TestFlight is now appearing in the App Store, ahead of an expected launch later this month. The service will allow developers to easily share betas of upcoming apps with public testers. It was discovered Apple had bought TestFlight earlier this year and the company subsequently announced the integration of the service into its developer portal at WWDC.
Before Apple’s acquisition, TestFlight was not in the App Store itself as it violated app review guidelines. Being part of the App Store makes it much more accessible to the general public and should incentivize more beta testers to participate in general.
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TestFlight is available for download, but offers little functionality until Apple unlocks everything on the developer portal side so that app builds can be submitted. Therefore, users are merely faced with a blank ‘No invites’ screen, shown below.
When the service is fully operational, developers will send an invitation to your email address. Builds will then show in the app’s main list. Notifications will inform participants when developers have pushed new versions. The advantage to developers of this new TestFlight system is that they can invite users with only an email address. Developers do not have to worry about managing a set of registered UDID’s anymore. Apple published the rules for TestFlight a couple of days ago. Builds may have to be reviewed by Apple before they can be made available to testers, in some circumstances.