Beta represents the most stable preview channel, as features are added to Beta only after they have cleared quality testing in first the Canary channel and then the Dev channel. Major version updates can be expected roughly every six weeks, alongside periodic minor updates for bug fixes and security. Apple recently released iOS 13.4, with exciting features like iCloud folder sharing and Universal Purchase.Now, a few days later, the tech giant has already released the new developer beta update for iOS 13.4.5. We are testing a new process for delivering new feature improvements to our customers outside of major Windows 10 feature updates. Through the Windows Feature Experience Pack, we can improve certain features and experiences that are now developed independently of the OS. Currently, only a limited number of features are being developed this way. Editor's note: List of features updated on 1/18/19 Currently unsupported (Coming soon) Mail: S/MIME - Reading pane and Compose Enterprise chat Delivery receipts Voting buttons Flag date range support Notification panel Calendar: Propose new time from meeting invite Email reminder Reminder to t.
Ionic Deploy has opened up a new realm of possibilities by allowing you to push updates to your users instantly. The days of bug fixes sitting in Production while you wait for App Store approval are over. You can deploy bug fixes as fast as you can program them, and release new features at the speed of development.
But that’s only one part of the story. With Ionic Deploys multiple Channel functionality, you can also choose who sees what version of your app. This allows you to test out new features or split test feature variations with subsets of users.
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The Benefits of Beta Testing
When we surveyed Ionic Developers, a large majority stated they aren’t doing any kind of User Acceptance Testing or Beta Testing of new features with their users. Your app lives and dies at the hands of your users, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible to start testing.
We already wrote a bit about User Acceptance Testing using Ionic View and why you should do it, but what about Beta Testing? What’s the difference?
Ionic View allows you to share a preview of your app and get feedback as you’re building it, before it hits the app stores. View is ideal for getting input from a few dozen of your most important users (decision makers, alpha testers, QA teams, etc.). But what if you want to share and test versions of your app with hundreds – or even thousands of users – at a time? That’s where Beta Channels come in.
Utilizing a Beta Channel allows you to test updates with a much larger scale of users. For instance, you can put a Toggle in your Settings page that allows any user of your app to opt-in to test new features or changes early.
Ensure Quality of your Updates (Bugs, Scalability, Performance, and more)
When you’re releasing a new feature or drastic change, lots of things can go wrong. New bugs can be introduced, regressions can happen where old bugs come back, your new feature could have scalability issues that impact the speed your users experience, and much much more.
By allowing users to opt-in to a Beta Channel, you’re letting them decide that they are okay receiving bleeding edge features where the kinks are still being worked out, and this type of user is more willing to provide you with constructive feedback.
This allows you to crush bugs and other issues before releasing to 100% of your user base, where problems can be much more severe. (When pairing a Deploy Beta Channel with Ionic Monitor for tracking bugs, this is especially powerful)
Don’t release updates that harm usage!
It’s easy to get attached to a new feature or design as app developers, and it’s quite difficult to see how a larger change could impact your users ability to actually user your app effectively.
If you’re building a workout app, like Sworkit for instance, you want to make sure that a new update doesn’t actually decrease the amount of workouts people are completing.
By utilizing a Beta Channel you can test out those changes with users and monitor their impact on usage of your app before altering the experience of everyone on your app.
This also makes it easier to decide NOT to launch something to all of your users if it doesn’t work out well. Users expect a certain experience from that app, and it’s much more difficult to launch an update to everyone, then decide to revert the change.
Split test changes to see what wins
When a user subscribes to your Beta Channel, you could even split them into multiple buckets like Beta-Group1 and Beta-Group2. This would allow you to send completely different versions of a feature to different users. One user could see a red button, and one blue, or even more complex differences like entirely different layouts.
By then monitoring usage, you can determine which option is best to send to 100% of your apps users in Production, thus increasing your bottom line much more than just a “Launch and Pray” approach.
So how do you set up a Beta Channel?
We’ve just released a full in-depth tutorial where you can follow along and learn how to implement Ionic Deploy into your app from start to finish with an Opt-In Beta Channel. It’s easy to get started, and takes less than an hour. Watch our walkthrough video or check out our Deploy documentation:
Don’t have a Pro Account? Create your free Ionic Pro Account today to get started.
We wrote about the WWDC keynote a couple of days ago and how the changes in iOS 8 will affect app developers and marketers. But there were two things that we left out because we wanted to specifically address them in a separate post.
These two things are the new iTunes Connect Analytics dashboard and the availability of TestFlight for beta testing. This post will show you how they will help you get more data on how your apps are doing and how it will be easier to beta test your apps.
New App Analytics
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Let’s take a look at the new iTunes Connect Analytics dashboard and the expanded features that it will provide. Here is a photo of the dashboard that Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff posted on Twitter.
Apple's focus on developers is evident in TestFlight and app analytics. #WWDCpic.twitter.com/U2bz4qOiJs— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) June 2, 2014
As you can see, there are going to be ways to measure engagement by being able to track installations, active devices, sessions and stickiness. The tabs on the top also show the ability to track the sources of downloads and user retention. But a lot of this information has been available on other platforms for awhile now.
The most useful metric that we can see on this screen however is App Store Views. This will measure how many times people view your app page. With this information, you can now figure out your conversion rate. If you are getting a lot of traffic, but not a lot of downloads, then now it will be easier to see that you need to improve your ASO.
The Sources tab could also be very useful, depending on the traffic sources that they are able to provide. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to actually see how well those Smart App Banners are really working? The most important point is that these metrics are coming directly from Apple, so you will be able to see the exact same data that Apple sees when they decide how to rank apps.
Until now, the data that was available in iTunes Connect was pretty basic. There was previously only the ability to track downloads, revenue and in-app purchases on the App Store.
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How Apple Analytics Compares To Other Solutions
So how does this fit in when it comes to the other app analytics solutions out there? Apple’s new analytics offering won’t necessarily displace other analytics solutions, but it will provide more insight into what happens on the App Store, whereas third party solutions provide more detailed data on user behavior in the app and across platforms.
TestFlight For Beta Testing
Finally, Apple is now offering TestFlight for free to developers to help them beta test their apps. You can now invite up to 1,000 beta test users, with unlimited devices. This fills the need that iOS developers have been wanting for a long time.
So that is a summary of the new analytics and beta testing features that Apple will be releasing soon. These updates will be great for developers and bring them in line with what Google Play offers.
Are you looking forward to the new Analytics and beta testing features?