Setting up iTunes Connect and Xcode to Test Your iPhone App
So you are in the final stages of having your created app published. But before you do that, you must first test purchase it to see if there are problems such as bugs which may result in a slew of complaints from consumers. No matter how much you have marketed or publicized your app, if it is conceived poorly or not tested extensively, problems in its usability or existence of bugs will prompt users to post negative reviews, problematic customer ratings, and disastrous word-of-mouth campaign that will affect the reputation not only of your product but you and your company as well.
So how do you test your product? You may want to register first as an iTunes Test User as well as your In-App Purchase Items. Both accounts can be created online in iTunes Connect.
You may ask, why do you need to create an iTunes Test User account? This is because as an app developer, you definitely want to extensively check the functionality of your app’s In-App Purchase before you submit it to the App Store. With your Test user account, you can perform several test purchases without being billed for these purchases. This means that you can do the purchase testing many times without spending an extra dollar in doing them.
Creating your iTunes Test User account
Go to iTunes Connect by visiting https://itunesconnect.apple.com/. On the main page, go to the Manage Users website link. You then select the “Test User” user type and on the “Manage Test Users” page, click “Add New User”.
Use a valid email address that is not linked or associated with any of your iTunes accounts that already exist. Otherwise, your Test User account will get invalidated. In addition, there is also that possibility that you may accidentally charge your test purchases to your existing iTunes account that is credit card-enabled.
Adding your In-App Purchase items to your iTunes Connect account
The next thing you should do is add the In-App Purchase items to your account as its own product.
Here are some things you should remember while adding your In-App Purchase Items in your iTunes Connect account.
- The reference name for your In-App Purchase item may not the necessarily the same name shown in the App Store. How to check whether they are the same name? You can see the display name of your product in the Language field description.
- It would be good if you use a common or uniform ID for all your products. This system will allow you to have a consistent and easy naming scheme for your own products.
- Before submitting the form, make sure you put in the correct type of your product which will identify the kind of item you are creating. Products are classified according to four types: Consumables, Non-consumables, Subscriptions, and Auto-renewable subscriptions. It is important you put in the correct type as you can no longer edit it after saving the In-App Purchase item in your iTunes Connect account.
- You also need to put a specific price. You can change the price when you hold a promotional sale for example, but In-App Purchase Items can never be cost-free. They must have a price. If you want to give out a downloadable content that is free within the app, you have to make this available from your own server, and not from the App Store.
- Make sure you carefully specify the language for your app.
- After conducting several purchase tests of your items, take a good screenshot of the purchase process while it is ongoing. You need to upload it in the Screenshot section. The screenshot image will help Apple when it reviews your In-App Purchase Item. That is why the screenshot image should only be taken after your testing and it is ready to be submitted to Apple.
Setting up a test device using Xcode Organizer
For many developers, testing the apps they have created can be a daunting process. But with Xcode organizer, the process will be a lot easier.
In using Xcode, here are some things you should remember:
- Use your iPhone as a test device. When you use it as your primary development device, do not forget to regularly back up your iPhone’s data when you are synchronizing in iTunes. This will make sure that whatever happens during testing, you have that safe option to restore your iPhone’s operating system, the applications you have, as well as iTunes settings with the last backup you saved.
- After putting in place the correct provisioning profile as well as certificates, you can begin the app testing on your iPhone. It is recommended that the product testing should be done by many people, not just you. After testing the app extensively several times, why not look for some volunteers who are happy to assist you in beta-testing your product before you release it in the App Store. As payment or incentive, you may want to give each volunteer a copy of the app free or a cost-free license for another product that you sell. Just be clear in your instructions the specific details of their evaluation that you want. It is win-win solution for you as an app developer and them as app testers. Aside from your friends who may want to test your product, you may also search online for beta-test volunteers. You can also post in your various social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook for interested volunteers.
You’re almost there!
Nothing beats seeing the app you have created in App Store finally, for everyone to purchase and appreciate. But before you release your app, please make sure that the app does not perform poorly and it is hardly usable.
Remember: No matter how great your marketing campaign for your app, or how your app will change the lives of your customers, as long as the app has major performance and usability issues, say goodbye to your profits and reputation as an app developer.