Archive for 'Reviews'

Review: Developing Mobile Games with Moai SDK

So we’ve been vaguely aware of the Moai cross-platform SDK for a good while now, and been somewhat interested in learning more as its Direct Services and Custom Cloud Logic make it stand out a bit from the plethora of engine options available; so when the nice people over at Packt asked if we’d like to take a look at the first Moai book published, we were why yes this a good opportunity to polish up our knowledge of cross-platform options, no doubt our Dear Readers would be ever so interested in our thoughts!


Unfortunately, we were kinda underwhelmed. Not that it’s a bad book mind you — just of rather less scope than we were hoping for. Let us take the introductory section “Why Moai?” from the second page of the book, for those of you who didn’t click the links above to check out the Moai basics:

Moai SDK is a multi-platform game development framework. It’s been developed in C++ and all of its features are accessible through Lua. What does this mean? That you can build your game completely in Lua (taking advantage of the flexibility of this amazing language) and, in case you need low-level access, you can always switch to C++ and do whatever you want. You can even bind your C++ libraries to use them in your game, in Lua. It has built-in access to Moai Cloud as well, which is a cloud service that allows you to deploy server-side code written in Lua, with databases, support for push notifications, leaderboards, and other fancy stuff…

… and that’s the LAST mention in the book of Moai Cloud!! Très déçu. Since we see that as being the compelling reason one would likely pick Moai in the first place, we were rather hoping that would be covered in some detail. More detail than that single sentence, anyways. Well, on to what it does cover.

They have you install the SDK and install Zerobrane Studio and run the first project in the SDK /samples folder, and that all goes perfectly smoothly; then we have a chapter on the high level design philosophy, and on to walking through a Concentration-style game, which takes 4 chapters:

  • Chapter 4: Our First Game with Moai
  • Chapter 5: Showing Images on the Screen
  • Chapter 6: Resource Manager
  • Chapter 7: Concentration Gameplay

All pretty straightforward, especially if you already know Lua. And if you don’t, it doesn’t take much to figure out, which is kinda its point.

Chapter 8 “Let’s Build a Platformer!” introduces camera, parallax and sprite sheet animation. The next chapters straightforwardly introduce more functionality essentials:

  • Chapter 9: Real-world Physics with Box2D
  • Chapter 10: Creating a HUD
  • Chapter 11: Let the Right Music In!

And that’s it for your tutorials. Somewhat spartan, but the essentials of a single-player game are covered decently yes.

Chapter 12 is a fairly good chapter on how to get your Moai project compilable in Xcode for submission to the App Store; and Chapter 13 “Deployment to Other Platforms” … well, it’s not much more than a collection of weblinks. We really would have hoped that Windows, OS X and Android would have got the same deployment detail as iOS did.

So, yeah. On the one hand, if you have decided already to go with Moai, this will certainly help you through the learning curve associated with the free documentation — generally agreed as being somewhat lacking — quite a bit.

On the other hand, if you’re approaching it from the perspective we are, which isn’t “I’ve already decided, teach me how to use this” but “convince me why I should pick Moai over any of the other cross-platform kits available, particularly since I have several tens of thousands of lines of Objective-C cocos2d-iphone invested into already”, we would have needed

  • Walkthroughs of using Moai as a PaaS to provide social web services and cloud back end logic
  • Detail on how to integrate advertising, analytics, and other native SDKs
  • Much more detail on cross-platform deployment workflows

which you won’t find here. So that was rather a disappointment. Hard to qualify this book as “essential” without covering those points to the curious reader’s satisfaction, we think. But it is nicely written within the scope it does cover, so we’ll give it three stars, with the caveat that the cover says “the basics” and don’t expect any more than the basics. Then you should be satisfied with it nicely.

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Review: Creating Games with cocos2d for iPhone 2

So as promised in our cocos2d survey a couple days back, we’ve been reading the latest from Packt,  Creating Games with cocos2d for iPhone 2:

9007OS_9007OS_Cocos2d for iPhone Hotshotcov.jpg.png

and why yes, we quite like the approach it takes. Most books we read go through pieces of a big project where the newbie finds themselves easily overwhelmed, or are snippets without a context so you need to be able to grasp their application on your own; what this one does is present nine complete but small enough to be easily graspable games of popular genres — and bundled them up to the App Store too, where you can check them out to see if you’re interested in seeing the code:

Pack 1 – Mole Thumper, Brick Breaker, Pool

Pack 2 – Memory, Match 3, Snake, Scrolling Shooter, Endless Runner

Pack 3 – Cycles of Light

The theory behind that is explained on the cocos2d blog here:

… Most developers learn the basics of cocos2d for iPhone v.2.0, and subsequently hit a wall. We have all these interesting classes that are really powerful, like CCLayer, CCSprite, actions, etc. How can we put these things together and make something equally interesting out of them?

