Easier iOS beta distribution with Installr

As you know, one of the critical phases of any app development project is user testing – getting your customers to try your app before submitting it to the App Store. The more testers the better – they will help you find bugs and determine any critical improvements you need to make before it is ready for the whole world. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t make it easy to distribute beta apps – but Installr tries to make it easier.

Most of us have used TestFlight (just acquired by Apple) and although it makes the process easier, you still need to register devices with the Apple Developer Portal and update the Provisioning Profile for each tester. What a headache. There are 20 steps before the tester can install the app.

It was too complicated for us and for the testers. On our projects, only 50% of invited testers easily completed the TestFlight signup process fully and downloaded the app. The rest were contacting us at all hours to register their devices and help them complete the install. There had be an easier way.

So we built Installr to make it easier. Installr syncs with the Apple Developer Portal so you don’t need to register devices. Testers can install your app in less than 60 seconds. All in all, Installr cuts the process from 20 to 7 steps.
Installr_F

Lets see how it works:

First you need to build an Ad-Hoc Distribution IPA. As part of this, you need to create a Provisioning Profile in the Apple Developer Portal, but you don’t need to worry as much about what devices are in it as Installr will update it on the fly for you.

Next, create an account on Installr and login to your dashboard. Click the ‘Upload New App’ button.

Dashboard

Select your IPA and upload it.

Upload Uploading

Installr will parse your IPA to determine some basic information and determine if it is a new app or just a new version of an existing app. If it is a new app, just enter the testers’ emails you want to invite and enter your Apple Developer Account details so Installr can keep the devices in sync. (You can also manually approve the devices by entering your apple id and password every time if you wish.)

Invite Screen5

You can distribute each build on 5 devices for free. For more devices, paid plans start at $24.95.

Just click ‘Invite and Finish’ and that’s it! Your testers will get an email and they just need to follow the prompts to install the correct .mobileprofile and provisioning profile and they’ll have the App in < 60 seconds. Here's how it looks:

Installr also has a responsive website so you can invite and approve testers directly from your phone.

installr_mobile

Installr also has an API for integration into your CI environment. And Android support is coming in the next couple weeks. Why not give it a a try? Please give us feedback as well as we have have lots of ideas on how we can make Installr even better!

Jeff Bonnes is the Founder of Geeks Inc. with 20 years experience in the IT industry. He has been developing data driven website since 1995 using technologies like C, Java, Grails, and NodeJS. He has worked in a wide range of industries including Local Government, Finance, Document management, and Online Communities. He discovered Appcelerator Titanium at version 0.8, and has not looked back. His passion is working with smart people to ship innovative solutions.