The process of uploading an app to App Store is not just a one time thing. TestFlight is part of the App Store and in order to distribute the development versions of my app to beta testers I will be uploading the app so many times before it will be ready for launch.
I just distributed the second build of my Trail Adventure Guide app to beta tester and this is how I did it.
First, I tested the app version on my iPhone, which was connected to my Mac. I tested the app also using the iPhone and iPad simulator. I made the latest changes to the UI code, so I had to do extensive testing with different devices and screen orientations.
Uploading to App Store
Everything seemed to worked well, so I was ready to distribute the app. First I created an archive in the Xcode by selecting Product -> Archive from the menu. Then I validated the archive. The code passed the validation, so there was no need to fix anything. I hit the upload to App Store button.
Filling Export Compliance Information
Uploading took few minutes and when it was over I went to iTunes Connect and checked from the Activity tab that the new version was under processing. I got a mail from Apple when the processing was over. I went back to the iTunes Connect to fill in the Export Compliance Information. That’s something I had to fill in because the app uses encryption, Apple servers are located in the US and the app can be exported outside of US. Any app that for example accesses web via https uses encryption.
Ready for distribution
It was time to type in the instructions for beta testers. I told them what had changed from previous version and what they should test. I unchecked the sign-in required box, since my app does not have user accounts. Then I submitted the app for the review.
What is beta build review?
If I want to distribute my beta to iTunes Connect users there’s not need for a review. These users are usually from my internal company organisation. If I want to send the beta to external testers then Apple decides if my app needs a review. Apple took my app under a review process and I got an email when they completed it. It took around 24 hours.