That is the “gap” this book aims to fill. Rather than take the beginner’s book approach, where we spend several pages explaining what a sprite is, how it is drawn, etc. “Creating Games” skips many of the generalities and jumps right into the reason we are here: building games. This is the book I wished I had in hand when I was first exploring cocos2d for iPhone.

Class by class, method by method, the text explains the “good parts” of why we are building the code in this fashion. All the “good parts” are explained in detail: from building with Box2D to GameKit Bluetooth integration, and even how to build in “artificial randomness” into a Match 3 game, so you never run out of moves.

Each chapter is a complete game, and all source code is available as a download from the publisher’s web site. The games cover a wide variety of game types, and the games become more intricate and complex as the book progresses…

Can’t add to that really, except to observe that why yes the book is pretty much perfectly positioned to help cover that jump from reading the API to figuring out how to actually use it. So if you’re a complete newbie, we’d still recommend The iPhone Game Kit; but if you’ve got a bit of programming background but are new to cocos2d and/ot game programming, yep this is an excellent choice. Or if you’re interested in checking out the approach the author takes to the covered game genres, which are

  • Chapter 1: Memory
  • Chapter 2: Match 3
  • Chapter 3: Mole Thumper
  • Chapter 4: Snake
  • Chapter 5: Brick Breaker (with Box2D)
  • Chapter 6: Cycles of Light (iPad with Bluetooth integration)
  • Chapter 7: Pool (with Box2D)
  • Chapter 8: Scrolling Shooter (using Tiled)
  • Chapter 9: Endless Runner

One quibble you might have is that why isn’t v2.0 out of date already? Yep, but not by much, and download notes to bring it up to speed are on the author’s site. And while you’re there, check out the video. Definitely the best trailer we’ve ever seen for a programming book. (Pretty sure it’s the only trailer we’ve ever seen for a programming book, so the bar’s low there, but hey.)

So overall? Well, we like to reserve five stars for books that qualify as “absolutely essential fundamentals”, and it’s not quite that, but it is definitely a well done guide with far more coherence than you’ll find hunting down tutorials and samples on the web. Solid four stars, with the particular recommendation that if you find yourself in the position of being able to install cocos2d and run the samples but are having trouble gapping that over to getting started on your own game, this is the absolutely perfect book for you!

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So we’re just back from going walkies about southwest Europe for the Christmas break, and before we get into checking out just what all we missed in development circles whilst away, we have a recommendation for staying connected on your next trip:

Pretty much as simple as it gets: pick the country you’re going to, or “World”/”Europe”/”Asia” for multiple countries, the dates you want it, and whether you want 50/100/500 (“Unlimited”) MB a day; and they’ll mail (or FedEx, if you’re as last-minute as our planning always seems to work out) you a SIM and a backup. Worked out about a fifth the price of what our carrier costs us for roaming data travel packs, plus better coverage; besides various mainland countries, we wandered off to outlying bits and pieces from Madeira to Melilla — and absolutely everywhere we had any cell signal at all, our “Europe” SIM worked flawlessly. You could probably shave off a few more bucks by hunting down local carrier data SIMs each place you visit sure, but for sheer convenience? No beating these guys. Check out the Engadget review for more discussion.

Another handy piece of kit for the inveterate road-tripper we can recommend from experience: this auto/air power inverter from Kensington.

Kept our iPhone, iPad and baby Macbook Air running nicely all through the trip. Some of the Amazon reviews claim it’s noisy, but not the unit we got; can’t tell if it has a cooling fan at all, for all we ever heard from it. If you’re going to be on the move constantly like us, highly recommended indeed.


iPhoneTrip has been renamed to!

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NFC for iOS: FloJack

So you really wish your iOS device was NFC enabled? And don’t feel like waiting around for Apple to bother supporting it? Well, you might want to help nudge this Kickstarter project over the top:

Screen Shot 2012-11-25 at 9.39.55 AM.jpg

As we write they’re some $4K short of their $80K goal with 34 hours to go; the Flomio website is here where you can see the team includes the dude who wrote NFC Quick Actions for Android, and you can check out their SDK at flomio / flojack-ios; so it certainly looks like they’re serious here, and it would be nice to see their project succeed … if only to cut off another talking point from those cackling “ANDR0ID FTMFW!” fandroids. Cheap at the price, really.

h/t: [mobile developer:tips];!

