Through my travels of the internets, I have encountered a great website for iPhone developers looking to have their applications beta tested by real people. The website is called iBetaTest.com .
Launching their site just yesterday, iBetaTest.com already boasts 135 registered testers and 44 registered developers! Here is the skinny on how it works (per their website).
- Beta testers and developers register for a free account
- Beta testers log in and go into the Device Manager and add all of their devices
- Developers can go to Manage Betas module and create a new beta
– at this point they specify beta type (public, manual, invite only, the auto approve setting, etc.)
– select which devices are required to run their application (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPod touch v1, v2, or All)
– set number of desired testers (2-100)
– write the application’s description
– provide info on any incentives for beta tester participation
– upload the application files, license file and any screenshots they want
– write what needs to be tested and add any special instructions and voila – the app is up and running
- At this point (if app is set public), beta testers can see it and apply for it
– ONLY beta testers with devices the application supports, and with UDID’s already entered can apply for a given beta
– If the application is set to auto approve – they are automatically added to the list of testers, until the limit set by the developer is reached
– If it is not set to auto approve – the developer gets an email, and then either approves or denies the tester
- During this time, no matter if the application is public or private, developer can also send invites to anyone to come and join the beta
– Users not yet registered on iBetaTest.com get an email, and once they sign up, their Pending Beta Testing Invitation will be shown on the Dashboard from where they can accept or deny it
– Registered members also see it on the Dashboard, and can approve or reject any invitation straight from there
– NO INVITE CODES are necessary. It’s all seamless and based on user’s email address, for both registered and non registered members
- There is a convenient “Get ADC Import File” feature for developers, which lets them download a file containing beta tester’s names and UDID’s which is directly importable into Apple’s Developer’s Connection portal; no more copying and pasting
- At any time developer can simply click Close For Signups button under My Betas module and close the beta signup process (which is not necessary)
- Approved beta testers can access all features the system offers right on every application’s home page
– From there they may send reports (bugs, feature requests, comments) and communicate with developer and other testers
– Everyone can also download Application files, documentation, and license files straight from there
- The system AUTOMATICALLY checks developer’s.mobileprovision files to see if the tester’s UDID has been provisioned in that version, and notifies a tester if he/she should be downloading any files yet.
– This way, developers do not have to send the files individually to each tester. They are all available in the same pool, and as soon as the license is uploaded, beta testers know if their device can run and install it yet or not.
- During the beta testing – developers can also email users from My Betas module at any time (one by one, or all at once) with any info they have that has to get to testers right away. If a support email address is provided in developer’s profile, these emails are shown as if they are coming from that address, however, if none is entered, they are all sent from [email protected]
- Privacy is STRONGLY guarded on iBetaTest.com. From initial interviews with developers, before the system was even built, all they cared about was what the beta testers have to say – not, what their personal information is
– The only piece of information a developer can see on their tester is the First Name (for a more professional communication), and tester’s username.
– The system itself sends all information via integrated mailing system, thus enforcing the use of Reports Module for all direct communication with the developer
– Each report can be set to either “for all” or “for developer only”, making it easy to talk to the developer “in private”
- Both developers and beta testers can set their personal profiles (with addition of developers also having a developer profile), where they can publish all other info they’d like to share with the world: Short bio, and links to their Linked-In, Facebook and Twitter profiles
- Once the beta testing has finished, the developer has a chance to rate the beta testers (1-5 star rating) and write a short note, which will become a part of Tester’s Testimonials Page (located right on their profile with all other info)
- Rating system is an interesting one, to say the least. Each star is 10 points. THERE WILL BE REWARDS for first testers to reach 200, 500, 1000, and so on points – and these won’t be shabby either! Stay tuned for more info on this.
After registering for a developer account, it was clear to me that this site is rock solid. From the looks of it, they have coded it in Ruby on Rails (great choice) which is obvious by their clean URL structure and smooth ajax effects. At the moment, the site doesn’t currently have any active beta applications, but I am sure this will change in the near future. I will be following this site closely (and maybe even submitting some betas for testing). They also have a twitter which can be found here: http://twitter.com/ibetatest if your a Twitter kind of person (you should be).
So, be sure and let me know what you think of this site and share your experience in the comments or write me on twitter. I can’t wait to launch the next tutorial in the game series (it will blow your socks off)… Unit then, happy iCoding!