As an app developer you need to ensure that your app works and that there are as few issues as possible on release. There are many testing tools available that help distribute beta versions and invite users to give feedback and report problems.
With app testing tools you can generally collect crash reports, analytics, feedback and more. In this article I will list some of the free and paid options that will help you to publish better apps.
Some tools are only for iOS and others are cross platform.
TestFlight for iOS Developers
TestFlight was an awesome tool for Android and iOS app developers, however it was acquired by Apple and Android support was removed.
If you are an iOS 8 developer, TestFlight is a free tool for app testing. With TestFlight Beta Testing you can easily invite users to test your apps before release.
TestFlight allows you to invite up to 1000 external users or testers using their email address. Once external testers are invited to TestFlight, they will receive a link to download the official app from the App Store.
To get feedback quickly from team members you can share your beta builds with up to 25 members of your team. Team members must be assigned the Technical or Admin role in iTunes Connect. Each team member can test your beta build on up to 10 devices.
TestFlight make it easy and straightforward to gather feedback from real users. You can use TestFlight to test your apps on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 8 or later, but Mac apps cannot be tested.
TestFairy is 100% free but an Enterprise Package is offered for bigger teams.
TestFairy offers some great features for app developers. One of the stand out features is client side Video recording and not just screen shots. TestFairy provides a video recording of the exact test from the client side, including CPU, Memory, GPS, Network monitoring, logs, crash reports and more.
With Android apps you don't need to integrate any SDK or APIs into your app builds. You upload your APK (Android application file) to the TestFairy platform. Then TestFairy takes your APK file apart, inserts the necessary hooks into the correct places to gather information and reassembles it for distribution to beta testers.
If you are iOS developer then you will have to add one line of code.
You can invite beta testers by email or through a native or web based test app. These apps can be distributed to testers though a public beta web page hosted by TestFairy.
Google Play Native App Beta Testing
If you are an Android developer than you will likely have access to the Google Developer console. You can use a personal Google account to access this. If you are an organization, Google recommends to register a new account.
The Subscriptions and In-App Purchases API lets you manage in-app purchases and subscriptions.
The Publishing API lets you upload and publish apps, and perform other publishing-related tasks.
This includes some testing like features such as:
- Email notifications to alerts
- Optimization Tips
- Enhanced revenue statistics
- Bulk export of reviews
- Deep-linking and website verification to optimize searh results and engagement
Note: If you are planning to sell apps or in-app purchases, check you can have a merchant account in your country and that you have your credit card handy to pay the $25 registration fee.
HockeyApp allows developers to distribute beta versions of iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Mac OS applications. Microsoft now owns HockeyApp.
HockeyApp does not offer a free plan but you can try HockeyApp free for 1 month. Prices start at $10/month, which allows you to create up to 5 applications. HockeyApp offers unlimited storage and an unlimited number of developers or testers for all plans.
- Consolidated distribution across all platforms for handling updates
- Crash Reports and analysis that can be integrated with version control
- Easy feedback for users
- Analytics of users, hardware and OSs
- Team and user managemtn
Ubertesters is a comprehensive testing solution that offers a wide range of tools for distributing new builds and reporting bugs. You can even enable and disable specific builds for testing. Ubertesters offers free and premium plans, the free plan offers 100MB of storage and 2 projects. Currently iOS and Android apps are supported, with Windows available in the future.
- Analyis of bug reports via platform OS and status
- Distribution of beta versions and updates
- Team Management
- Intergration with external bug tracking systems
One unique feature of Ubertesters is that you can hire people to assist and test your app on a variety of real devices and under real-world conditions.
This is just a selection of some of the tools available for developers to allow external testers access to their apps. Which of the above (or other options) have you tried and would recommend?