Given the recent issues with our iOS beta distribution, I'm following Kasra's lead and going mainstream using Apple's TestFlight beta testing product.

To enroll in the iOS app beta program, use the beta sign up sheet. Existing testers will need to reenroll.

After you register (but not immediately) you will receive instructions from Apple for installing the app on your phone. The invitations will be sent out in waves, so if you don’t get an invite immediately, be patient.

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How is this different from the existing beta program?

For testers:

  • All updates are done through the Test Flight app, meaning there's no secret link to lose.
  • You can get optional email or push notifications from Test Flight alerting you to the updated build and what's changed.
  • The app isn't installed separately from the production app. It appears and behaves exactly like the App Store build app except that it has new features and an orange dot before its name:

    Screenshot showing the old and the new beta app icons

For us:

  • The beta precisely emulates the behavior of the App Store build.
  • It significantly lowers the gap between releasing to the beta channel and releasing to the App Store, making it much easier to ship new releases.
  • It makes shipping a beta harder. (You win some, you lose some.)
  • Are existing testers guaranteed a slot?
    – jscs
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 0:05
  • @JoshCaswell We have more slots than we've ever had testers so I wouldn't worry. Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 0:07
  • The few, the proud, eh? Thanks for the reassurance.
    – jscs
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 0:09
  • An iOS 8 device? Or higher? I've already updated to iOS 9.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 7:10
  • @cat iOS 8 is enough. Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 10:02
  • Hey Brian, can I still sign up to beta test? Or are you guys no longer accepting new testers.
    – JAL
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 7:10
  • @JAL You can. I've been working on a large project, so I haven't been shipping or adding people as often. Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


I like your continued efforts to make our life easier. Thanks!

The only thing that disappoints me is this:

The app isn't installed separately from the production app.

That means we can't have both the stable and the beta installed at the same time. When the beta fails, we can't use the stable version any more unless we install it again from the app store, which means we lose the beta again. I am not sure how many users have both apps installed, but for me it was a way to be able to use both in case of one breaking.

  • 2
    That is a definite risk with this approach. The good news is that we appear to be able to roll back beta releases in Test Flight, meaning that for most errors I should be able to give people back a working build. Of course, if I break things across a data migration then things will just suck. I can hopefully compensate for that with some reset flags in settings. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 19:07
  • Wonderful. Sounds good. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 19:54

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