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Review: Test-Driven iOS Development

So we imagine that if you’re reading this, chances are that you’re pretty confident in your programming skills and figure that the optimal development methodology is for people to stay out of your way. We understand. Spent better than two decades repeatedly proving so, in fact. But recently we’ve been shipping additions to a growing family of generally accoladed sports apps; and that has demonstrated to us nicely that the problem with that approach is that it scales past a single app … questionably. At the moment with nine teams in three sports things are still reasonably manageable, but that won’t last, if you get our drift. So we have been looking into things we can do to optimize the scaling process. Which, serendipitously, brings us to Graham Lee‘s new book:

We’d actually talked with Graham briefly after his TDD presentation at the Seattle VTM conference last year, where he’d just about convinced us that TDD might be something other than the development-slowing waste of time we’d previously observed it to be at places that applied it as a management-imposed afterthought, so we had fairly high expectations of the book; and why yes, yes indeed it would be an excellent book even if it wasn’t the one and only out there for iOS on the subject — matter of fact, we unconditionally recommend it to anyone who wants to be a better iOS programmer!

If you’ve already got the TDD religion from other platforms, you can jump directly to Chapter 4 “Tools For Testing”; those of us of a more skeptical bent will find reading through Chapters 1-3 an nice gentle progression through demonstrating the value of testing at all through to “How to Write a Unit Test” and how that leads to safely refactorable design.

Said Chapter 4 goes over the Xcode built-in support thoroughly and introduces GTM, GHUnit, CATCH, and OCMock on the coding side, plus Hudson/Jenkins and CruiseControl on the integration side. That covers anything you’re even remotely likely to encounter in existing projects.

Chapter 5 “Test-Driven Development of an iOS App” starts the 6 chapter process of developing BrowseOverflow, a StackOverflow question browser; full source available on github for everyone. Note that we say “process of” rather than “walkthrough of” developing; these aren’t 5 chapters of simple lecturing, at every step the analysis and alternatives are discussed thoroughly, with asides on design patterns, refactoring, and all kinds of good stuff, finishing up with Chapter 11 on general design principles derived from the process, thoroughly applicable even if you’re not using TDD at all.

Finishing up the book, Chapter 12 “Applying Test-Driven Development to an Existing Project” gives some straightforward advice on grafting testing into your ongoing development, and Chapter 13 “Beyond Today’s Test-Driven Development” surveys techniques not fully baked for iOS development yet.

Overall, we’d say that pretty much every — no, seriously, pretty much every — iOS programmer would solidly benefit from reading this book. Even if you’re already developing with solid test coverage, there’s almost certainly some insights here you’ll find useful. And if you’re in the position of most of us where you’re using tests half-heartedly and more likely not at all, you should put reading this to figure out just how this TDD thing could do you some good at the top of your list of self-improvement tasks. And if you’re new to development in general, why then this should be pretty much the next thing in your programming curriculum after design patterns!


TDD – is it worth it? nicely summarizes why TDD is very likely worth the trouble to adopt.

BDD: From the Idea to the App 2; BDD – Mastermind : TDD in the Model

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Now this looks worth a serious look if you need to drop a downloadable photo gallery in somewhere — and who doesn’t?

Apple’s PhotoScroller sample code for iOS looks to many as a perfect starting place to display a scrolling list of photos that can each be zoomed significantly. It uses a CATiledLayer as a backing store so it does not have to load whole images into memory.

That said, after you see the three pretty jpeg images in the project, you lift up the covers and find approx 800 pre-tiles png files – its the pretiling of the jpegs that makes this project work.

Why, yes. Yes, we had noticed that.

So, I’ve taken that project and greatly enhanced it:

And enhanced how? For instance,

– blazingly fast tile rendering – visually much much faster than Apple’s code (which uses png files in the file system)

– you supply a single jpeg file or URL and this code does all the tiling for you, quickly and painlessly

– provides the means to process very large images for use in a zoomable scrollview

– is backed by a CATiledLayer so that only those tiles needed for display consume memory

– each zoom level has one dedicated temp file rearranged into tiles for rapid tile access & rendering

– demonstrates how to use concurrent NSOperations to fetch several large images from the web or to process local image files

– the incremental approach uses mmap, only maps small parts of the image at a time, and does its processing as the image downloads and can thus handle very large images

That’s a pretty handy set of features for your large image display needs, isn’t it now?


