An iOS public beta may still be the stuff of legend, but Apple today ensured that developers could get easy widespread feedback for their prerelease iOS apps by extending the amount of people who can test them through TestFlight. Initially showcased at WWDC back in June, TestFlight now allows third-party developers to invite up to 1,000 members of the public to best test their apps ahead of launch.
That's a big step up from Apple's original description of the service, which limited developers to 100 beta invitations. Indeed, TestFlight is now all about inclusiveness. At the very least, it removes the barrier of required technical expertise from the process and ensures that a wider pool of beta testers have a chance to identify bugs and related problems.
Even the process of gaining access to beta tests is easier. Obtaining a TestFlight invitation from a developer simply directs users to the official app through iTunes Connect, where they then download and run TestFlight without having to worry about finding their device's UDID or installing provisioning files. They're not even required to check their e-mail for news about recent builds, as notifications in iOS 8 inform them when new builds are ready.
Those updates may not go out as frequently as some developers wish. One big catch associated with TestFlight is that apps must pass a Beta App Review from Apple, much like the reviews apps must already pass before they're allowed to appear on iTunes. That puts the service at a disadvantage compared to existing testing platforms like Hockey, which suffer from no such setbacks.
But for developers, it's likely worth the wait. If you're interested, head over to the special page Apple's made regarding getting started with the service.