Back in February, Crashlytics announced its first product since being acquired by Twitter. That product was an app beta testing platform that would allow developers to distribute test apps to users to get feedback and suss out bugs.
The platform is now live, and anyone can sign up to use it. It’s essentially a competitor to TestFlight and HockeyApp, two of the most popular beta testing platforms out there for apps. TestFlight, of course, was acquired by Apple along with its parent company Burstly back in February.
The below gif, included in the post, actually says volumes. The UI and ease of inviting users activity and provisioning goes way beyond what Apple or Google offer:
The offering is cross-platform as well, which means developers can test across various platforms. I’m not a developer, but the offering looks pleasantly designed enough, and Crashlytics has testimonials from companies like DocuSign, Path and Hangtime that (unsurprisingly) sing its praises.
The current beta testing situation when it comes to Apple’s developer portal is dismal. It’s frustrating, slow and kludgy, and it’s one of the biggest complaints that developers have when it comes to Apple’s toolset. That’s why Apple likely purchased TestFlight and why third-party beta platforms have become popular at all.
“With Beta by Crashlytics, you can easily invite new testers through a seamless sign-up workflow, manage testers on the web or right within your IDE, and analyze key metrics to determine when your app is ready for prime time,” reads the announcement blog post. “Combined with our crash reporting solution, there is now a one-stop-shop for debugging and distributing apps. Oh, and it’s free.”
Among the developers I speak to, Crashlytics’ crash reporting product is well-regarded. Seems like the beta tool is something developers frustrated with current options should check out.