If that’s a little overpowered, you might want to check out MWPhotoBrowser — A simple iOS photo browser

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Review: Cocos2d for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook

So, now that we’re all up on the latest in cocos2d web events, let’s take a look as promised at the latest in cocos2d publishing events:

Cocos2d for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook



Buy it now. No, seriously. Buy it now.


We absolutely guarantee that just about anyone will find the book worth way more than its price in time saved. To see for yourself, head over to the book’s website

and check out the Explore The Book section for videos and explanations of the recipes in each … and download the demo apps. Yep, the demo apps, there’s free demo apps up on the store for you to check out the recipes in action:

Cocos2d Cookbook Ch1-3

Cocos2d Cookbook Ch4-6

Cocos2d Cookbook Ch7-8

Now that’s how you go about supporting a book!

Also check out the book’s thread on the cocos2d-iphone forums for some subtle understated commentary like

  • “This book looks like it is going to be a requirement in every developer’s library!”
  • “Ok, I have read a handful of recipes and I am completely sold. This is an awesome book.”
  • “…every developer needs to have this book.”
  • “this book is an absolute must for anyone developing cocos2d apps.”
  • “Great book, instant buy!”

Gee, gushing much? But it actually does deserve all that and more. Let us take the very first recipe, “Drawing sprites”. Oh for crying out loud, you think, how does that merit a recipe? Is this thing going to be full of fluff I already know? Well, no actually, that simple sounding recipe goes over drawing from files, images, textures, and frames; explains mipmapping and batch nodes; and tops it off with colorizing rectangles. Well, that is pretty good for a first recipe, isn’t it now.

The first graphics chapter goes on to cover not only common drawing and animating but movie playing, particle effects, simple 3D effects, texture animation, palette swapping, screenshots, parallax, and lighting. Pretty much a worthwhile purchase already, and we’re barely started!

Second chapter covers user input of varying types, including virtual joysticks, d-pads, and accelerometer; nothing too novel here, but useful time savers here if you’re newish to cocos2d.

Third chapter covers data management; reading and saving plist/JSON/XML … and even SQLite and Core Data. Probably not much completely new to you here either, but the details of working with sprites and the like are handy.

Fourth chapter is on physics and is a particularly valuable one for those of us weak on the background there; focusing on Box2D, takes you from basic setup through impulses and forces to joints, bullets, ropes, and ending up with a 2.5D isometric game engine! That’s a pretty standout one there.

Fifth chapter, ‘Scenes and Menus’, is mostly pretty straightforward but still handy code. The sliding menu grid and minimap are particularly nice.

Sixth chapter, “Audio” is another notably useful one, nice explanations of sound manipulating, positioning, metering, recording, iPod library usage, and finishing up with creating a MIDI synthesizer with MobileSynth and then speech recognition/synthesis.

Seventh chapter, “AI and Logic” is well-nigh invaluable for those without a background in it; basic waypoints, targeting, line of sight, flocking, pathfinding (the “in a Box2D world” getting special mention, good luck figuring that one out without some help!) and finishing off with discussion of Lua integration.

We figured the last chapter “Tips, Tools, and Ports” was a bit weaker; the tools picked here mostly aren’t up to the currently regarded best of breed mentioned in yesterday’s roundup, and the cocos2d-x and cocos3d intros were too short to really be of much use. But hey, still worth a read.

Closest thing we have to a real complaint is that you have to email the author to get the extra chapter which was omitted from the print versions; really, how hard would it be to put it as an addenda in the electronic versions most of us are going to be buying anyways? But hey, if mild inconvenience is the worst whine we can come up with, that’s pretty solid.

So, yeah. We pretty much can’t imagine anyone developing with cocos2d who won’t find something in here well worth the price; for those just starting out it might be a bit over your head, but it would make a perfect second step after one of the introductory books or our starting recommendation The iPhone Game Kit. So buy it now!

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Localization: Linguan

So there’s a new app out today purporting to be of assistance with that pesky translation task for your iOS and OS X apps:


Linguan greatly simplifies localizing your Mac and iOS apps. It gives you an intelligent editor for all strings files contained in your Xcode project.

You get warned about duplicate tokens or missing translations. Then you can export and e-mail all missing tokens for a specific language to your translator, who can also use Linguan for filling in the translations or use his text editor of choice.

When you get the translators results back Linguan automatically merges the results into your project, even if the tokens originated from multiple different strings files.

