Developers looking to beta test their apps before getting them into the App Store have a number of options for finding and communicating with beta testers, but few are as slick and easy to use as TestFlight. Now the provisioning tool gets even better, thanks to a number of updates in version two, which made its official debut on Monday.
The new version of TestFlight comes with an SDK that allows developers to make their beta testing process a lot more involved, and it provides improved tools for gathering feedback. Feedback and communication are key to a successful beta test (which is why I’m not a great tester myself), and the new features available to developers through TestFlight’s API are all about improving information flow between devs and testers.
Highlights of what developers can look forward to include:
- In-App Questions. Trigger questions at specific checkpoints to get feedback from users as they’re using the software exactly at points where you think there might be an issue.
- In-App Updates. Make sure your test group is on the same page with in-app update prompts, which also allow you to update to the latest version instantly over the air.
- Feedback. In-app forms and tester email responses all feed into the developer dashboard and allow for instant replies between tester and coder.
There’s more, too, so be sure to head over to the official TestFlight website and check it out if you’re interested. Developers and testers alike can still sign up for free, too, and all of these new features arrive as free updates for existing and new users alike. Inevitably, TestFlight will have to bring some tiered paid options or advertising to the table to keep things going, but judging by developer response and its adoption by big brands so far, it won’t have too much trouble getting people to pay for the product when it does.
As for general consumers, even if you never actually use or see TestFlight in action, you’ll probably feel its effects: A better beta process with more communication options built in should lead to better shipping products popping up in the App Store.