When you’re crowdsourcing QA, standardization can help. That was the decision made by QA crowdsourcing firm uTest when it decided to buy mobile test tool developer Apphance. The acquisition was finalized today and will bring the Apphance testing library to uTest’s platform and users.

While Apphance has been a commercial tool for over a year now, uTest is making one dramatic change to the software right out of the gate: It’s giving it away for free until the end of the year. When 2013 begins, the pricing structure will be reformed around various degrees of capability, but uTest’s CMO Matt Johnston said that no matter what, there is one group that will never have to pay for the tool.

“There will never be a time when testers are charged for this,” said Johnston. “It’s a great deal for testers, too. It improves the quality of the deliverable. The testers we’ve shared this with are really excited about it.”

But the actual functionality of the tool isn’t the only thing that’s made testers and enterprises happy: It’s the cross-platform compatibility. “It’s actually a library of code, one for Android, one for iOS, one for Amazon Kindle, one for Windows Phone, and one for Barnes and Noble Nook,” said Johnston. “It’s code that goes into the application itself. Testers don’t have to worry because it doesn’t change anything for them.”

Users of Apphance first embed the library in their application. Once this is done, new builds can be pushed to the device, bug reports can be filed, and important information like crash logs and stack traces are saved automatically when something goes wrong.

Johnston said that mobile tests frequently involved long text descriptions of bugs and fail cases. Now, testers using Apphance can simply take a screenshot of a fail state, annotate the image with details, and automatically upload it in a standard layout to the uTest servers.