Get an overview of TestFlight and how it can be implemented in the development environment.
- [Instructor] As a developer, you may have heard of TestFlight, and you probably have seen it as an option to choose in iTunes Connect. However, if you're a busy developer like myself, you probably haven't had a chance to fully wrap your head around this utility quite yet. Well, today we're going to demystify this fast and easy to use tool to aid in your beta testing needs. Now in the old days, if you didn't have access to the device, beta testing in Xcode has been a cumbersome procedure that's involved a complicated provisioning and deployment process across both test users and their devices.
Beta testing with users outside of a developer's immediate organization would then prove to be a timely and difficult task to undertake. However, those days are no more. TestFlight is a service from Apple which is available for devices on iOS 8 or later and is found within iTunes Connect. It allows you to send beta builds of an app over the air to a select group of testers. By this, we mean that we can deliver our app to a device without needing to tether it via cable to our development machine, nor does it mean that we'll be faced by a complicated deployment process either.
Your software testers will interact with the service by using the TestFlight app, which is where they would go to install your app and provide feedback. You could submit your build for your iOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps. Unfortunately, this isn't available for Mac OS. The way TestFlight fits into your overall development cycle is quite easy. So first, we've done the hard part, which is to build our app. We've probably done some internal testing by ourselves for a bit, or if we're working with our team, we've done some testing with our team, and at this point we're feeling good about our work thus far.
For a lot of developers, this amount of testing is sufficient enough that they will want to immediately submit this app for review to the App Store. However, we're missing an important area of discovery that can happen by having others outside of our immediate circle test our app. So what we'll do instead is add the TestFlight testing procedure in as a step before we submit for app review. The TestFlight procedure itself can be broken up into the following parts. First, we'll upload a build to TestFlight. Next, we'll want to invite a group of testers to be a part of our beta test group.
We'll then make that build available to them and allow them to start using our app. Along the way, we'll gather feedback which will then be discussed and iterated over with the team. If necessary, another build would be sent over to our testers to address any bugs or showstopping problems that may have arose during testing. Something to note is that you can always add testers in TestFlight even after you started the testing round. This process will then continue until the build is ready to be submitted to the App Store, in which case we will then look to release our app.
Now, there may be variances to this process from development team to development team, or even if you're an individual developer, but this is the overall basic approach to this procedure. So it's no question why TestFlight should be implemented into your overall development cycle. While it's not required to do so before submitting to the App Store, it does provide you with the opportunity to receive some really good insight about your app and in turn, it'll increase your chances of success in the App Store. Something to note as well is that there are other services available that have similarities to TestFlight, however this is a free and easy to use system that is built right into Xcode and the entire Apple development ecosystem.
Now that we're familiar with the service and see its benefit to us, let's move on to our next lesson where we'll talk about what to expect when using TestFlight.
- What is TestFlight?
- Using TestFlight
- Inviting testers
- Completing testing