TestFlight (recently acquired by Apple) is a great way for app developers to send out pre-release versions of iOS apps to team members, partners, testers and your parents. This is useful because you don’t want to actually have to make your app live on the Appstore before its ready for release just so people can test it. For some reason, Apple has decided to make it as complicated as possible to let others test your app.
The problem is that installing an app using TestFlight is somewhat complicated from a user’s perspective. This is not because TestFlight is poorly designed- in fact, without TestFlight it would be much more difficult than it already is.
The complexity is evident from the steps you must go through to provide someone access:
- You must get the Unique device ID from the iOS device (see if you can find it under “Settings” in less than 5 minutes)
- You provide the device ID to the app creator
- You must install a “Provisioning Profile” that is unique to your app on the device (this basically gives your device permission to download an app from the developer)
- Once the profile is installed, the developer must “rebuild” the app and embed your unique device ID hard-coded into the application
- Once the build is created you can be sent a link to download and install the application
So- its not as simple as we might hope. Luckily, TestFlight has made this process easier. That said, even using TestFlight the typical user only successfully completes all steps maybe 50% of the time- typically they’ll make it through half the process thinking they’re done, when in fact they didn’t get to the last step where they’ve installed the provisioning profile.
Any developers that have used TestFlight will be familiar with this problem. I certainly am. So, to save myself future headaches and make it easier for our partners to work with us, I’ve created a handy 6 Step Guide that I share to make this process easier. I offer it to you in the hopes that it will make your life a tad bit easier.
Below are screenshots of the short guide I’ve created. You can also download a .pdf version that you can share here: TestFlight Instructions.
Bonus tool for developers: One-Click to Wrap App Screenshots in a Phone Mockup