Beta testing is a pretty big part of developing iOS apps these days. Once upon a time, a developer could throw an app out there and fix bugs as they went along, but with competition at its fiercest these days, that would be suicide for most. Most apps have so much competition, users will just move onto the next big thing, or find a replacement that works better. Bugs kill apps, and dead apps kill developers.
Beta testing is vital, and Testflight makes it super easy for both the tester and the developer alike…
Back in the old days, when this mobile app thing was all new and exciting, the only way to get your new app out for testing was to email the .IPA and accompanying provision file to your team, which they then had to install manually. It worked, granted, but quick iteration wasn’t really the order of the day, and developers had to rely on each tester having the time, and inclination, to re-install apps on a regular basis.
Testflight changes all that by giving everyone involved a beautiful web interface to use. Developers can upload their apps, and testers can download them, over-the-air, straight to their devices. This method makes installation and updated beta apps a cinch. And Testflight has just had an overhaul, making it even better!
Testflight version 2 comes complete with a new SDK, as well as a host of new features. The best part? Testflight continues to be completely free to both testers and, interestingly, developers. Expect premium features to come along at a later date, according to TechCrunch.
The list of new features goes something like this:
Real time reports with environment snapshots, full session activity, and your NSLogs.
Monitor tester engagement and watch as they progress through your app or take unexpected turns.
Get the answers you need right when you need them. Ask multiple choice or open answer questions in real time the moment a checkpoint is reached.
Gather more feedback with in-app forms or via tester email replies, which is all neatly organized in your dashboard and enables immediate responses.
Prompt testers to install the latest version of your app and they can update instantly over-the-air.
Enterprise IPA Support
If you have an Enterprise Developer account through Apple, you get the added benefit of unlimited devices with all the TestFlight features at no charge. TestFlight fully supports Enterprise IPA’s.”
The new monitoring tools are of particular interest to many independent developers, with Shaun Austin, developer of Bleep Test Pro, and friend of iDB, keen to test out Check Points:
“Now you have live, near realtime feedback both actively through the Check Points, questions forms and built in feedback UI but also passively through being able to see the exact logging entries, which a developer usually only gets to view on their own screen when running Xcode. You can see who is doing what and when in your app all without the tester having to do anything at all. I’ve only been using the SDK two days and it has already saved me many hours of bug investigation time.”
Sounds good to us!
We’ve used Testflight many a time here at iDB, and we have to admit, it does indeed rock. With version 2 arriving, it’s only going to rock even more.