• App Developers Try to Elude Apple's 100-Device Testing Limit

    The folks over at the Wall Street Journal are reporting that some big iOS developers are having issues with Apple’s limit on testing devices. According to the App Store rules, developers are restricted to testing on 100 devices via ad-hoc distribution. Your first thought may be that it sounds like a lot (and it likely is for small or individual developers) but it makes large-scale tests of beta iterations or preview applications very difficult to conduct. An example of this would be Instagram, where it should be noted that the company bumped up against the limit so often that they ended up buying a separate developer account just for another 100 devices to be able to test on. Not all companies are in a position to just go ahead and purchase multiple developer accounts.

    As of right now, there are some alternatives that developers can use such as TestFlight, which is an app testing service that allows developers to send out and update apps being tested on the fly and other services like Pieceable, which uses the iOS simulator built into Xcode to developer app beta builds over the Web for testing and feedback purposes. Currently, not all the features work in that mode but enough is there to allow tests to get a good feel for the app so an opinion can be formed. It should also be noted that TestFlight still uses the developer UDIDs, therefore it isn’t an alternative to Apple’s program, just an easier way to go about it.

    Apple’s enterprise developer program works to a different standard, allowing an unlimited number of employees to download and use apps. This of course is meant for enterprise software and not necessarily testing of standard consumer apps. Apple has made the rules crystal clear that only employees of the organization are supposed to be licensed for the enterprise apps. As of right now, it isn’t clear if Apple sees this as a big enough issue to start changing the rules. While there are more scenarios where wide beta testing pools would help developers, we aren’t sure if they are quite enough in the larger picture to help sway Apple’s view on the ordeal. It should be noted that any expansion of the ad-hoc rules would make it easier for some developers to elude the App Store (and Apple’s 30% cut of revenues) entirely.

    It’s actually likely (and we’ve seen some of this already) that developers will change their process, even using some early post-release time to test and iron out their various apps and games. Have any of you developers run into this issue? If so, what would you like to see done? Share any thoughts and opinions below!

    Source: Wall Street Journal
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