That all sounds pretty handy then, doesn’t it now? As it happens, just a little while back we did a 12-language-localized project, and the memory is fresh enough to remember the hassles involved. So let’s start out by seeing how Linguan handles opening that file and sorting out the contents:

Linguan opening.jpg

… why, with perfect aplomb, that’s how. And well look at that, it found an error: “Multiple translations for token ‘PRODUCTINFOLINK”. Seriously? OMG, it’s right. Well, apparently the shipping version is using the right one, otherwise we probably would have heard. Still, nice catch already.

Moving on, let’s see the missing translation finding. We know we don’t have any so we’ll have to seed it with one, but just to check … wait, what? Ah, that’s it, it found an untranslated one in a comment we’d left in for some reason:

//controller.title = NSLocalizedString(@”TITLEROOTTABLE”, nil);

And it seeds it into the table of tokens above. So let’s call it “A table.” in English, and hit ‘Wizard’ to see how wizardly helpful it is. And very so. So let’s put in a Spanish translation,

Linguan wizard.png

Hit save … why yes, there’s our newly translated string appearing over in Xcode. Now let’s check out the export functionality to provide lists for translators when you need those, this string in Korean say … why yes, yes it does so nicely.

@DIRECTORY resources
@FILE Localizable.strings

/* No comment provided by engineer. */ "TITLEROOTTABLE" = "";


Alright, we’re convinced. It’s evident in mere minutes that this would have saved us on the order of days developing the project we’re checking it out with. Straight to the head of our Essential Third Party Development Tools list it goes. And for only five bucks? A veritable steal, we tell you. From the announcement post:

… We believe that Linguan provides a piece of functionality that should have been provided by Apple, but wasn’t. So we tried to make a tool thats worthy of being mentioned with Xcode on the same breath. Check it out on the Mac App Store. If you find any issues or have feature requests then you can use our bug tracker for that.

And succeeded nothing short of magnificently, it appears. If you’re shipping your projects in anything other than your native language — and if you’re not, you should be! — buy it NOW. NOW! NOW! NOW!

(And you, yeah you, the twerp in said announcement post’s comments bitching “I won’t make them pay some software, no matter how great it is” — for the love of God Almighty, man up already and gift it to your volunteers then. $5 a language? Suck it up, buttercup.)


Having trouble with the Xcode 5 preview? Xcode-select will help!

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TexturePacker 2.4.0

So for an embarrassingly long time now, we’ve been meaning to get around to doing a head to head review of the two main Mac OS X sprite sheet creators for cocos2d, Zwoptex and TexturePacker. Unfortunately, time for that just has not turned up … and it’s not likely to in the foreseeable future. So in lieu of actually producing that, let’s just tell you:

Are you creating sprite sheets as a part of a workflow? Running just about anywhere, targeted just about anywhere? Then you need to look into TexturePacker carefully … and if you have before and it didn’t crank you up, check out the sparkly new version 2.4.0 again!

A) Running just about anywhere:

Versions are available for recent OS X, Windows back to XP, and Ubuntu Linux. Which makes it an instant winner if your asset workflow involves those other, lesser, OSes. There is a bit of a downside to that — being a QT application (judging by the package contents) some things will work a little unexpectedly for your platform. For instance, file handling in TexturePacker is somewhat fragile; you would be wise to put your asset files somewhere they’re not going to move from before starting to create your sheets, as apparently QT’s file handling is not as OS X-savvy as it could be.

B) Targeted just about anywhere — previous versions had:

and 2.4.0 adds:

And you can even create CSS sprites. So, yeah, seriously, just about anywhere.

And it’s fairly straightforward to integrate with Xcode as well.

And … well, hey, check out the feature list and release notes for yourself. Particularly notable in the new release are autoimport from .swf files and a .pvr QuickLook plugin. Which is actually catching up with Zwoptex … yes, we must get around to that detailed comparison sometime. But on sheer mass of features and prolificness of updates; well, you just can’t go wrong picking TexturePacker, it seems.

There’s a nicely introductory step by step tutorial here from a fellow who moved from Zwoptex to TexturePacker, and of course Ray Wenderlich has a tutorial, as he does for everything:

How to Create and Optimize Sprite Sheets in Cocos2D with Texture Packer and Pixel Formats

As a final note, if you really want to get the inside scoop, you’ll probably want to pick up the new rev of Steffen Itterheim’s cocos2d book:

I’m proud to have Andreas Löw (@CodeAndWeb) as a co-author for the 2nd Edition of the Learn Cocos2D book! Andreas is the developer of the indispensable Cocos2D (and other game engine) tools TexturePacker and PhysicsEditor.

