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InfoQ Homepage News Apple TestFlight Now Allows up to 1,000 External Beta Testers

Apple TestFlight Now Allows up to 1,000 External Beta Testers


Apple announced that its TestFlight beta testing service allows now to invite up to 1,000 external beta testers via iTunesConnect.

Apple originally announced the integration of TestFlight with the iOS development tools suite at WWDC 2014, following the acquisition of Burstly, original owner of TestFlight.

The biggest advantages brought by Apple integrating TestFlight into iTunesConnect are the following:

  • Easier beta testers enrolment through sending an email, as opposed to adding the user's device to the app's profile.

  • Larger beta tester base of up to 1,000 external testers.

  • Symbolicated crash reports inside of iTunes Connect.

Here is a list of the most relevant facts about the new service:

  • TestFlight supports up to 25 internal testers and 1,000 external testers.

  • TestFlight supports beta testing for up to 10 different apps in one account at one time.

  • Developers are required to create an iTunesConnect record for an app including metadata such as what to test, app description, and feedback email address; metadata is only required when opening the beta to external testers.

  • When uploading an app, developers must use an App Store distribution profile containing the beta entitlement to distribute builds via TestFlight.

  • External testers do not need to be in the same organisation as the developer; any user with an email address can be invited.

  • Internal testers must be part of the developer account with an Admin, Legal, or Technical role.

  • An app must pass Beta App Review before external testers can be invited to test it.

  • A build will be available to external testers only for 30 days after the invitations are sent.

  • To continue testing after the 30-day period expires, a new build must be submitted.

  • Internal testers will have immediate access to a new build.

  • External testers will only have access to a new build after it has been reviewed and approved again, unless when submitting the build the developer states that it has no "significant changes".

  • At most one prerelease version of an app can be enabled at a time for TestFlight beta testing.

  • To give access to an older beta testing version of an app, it is required to disable the current version first and then manually enable the old one.

  • The older TestFlight service will be still available for testing to existing users but it does not support the creation of new users anymore.

A detailed description of the whole process of using TestFlight is available on Apple Site.

As reported by InfoQ, the initial TestFlight announcement at WWDC 2014 raised some concerns in a few developers regarding the availability of older builds and the requirement for each build to be reviewed that seem to be only partially resolved.

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