Deploying an iOS app for external testing

Before deploying your app to the App Store, you might want to release it to external testers who can test it on their devices outside the development environment. If you do not want to use Testflight, then you can do this by exporting an IPA file with the ad-hoc export method.

Using Testflight

If you wish to invite external testers using Testflight, you CANNOT use the ad-hoc export method. You need an IPA with the app-store export method.

  1. Generate an IPA file on your own machine at least once.

  2. Upload all necessary code signing files to Bitrise.

    For the ad-hoc export method, you need a Distribution type certificate and an Ad Hoc type provisioning profile. Only upload a provisioning profile if you use manual provisioning: Managing iOS code signing files - manual provisioning.

  3. Make sure either the Certificate and profile installer Step or the iOS Auto Provision with App Store Connect API Step is in your Workflow.

    Do NOT use both!

  4. Make sure the Xcode Archive & Export for iOS Step is in your Workflow.

  5. Set the Distribution method input of the Step to ad-hoc.

  6. Make sure you have the Deploy to Bitrise.io Step in your Workflow.

  7. Start a build.

  8. When the build is finished, go to the app’s Builds page and click the latest build.

  9. Click the APPS & ARTIFACTS tab to find your IPA file that you can distribute.