With Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight’s parent company, we received notice that TestFlight will no longer serve up Android builds as of March 21st.
While unfortunate, we must persevere. I’ve begun looking at options for replacing TestFlight.
The first option I considered was switching over to just using Google Play for both Beta and Release versions.
This would allow all of our Android deployments to come from one place, though it would mean that users would have to choose between Beta and Release for all their devices, whereas they can have different devices using different versions currently.
Also, Google’s analytics are geared more towards user engagement and marketing rather than Beta testing.
The second option we are currently considering is a site called TestFairy. They immediately jumped on TestFlight’s recent announcement about discontinuing Android support by welcoming former TestFlight users, even providing hooks that allow apps which include the TestFlight SDK to not need any code change at all. A very smart move.
So far, in my 1 day of testing, I am fairly impressed with the polish and extensive metrics provided by TestFairy. Not only does it gather checkpoints that I’ve set, it is able to monitor memory, CPU, Network, Phone Signal Strength, Battery, and even allows for screencast recordings.
The one snafu that I encountered was Google Maps initially not working with our app. Sadly, the documentation is a bit lacking, though the interface is very clean and simple so it doesn’t matter so much for the most part.
In the end, I was able to figure out that, since TestFairy actually modifies our SDK to add in the metrics gathering, it has to sign itself with TestFairy’s signing key. There is a field under App > Settings > Signature that shows Facebook and Google API keys, which, upon mousing over, reminded me that I needed to add the TestFairy signed package to our Google Maps API allowed apps.
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with TestFairy’s capabilities, if still a little weary of the fluffy name. Hopefully, unlike TestFlight, they won’t poof and disappear on us. I’ll be testing TestFairy for a couple more days, but expect us to switch over to using it for Beta next week.