Bitrise OTA App Deployment
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Bitrise OTA App Deployment

Bitrise has an integrated app deployment system you can use for app and other build artifact file distribution.

With this you can distribute your apps over the air for your app’s team members or even for those who don’t have a Bitrise account. You can also use it to archive your app and other build artifact files which will be available on the app’s Build page for viewing and downloading.

Here is a short recap on the different build steps per platform. The links under Platform point to our Getting started tutorials if you needed more information for each platform (for example, on code signing, packaging or deploying).

Platform Build step Deploy step to Bitrise
iOS Xcode Archive & Export for iOS Deploy to Bitrise.io - Apps, Logs, Artifacts
Android Gradle Runner or Android Build Deploy to Bitrise.io - Apps, Logs, Artifacts
Xamarin Xamarin Archive Deploy to Bitrise.io - Apps, Logs, Artifacts
React Native Android Build and/or Xcode Archive & Export for iOS Deploy to Bitrise.io - Apps, Logs, Artifacts
Ionic Ionic Archive Deploy to Bitrise.io - Apps, Logs, Artifacts
Cordova Cordova Archive Deploy to Bitrise.io - Apps, Logs, Artifacts
MacOS Archive for MacOS and/or Export for MacOS Deploy to Bitrise.io - Apps, Logs, Artifacts

First let’s have a look at the required and sensitive fields of the Step:

Deploying directory or file path

If the file path of the app (.ipa/APK) is available in the right directory, the Deploy to Bitrise.io Step will upload the file for the Build and the file will be listed on the Build’s page.

If you use custom steps or our Do anything with Script step to deploy apps from the $BITRISE_DEPLOY_DIR directory, make sure:

Notify: User Roles

You can define who should get notified of the generated build based on your app’s user groups. There are a couple of options for you to choose from:

The default input value here is everyone.

Notify: Emails

Set one or more email addresses of those who should get notification. This field is sensitive so make sure you register those email addresses in our Secrets tab.

Enabling Public Page for the App

With this option enabled, you can create a Public install page that comes with a long and random URL. You can share this URL with anyone - yes, even with those who are not registered on Bitrise!

You can enable it directly in the Step’s input field or at the generated .ipa/APK in your Build’s APPS & ARTIFACTS tab.

Accessing the Public install page

You can access the Public install page’s URL, if you head over to your generated build’s APPS & ARTIFACTS tab and find the .ipa/APK file.

If you click Open Public install page link, you’ll see a base description of the App (title, version, size, supported devices).

If you visit your iOS Build’s page from an iOS device (which you’ve registered for your account), you’ll see an Install button instead of the Download button. With this you can install the App on your device directly from Bitrise.

Shared but can’t install it?

You can share this page with anyone, even if they don’t have a Bitrise account. You have to make sure that they’ll be able to install the app, though. If you don’t use an Enterprise Provisioning Profile to build your app, you have to add every device identifier (UDID) to the Provisioning Profile (just like you do on your Mac). The iOS app can’t be installed on any other device but on the ones which were included in the Provisioning Profile the build was signed with. Also note that an app store .ipa won’t receive a Public install page as it should be uploaded to the app store directly.

Now let’s head back to your Build’s page! Besides the Public install page link on the APPS & ARTIFACTS tab, you’ll see a bunch of other information about the deployed app. For example, you can check the details of the App (such as App title, Bundle ID, Version, Size, etc) or download the file to your local computer as well.

Sending invites and notifications

You can send install invites and notifications based on roles or email address. You can either send invites for a group of your app’s team members (testers, developers, admins or owner) or (if the Public install page option is enabled) you can send install invites to any email address.

Can’t access the Public install page?

  • Keep in mind that if you disable the Public install page toggle, Bitrise won’t send install invite emails for the emails you specified. Only those can get the link who are in the app’s team.
  • Keep in mind that the install invite emails contain the Public install page URL. If you invite someone who’s not in your App’s team and then disable the Public install page toggle, they won’t be able to access the install page! Those who are in your App’s team will be redirected to the Build’s page if the Public install page toggle is disabled.

You can specify the list of groups and emails for automatic install invite notification in the App’s Workflow using the Notify: User Groups and Notify: Emails step input fields.

Test Devices

If you built your iOS App with a development or an ad hoc provisioning profile, an additional section will be presented with a list of allowed device identifiers (UDID) on your Build’s page. If you or a team member of your app’s team register a device for his/her Bitrise account and the device’s identifier can be found in the Provisioning Profile, you will see the following in the list:

For Android apps, you don’t have to register your test devices, as Android apps don’t have per-device install restrictions. However you’ll have to enable the Unknown Sources option in Android to be able to install the APK from outside of the Google Play Store.

Disabling Public Page for the App

You can disable this toggle any time:

Who can receive the app after disabling?

If you disable this function for the app, then only your app’s team members will be able to install the app from Bitrise! Additionally, the Notify: Emails option will be ignored and the Notify: User Roles users will receive the build’s URL instead of the public page’s URL!