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Team Think Labs | Beta Testing iOS Apps the Easy Way: TestFlight, Unity, & AutoPilot
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Beta Testing iOS Apps the Easy Way: TestFlight, Unity, & AutoPilot

Learning how to see an app you’ve created run on an actual iOS device… sucks. Discovering the intricacies of provisioning, certificates, app IDs, & code signing can be a confusing process. Thankfully, Apple now has a series of How-To’s to help you along.

Once you finally get everything setup for your own device, there are plenty of additional steps to get everything setup for your testers’ devices. In-short, this process entails:

If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is! Thankfully: TestFlight to the rescue!

 


TestFlight doesn’t get you completely out of all of this, but it definitely reduces the pain, and all for the price of FREE.

First off, you have to Invite Testers by clicking the big green button on your TestFlight dash. You can either type in their e-mail address on this screen, or just copy your recruitment link and let them sign up themselves up however they’d like. Signing up for an account is free and takes about 2 minutes. The process looks like this:

TestFlight invitation e-mailTestFlight tester sign-upTestFlight Team acceptanceTestFlight device registrationTestFlight device provisioningTestFlight device registration complete

This easy-to-follow one-time setup process that each of your users must go through accomplishes the following:

  1. You were given their Device ID (with no confusing work on their part)
  2. They installed the provisioning profile needed by TestFlight
  3. A TestFlight “app” was installed on the device (it’s actually a web app)
  4. Their device is now linked to your team for incredibly easy over-the-air distribution
To get an xcode project onto TestFlight, you do still have to go through the process of creating a distributable .ipa. Then, you simply choose “Add a Build” in TestFlight, drag and drop your ipa, add your release notes, and let the build upload.
Once it has finished, you can choose which users or which predefined Lists of users should be notified of the new build, and you’re done.
Or with a little more work, you can automate this process even further through Xcode, or make it all a one-click process through AutoPilot if you’re developing in Unity. For me, this truly is an incredible work flow!

 

The setup screen for AutoPilot couldn’t be easier, and it even integrates the TestFlight SDK (which provides additional tracking information) into your app with just a few clicks.

You will now be able to use TestFlight’s awesome sweet of ready-to-go services to track things such as: who installed which versions of your build on what devices, crash reports, feedback collection, track play sessions (slightly buggy), and more.

TestFlight App Management

Thanks to TestFlight, Unity, & AutoPilot, distributing builds to my testers now takes me, quite literally, the click of a button!