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:
- Acquiring the Device ID for each of your testers (this app helps)
- Adding unique Device IDs to the Apple provisioning portal (step-by-step guide)
- Create the App ID (or use a wildcard App ID)
- Ensuring you have a non-expired Distribution Certificate installed in your Keychain (step-by-step video)
- Create an Ad Hoc Provisioning Profile (step-by-step video)
- Create & send your testers a Distribution Provisioning Profile
- Teach your testers how to add the provisioning profile
- Create a special Distribution Build
- Send the .ipa to your testers via ftp, Dropbox, etc.
- Teach your testers how to install the ipa on their device via iTunes
- Alternatively, consider setting up OTA (Over the AIR) distribution through your own web server (step-by-step video)
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:
This easy-to-follow one-time setup process that each of your users must go through accomplishes the following:
- You were given their Device ID (with no confusing work on their part)
- They installed the provisioning profile needed by TestFlight
- A TestFlight “app” was installed on the device (it’s actually a web app)
- Their device is now linked to your team for incredibly easy over-the-air distribution
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.
Thanks to TestFlight, Unity, & AutoPilot, distributing builds to my testers now takes me, quite literally, the click of a button!