bleigh in that blog entry.

The Divshot service itself will shut down on December 14th, with the company providing tools to migrate their data to Divshot.

Firebase is a crucial part of Google’s cloud play: Google is locked in a three-way arms race with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to attract developers. Services like Firebase, that make life easier for the mobile app makers who are the core demographic for those platforms, are an important piece of that puzzle.

It’s an aggressive investment area for Google, which only acquired Firebase itself just under a year ago.

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