Improvements to the app testing workflow in iOS 8
At some point, most of you will have had to find the UDID of your iPad or iPhone in order to install a preview of your app on your device. You will also be familiar with the (in)famous limit of 100 UDIDs that can be added to the Developer Portal - and the rigidity of the current system where you can only clean up in UDIDs once every year!
It seems like all this is going to get a LOT easier in the future! Apple are getting rid of the ties to the UDID of the device. Instead, they tie a beta build to users (who can each have multiple devices). They are furthermore splitting the workflow so that in the development phase, 25 internal developers can get access to internal builds. Once we are satisfied with an internal build, we can send it to BETA test to no less than 1000 users (each with multiple devices!).
We are not able to try out this great new functionality yet, so there is still some unknown parts of this workflow. For example, there is a ‘review’step when sending an app to beta test. Apple has not stated whether this review is automatic or something that requires human intervention, so we are, of course, very curious to trying it out.
They also do not specify whether the new limit of 1.000 users is per app or per account or per app version - so there are still quite a few unknowns here.
Earlier this year Apple purchased the company behind the TestFlight service. They are now integrating this service into their workflows so that this can be used as the delivery mechanism of new test builds. This means that it becomes much, much easier to install new builds. You can receive links to installing by email, and after the first install you get push messages informing you of new test builds. Beta apps also appear to be showing their beta-status with a small orange dot on the home screen, so you never confuse a beta version with an actual production version of the app.
Easing the limitations and adding workflows around beta testing is a huge step forward in the way that we work with you - and a step that is greatly anticipated. :-)
A new data source for doing Business Intelligence
Apple has briefly sketched that in the future you will be able to get much more detailed information about your iOS users inside iTunes Connect. It appears that you can track overall downloads, active users, app retention (how often do users come back to your app and for how long).
Hopefully, it will be possible to get automated exports of this data so that it may become another great source of information into a larger BI center.
We are excited to see how you can use these new numbers to learn more about your users, and your app performance.