I think we all can agree that attempting to do beta testing on iOS is pretty terrible. You can't side load apps easily, provisioning profiles are terrible, and manually adding people to TestFlight is no fun. All I want to do is get my app in users hands! Why do I have to go through so much stress? Well you don't, because fastlane comes in to save the day just like it simplifies provisioning in Visual Studio for Mac.
The issue with TestFlight
So TestFlight is a bit better now that we can add 10,000 people to an app and it will auto install without any provisioning madness. The issue though is that you need to manually add people or upload a CSV file! What? That is crazy! And I have been doing so for way too long.
Introducing fastlane boarding
I feel as though I should have found this a long time ago, but essentially the boarding tool from fastlane enables you to single click deploy an app to heroku (a free service, or optionally grab a docker image) and within a few seconds you have a full website setup ready to automatically add users to a group in TestFlight! Now that is absolutely amazing! Just configure you app, team id, and login credentials and fastlane boarding takes care of the rest. In fact you can test this out right now with the Xamarin Live Player iOS Fast Ring Signup!
On top of that it totally works! All you need to do is ensure your account has App permissions in iTunes Connect! I hope this small post helps someone out there simplifier their onboarding with boarding!
Listen to Merge Conflict
Want to learn more about CI/CD and fastlane? Frank and I discuss it all on our podcast Merge Conflict: