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Apple Buys TestFlight, Android Support Discontinued

by Ralph Winzinger on Feb 21, 2014 |

Apple confirmed that it acquired Burstly, the owner TestFlight. TestFlight is a beta-testing platform for mobile applications which offers easy-to-use services to help in the process of distributing and testing apps for iOS and Android. Whereas TestFlight will continue to support iOS applications, testing of Android apps will be discontinued by 21st of March.

After registration, TestFlight lets developers distribute their applications over-the-air to an arbitrary number of testers. After uploading an application build to TestFlight's servers, developers can invite testers to use their app. Testers receive an invitation e-mail and are guided through a step-by-step process to configure their device so a beta-version of the application can be downloaded and started. For the iOS ecosystem, this also includes the installation of a provisioning profile on the iPhone or iPad and automatically sending back the device ID to the developer to include it in Apple's distribution profiles.

While an application is tested, developers can upload new builds of the app and notify all testers that a new version of the application is available for download. Developers have access to a dashboard containing various information like the number of installs, the number of crashes or tester feedback. There's also the possibility to automate the process of distributing applications by using an HTTP API.

TestFlight also discontinued the use of its SDK to gain further insight into application usage for iOS and Android apps. After including a library in the application, developers had access to log-files and in-depth crash reports. It was also possible to inspect application usage to find out which parts of the application need more testing. Currently, only existing development teams that already uploaded SDK-enabled applications are able to continue to use those features.
Besides TestFlight for testing applications, Burstly offered FlightPath for real-time app analysis which was also shut down recently.

While Apple has not commented on its plans for Burstly and TestFlight yet, some developers seem to be afraid of possibly oncoming changes which might remove the powerful and easy-to-use tooling to test iOS applications. On the other hand, Apple recently already worked to improve its testing support as it is now possible generate 100 instead of 50 application promo codes for testers and reviewers.

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Solution for Android developers? by Ran Rachlin

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Moreover you can easily combine external and internal testers and have the same full control all over the team within one dashboard.

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