TestFlight iOS Beta Testing Service

TestFlight iOS Beta Testing Service
Whether you are an author/artist, an iOS app developer or both, you know that one of the most challenging tasks in creating and testing iOS apps is synchronizing your app beta with testers, as well as your team. The people at TestFlight have a free over-the-air testing service, still in beta, for iOS mobile app developers. You can create an account at TestFlight in two ways, as a developer or as a tester.

As a mobile developer, you can use the TestFlight Developer Dashboard to manage your app builds and test groups. You will be able to group testers into subsets, controlling which beta apps each group has access to. For example, you might want to create a group for each of your clients, for your freelance business or a more comprehensive group for your Apple developer account. You will then track the tester's activity and feedback via the TestFlight SDK. The SDK is integrated with your beta app via the Xcode 4 interface and the AppDelegate class. You still need to register your tester's devices in the Apple Developer Provisioning Portal and associate that profile with your lastest build of your app. This is the build that you will upload to your TestFlight account.

Your testers will find using TestFlight's web-based Tester Dashboard and one-click app installation via a email link sent to their device much easier than the default Apple process. Once the tester has supplied their mobile device's UDID, they are ready to download and use your beta app.

Feedback can be basic or detailed depending on your needs. Basic information such as number of testers using your app, on what device(s), length of time the app was used, NSLog sessions and crash reports with snapshots are automatically sent to your TestFlight account when the app is placed in the background or terminated.

With the TestFlight Checkpoint API, you can add checkpoints to your code to collect more detailed information such as which features of your app are used most often or what game level your testers are achieving. Checkpoints can also be used to elicit specific feedback by associating questions with the checkpoints via the TestFlight Dashboard.

This is a nice service but I see one drawback. Potential testers must register with the website. This may possibly be a deterrent to participate. It would be nice if this step was incorporated within the developer's dashboard.


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