Friday, January 01, 2016

Distributing a beta version of an iOS app

I am not an iOS expert by any means, but recently I’ve had to maintain an iOS app and distribute it to beta testers. I had to jump through a few hoops, so I am documenting here the steps I had to take.

First of all, I am using Xcode 6.4 with the Fabric 2.1.1 plugin. I assume you are already signed up for the Fabric/Crashlytics service and that you also have an Apple developer account.

  1. Ask each beta tester to send you the UUID of the devices they want to run your app on.
  2. Go to -> “Certificates, Identifiers and Profiles” -> “Devices” and add each device with its associated UUID. Let’s say you add a device called “Tom’s iPhone 6s” with its UUID.
  3. Go to Xcode -> Preferences -> Accounts. If you already have an account set up, remove it by selecting it and clicking the minus icon on the lower left side. Add an account: click the plus icon, choose “Add Apple ID” and enter your Apple ID and password. This will import your Apple developer provisioning profile into Xcode, with the newly added device UUIDs (note: there may be a better way of adding/modifying the provisioning profile within Xcode but this worked for me)
  4. Make sure the Fabric plugin is running on your Mac.
  5. Go to Xcode and choose the iOS application you want to distribute. Choose iOS Device as the target for the build.
  6. Go to Xcode -> Product -> Archive. This will build the app, then the Fabric plugin will pop up a message box asking you if you want to distribute the archive build. Click Distribute.
  7. The Fabric plugin will pop up a dialog box asking you for the email of the tester(s) you want to invite. Enter one or more email addresses. Enter release notes. At this point the Fabric plugin will upload your app build to the Fabric site and notify the tester(s) that they are invited to test the app.

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