Apple is introducing promised public web links for TestFlight beta, a feature with the potential to quickly extend access to pre-release iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple apps.
The public links option must be visible in the App Store Connect dashboard. A maximum of 10,000 testers can participate in a beta, but developers can also choose to limit that number and / or terminate a link at will. People who participate via the web are kept anonymous unless they offer e-mail feedback.
Until now, developers had to actively recruit testers by asking them for email addresses and sending invitations. This has made it more difficult for some developers to launch open beta, especially those who could use a large number of testers.
Under the new system, a developer can easily share a URL on the web or social media and anyone with the TestFlight app can download and install the latest test version for free. To prevent people from abusing this, expire after 90 days – developers must provide updated builds to keep science alive.
Beta releases are relatively common on Mac and Windows, but Apple's tight restrictions prevent beta from appearing in the App Store, hence the use of TestFlight. Apple has for the first time announced that public links would come during the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.