Beta and Preview for iOS Devices
Important Note: A test phase in Apple TestFlight is only available for 61 days. At that point, if more testing needs to continue, you must start a new test phase. In this case, make sure to communicate to test users that a continued test phase is planned and they can expect another TestFlight or push notification to update their existing Spok Mobile Beta or Preview app with the latest build.
If a Beta or Preview test phase ends, either manually or by allowing the 61 day expiration, without a General Availability production build being released, test users will no longer have access to Spok Mobile. You must communicate to them to uninstall the Beta or Preview version of Spok Mobile, go to the app store, and download the publicly available previous version of Spok Mobile. They will lose all messages acquired when the Beta or Preview version of Spok Mobile was installed.
Step 1: Upload Beta or Preview Version of Spok Mobile
When a completed build of Spok Mobile Beta or Preview is ready for testing, Spok Mobile development team uploads it to Apple TestFlight, and selects it as the version to test. When this version has been selected to test, it is communicated so test user information can be added and managed.
Step 2: Add Test User Information to Apple TestFlight and Configure to "Start Testing"
- Add test user information to Apple TestFlight. These CSV files can be added consecutively.
- After adding a CSV file, assign the test users to an appropriate Group. For example, for Preview, a group should be the iOS master list (i.e. SM 4.4 Preview); for Beta, there should be a group per customer (i.e. Customer A or Customer B).
Note: If test users or groups have been added to previous Beta or Preview test phases, these users or groups can be added to the current testing phase without having to be re-imported.
Note: A maximum of 2,000 total test users can be added to TestFlight per test phase.
- After all test users are added, click Start Testing to begin the testing process that sends the invitation email to each test user.
Note: After you click Start Testing, Apple performs a formal review of the app to ensure it meets certain standards before allowing the test phase to begin. This usually takes anywhere from a couple of hours to one day.
Step 3: Test Users Receive Invitation Email, Install Apple TestFlight, and Install Spok Mobile
When a Beta or Preview build of Spok Mobile is uploaded to TestFlight and selected as being ready to test, TestFlight sends an automated invitation email to each test user in the specified list. This email describes the TestFlight process, includes a brief description of Spok Mobile, and includes a link to install the TestFlight application.
In order to participate, if the user does not already have TestFlight installed on their mobile device, they must install the Apple TestFlight application available via link in the invitation email.
After downloading Apple Test Flight, the test user opens the TestFlight app and is presented with a notification to install Spok Mobile. The test user clicks Install or Update and after the app successfully installs, the user can begin to test the new features and improved functionality.
Important Note: The Spok Mobile Beta or Preview app updates, or replaces, any existing previous version of Spok Mobile on the device, it is not installed as a second app in addition to an existing installation. It works with the site's live production environment and users interact with all of their contacts in the same way, while having access to new features and improved functionality.
Additionally, test users continue to use the latest version of the Spok Mobile app, even after the Beta or Preview period. Depending on the configuration of a specific device, when the General Availability version of Spok Mobile is available, it is automatically updated or the test user receives a notification.
For a detailed test user participation procedure, see Setting up an iOS Device for Spok Mobile Preview.
Step 4: Support Customer Testing and Acquire Feedback
Support any customer issues during Spok Mobile Beta or Preview testing and use standard methods to acquire feedback to improve the app for General Availability.
Step 5: End Testing - Manage Apple TestFlight When Beta or Preview Testing Ends (Submit Production Build)
When the Beta or Preview test phase ends, the Beta or Preview build is either submitted as the General Availability production build, or a new build is submitted as the General Availability or production build.
A test phase in Apple TestFlight is only available for 61 days. At that point, if more testing needs to continue, a new test phase must be started by uploading a new build (if no code changes have been made, the build number still needs to be different). In the new test phase, you can add test users again by group, TestFlight maintains all test users previously added and they can be included in any future test phase. Make sure to communicate to test users that a continued test phase will happen and they can expect another TestFlight email.
If a Beta or Preview test phase ends, either manually or by allowing the 61 day expiration, without a General Availability production build being released, test users will no longer have access to Spok Mobile. You must communicate to them to uninstall the Beta or Preview version of Spok Mobile, go to the app store, and download the publicly available previous version of Spok Mobile. They will lose all messages acquired when the Beta or Preview version of Spok Mobile was installed, and the device will need to be re-registered.