Yes! Next question. Why be concerned?
TestFlight fills a huge gap in app distribution for testing and end user beta testing. It provided easy to use top notch crash reporting through its SDK.
The crash reporting provided by Apple’s system was connected to the iOS end users choice to send “user data” to Apple. From looking at crash reports in iTunesConnect, it would seem that almost 100% of users decline sending user data to Apple. When they decline, as they should, developers don’t get crash reports. Even though a crash report is one of the most important tools developer can use to enhance the quality of their software. That is where the TestFlight SDK came in.
Crash reports are completely 100% anonymous. So no important user data is sent with the crash report. Software Ops has used the crash reporting capability of TestFlight to successfully improve our software for years. There is nothing more humbling than when you release software into the wild and problems crop up. Edge cases happen that cause crashes. Even if they are rare, they happen. Having crash reports is essential to making stable apps.
You might ask, why not have a bigger and better beta program? Well, the answer is, it is hard to have a bigger beta program because Apple doesn’t allow beta software into the App Store and they limit test devices to 100 per year. That’s right, they have a silly 100 device limit for test devices and you can only update that list 1 a year. How pathetic. Therefore it becomes very difficult to have a better beta program with all these senseless limitations.
It is easy to understand that Apple’s limitations on developers abilities to produce large beta test programs, leaves me concerned that Apple will outright kill the functionality of TestFlight. As it stands now, TestFlight is forcing all users to update to SDK 3.0 or else…. they will reject uploads to the TestFlight system. Why might you ask? Because they have “Remove checkpoints, feedback, and logs from production apps.”
Yeah, they don’t want any data useful to developers being sent to developers. All the information that help developers make their products better, is being forcibly removed by TestFlight, now owned by Apple.