In preparation for next week’s launch of the iPhone 6 and the public rollout of iOS 8, Apple has today officially released its TestFlight app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on the App Store. The Cupertino company’s official beta distribution app has been in the works for quite some time after it acquired parent company Burstly back in February and is now officially available to download via the iOS App Store.
The TestFlight platform is a creation that affords developers with the ability to distribute beta builds of iOS apps to a team of testers, prior to App Store submission. Previously, testers had to be invited to sign up for beta access via a dedicated TestFlight link provided by the development lead, which would then force the tester to install certificates and manage a Web app on the device. Developers could then upload a build of the app, provide some release notes and distribute the app over the air.
Apple’s official TestFlight app does little to change that process, but improves on the situation by providing a native iOS app that allows testers to manage and install builds. In addition to providing a native app for the management of pre-release builds, the “new” TestFlight also offers notification functionality to inform testers when a new version of a beta app is available. In a similar fashion to Apple’s actual App Store, testers will simply be able to select the “Update” option to immediately install the latest version of the pre-release app.
Apple’s changes to the TestFlight service have also made things a little more manageable for developers. Development teams are now able to interact directly with the new and improved iTunes Connect to invite testers to a project, create new versions of a pre-release app, pick and choose which builds to actually distribute via the TestFlight platform as well as easily add new testers by providing an email address.
In addition to officially releasing TestFlight for iOS, Apple is also said to have begun rolling out builds of iOS 8.0.1 to carrier partners to allow network compatibility testing. The Golden Master version of iOS 8 is already available to developers, but it looks as though 8.0.1 is already well into development.
(Download: TestFlight for iOS on the App Store)
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