iOS devs can now create public beta links through TestFlight

By

Apple's TestFlight is used to beta test apps before they're ready for prime time.
Expect easier access to iOS app betas.
Photo: Cult of Mac

It’s now easier than ever for iOS developers to distribute beta versions of their apps.

Apple is allowing them to share public URLs, which allow for quick enrollment when opened on an iPhone or iPad, through TestFlight. Developers no longer need an email address for every tester.

TestFlight, which Apple acquired in 2014, gives developers the opportunity to distribute beta versions of their app to iOS users before they go public in the App Store. Until now, however, developers could only send beta invites via email.

This made the process somewhat complicated and time-consuming, since developers had to acquire email addresses for every beta tester. Fortunately for all of us, that’s no longer the case.

TestFlight now offers public URLs for iOS app betas

Developers can now generate public URLs inside TestFlight that they can share wherever they like. Testers simply have to click on the link using an iOS device to gain access.

This means that instead of obtaining thousands of email addresses, developers can simply post a link on their blog or on social media and reach as many testers as they need to in no time at all.

This approach obviously means that developers don’t have complete control over who has access to the beta (unless they continue to send links to individuals via email, which defeats the purpose). However, they can specify a limit for how many people have access, or kill the link at any time to prevent further sign-ups.

Testers will be anonymous when enrolling with a public URL

What’s more, those who sign up using a public URL are anonymous. Developers won’t see their name or email address — unless the tester chooses to share feedback on the beta by email.

Apple still allows up to 10,000 testers for each beta, and builds are good for 90 days before they expire. Developers can distribute news builds through TestFlight, and testers who already have access can download them like regular app updates.