Andreas volunteered to make all the necessary changes to replace Zwoptex with the more state-of-the-art TexturePacker, and VertexHelper with the much more powerful PhysicsEditor. He also provided the new graphics for the Shoot’em Up and Pinball projects, as well as making them Retina compatible…

Yeah, just in case you don’t think TexturePacker is an impressive piece of work, there’s that PhysicsEditor thing he does too. Be nice to getting around to reviewing that too, one of these days…

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Ad Hoc + Crash Reporting

So it’s been quite a while since we last surveyed the state of ad hoc distribution, and even longer since we made any notes about crash reporters — remember when CrashReportSender was a massive novelty? Ah, how the time does fly — but the progress in merging those functions has been dramatic enough that yep, let’s pick today to get out of our comfortable rut and try something new.

To bring you up to mid-June speed, this was a comprehensive-appearing overview of state of the art at that point:

The battle of the iOS crash reporters

Want the short version? Use HockeyApp.

We generally concurred, although the pricing was problematic for those of us who do lots of little apps; but there is the alternative of setting up your own server with the open source HockeyKit/QuincyKit combo which power the HockeyApp service. Unfortunately, time isn’t free either, which is why that hasn’t happened. In the meantime, HockeyApp’s added Bug Tracker Integration and various process improvements and the HockeyMac Xcode upload helper. Busy busy busy, those HockeyApp folk!

You might note in the comments that we mentioned the Crittercism “Support Infrastructure for Mobile Apps”, which a project we’re involved with was trying out at the time. Nice mix of services, but not ad hoc distribution, which is a rather natural pairing for your crash reporting solution, so that takes it out of serious consideration here.

And at just about the time that was written another beta distribution service Apperian AppRamp was introduced allegedly addressing issues with Testflight, which was newish at the time of our last survey and we didn’t really see any compelling reason to move away from our trusty friend BetaBuilder. It also doesn’t appear to include any crash reporting functionality.

So that wraps it up right, game set and match to the HockeyApp team? Well…

If You Weren’t Using TestFlight Before, You Will Be Now With Their New SDK

Will we now? And why would that be?

… All the features announced today are Free, including Enterprise IPA support.

  • Crash Reports : Real time reports with environment snapshots, full session activity, and your NSLogs.
  • Check Points : Monitor tester engagement and watch as they progress through your app…
  • Sessions : Discover how testers are using your application…
  • In-App Questions : Get the answers you need right when you need them…
  • Feedback : Gather more feedback with in-app forms or via tester email replies…
  • In-App Updates : Prompt testers to install the latest version of your app and they can update instantly over-the-air.
  • Enterprise IPA Support: …added benefit of unlimited devices with all the TestFlight features.
  • Build Reporting : View realtime build status and tester activity.

Hmmm. That’s a lot for free, indeed. The one thing is, we really quite like QuincyKit’s symbolication integrated into HockeyApp … oh, wait …

Real time symbolication

We wrote a portable version of Apple’s closed source atos command line tool to power TestFlight’s new real time symoblication of crash reports. We are considering open sourcing this tool for the iOS community to leverage as a whole if there’s interest.

To use this new feature, upload a .dSYM via the crashes page; your crashes will be symbolicated as they occur and you can start solving issues even faster…

OK, well, that kinda tips the balance from tempting to compelling, given the whole “free” thing, wouldn’t you say? Questionable as the long-term prospects of that business model would appear, at the moment TestFlight does indeed appear to be the support service par excellence for the frazzled iOS developer. So off to grab the SDK we go … and we’ll be sure to update you if we encounter any reason to reconsider!


Ah, here’s the reason to reconsider: Using SDK in product for crash collection on app store?

As of right now applications from the app store sending us data is not something that we officially support and once we have a full solution for that we will be making a more public announcement.

Well, having our crash reporting solution work with App Store builds is kinda a requirement, yes. We’ll see what happens on this front, but that’s kinda an obvious candidate for a premium service. Which would very likely incline us back to setting up the QuincyKit/HockeyKit stack ourselves in order to get full control of the process. In the meantime, why yes so far TestFlight is very pretty and convenient, just as advertised!

Beta Testing iOS Apps Made Easy has handy TestFlight deployment scripts.


Quality Tracking/Crash Reporting Services for Mobile Apps covers the October 2012 state of the tools:

kstenerud / KSCrash looks like it does a more thorough job that the established players

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