Installing iPhone beta applications and common problems FAQ

08/27/2009

What does a beta tester do?
Play! If you send us a little information about you and your iPhone/iPod Touch (see below), we can send you a special version of the game that can be installed locally, instead of through the appstore. Once the game is on your device, just play with it and tell us what you find by emailing beta@ayogo.com.

What do I need to do to get started as a beta tester?
Send us your Device ID (aka UDID).  A beta tester has to be approved by the person who manages the applications beta program, whom we will call a beta program manager.  They add the beta tester’s device to the list of approved devices for each application.  The list of approved devices for each application is stored in a mobile provisioning profile.  A beta tester needs to send their device ID to the person who will update the mobile provisioning profile.  The device ID is a 40 character hexadecimal string of letters and numbers that uniquely identifies the device.  The beta tester needs to send their UDID to the beta program manager.

How to I get my iPhone or iPod Touch UDID?
You can get your UDID from iTunes or your iPhone/iPod Touch  The iTunes steps are:
1. Connect your iPhone/IPod touch, which should automatically launch iTunes
2. Select your device in the left panel.  This shows the summary tab.
3. Select the Serial Number.  This toggles the summary to show the UDID.  The summary should show something like:
Identifier (UDID): A 40 character string.
4. Conveniently, iTunes automatically copies the UDID to the clipboard.
5. Paste the UDID into a message to the beta program manager.

The iPhone/iPod touch steps are:
1. install the amazing Erica Sadun’s Ad Hoc Helper application on your iPhone/iPod Touch.
2. Run it.  This creates a message in the mail application that contains your udid
3. Enter the email address of the beta program manager and send.

How do I install a beta application from a .zip?
1. Store the .zip file in a folder.  You may need to change the filename suffix to .zip if it is something else like .doc.  This is because gmail typically does not allow sending of a .zip that contains a .app file.
2. Extract the .zip.  The folder should now contain a .app file and a .mobileprovision file.
3. Drag the .mobileprovision file onto the iTunes in the dock.  This will install the .mobileprovision in iTunes and start iTunes.  Alternatively, you can draft the .mobileprovision file onto the right hand pane of the Library/Applications section of iTunes.
4. Answer yes if you happen to be overwriting an existing profile.
5. Drag the .app file onto the Library section of the left hand pane.  Alternatively, you can drag the .app file onto the right hand pane of the Library/Applications section of iTunes.
6. Answer yes if you happen to be overwriting an existing application.  This will also automatically select the application for synchronizing.
7. Sync your iPhone/iPod Touch.
9. If the application is not installed successfully and you have previously install the application, you will probably need to do a complete reinstall.  Some of the common errors are that the application cannot be verified, strange error numbers like 0xE8008105 or 0xE8008107

How do I verify the install of the beta application?
1. You can verify that the mobile provisioning profile has been successfully installed by going to the iPhone/iPod touch’s Settings / General / Profiles pane and seeing that the profile is there.
2. You can verify that the application has been been successfully installed by finding the application on the iPhone/iPod touch’s Springboard.

How do I completely reinstall if I have problems install the application?
There are many many reasons why an install may fail and the error messages from iTunes are not helpful.  For example, error 0xE8008015 seems to occur if the device’s id isn’t in the mobile provisioning profile of the .app.  It may occur in other cases too, so it may be a “provisioning profile in the .app not good for device” message.  The rough order of fixing problems follows.  You can try re-installing after any of the steps, though sometimes you need to do all the undo steps before trying again.

1. Restart the iphone.  I’ve had many times where this simply fixed the problem.  It’s a shame that it’s becoming a bit like Windows with rebooting needed.  Perhaps the iPhone is caching something about the application like an old profile or something.
2. Delete the application from your device and iTunes.
3. Delete the mobile provisioning profile from your device and iTunes.
4. Reinstall the application and provisioning profile.
5. Once you’ve tried all that and it doesn’t work, then you may need to look at the profiles that is included in the .app and sent with the .app.  The .app contains a duplicate of the provisioning profile. used in generating the .app.  Select the .app file ctrl-clicking or right clicking and selecting View Package Contents.  The opened folder will show a file called embedded.mobileprovision.  The first is to make sure that your device is in the both profiles.  The profile looks like a plist and the devices is under <key>ProvisionedDevices</key>.
6. You can try using the embedded profile instead of the one sent separately by copying it from the package, but make sure you copy it and don’t move it.

How do I delete an application?
You can delete an application from your iPhone/iPod Touch either from the device or from iTunes.  From the phone, the steps are:
1. Go to the screen with with the application.
2. Touch and hold the screen until the applications start to wiggle.
3. Touch the X on the application  to delete the application.

From iTunes, the steps are:
1. Select your device under Devices.
2. Select the Applications tab.
3. Select the application until the the tick box is empty.
4. Sync the device.

To delete the application from iTunes:
1. Select Library/Applications in the left pane.
2. Find the application in the right panel
3. Delete the application by either dragging to the trash or right(ctrl)-clicking and specifying delete.
4. Confirm.

How do I delete a provisioning profile?
Delete the profile from the mobile provisioning profile from the phone by:
1. Goto  Settings / General / Profiles.
2. Delete the profile.  You may want to delete all the profiles to make sure there’s no possibility of a conflict between an older profile and a newer one.

Delete the profile from iTunes by:
1. Open a finder window or Terminal
2. Open ~/Library/MobileDevices/Provisioning Profiles.
3. Delete the profile.  Again, you may want to delete all the profiles if you have more than one.  Note that iTunes stores the profile with the same name as it’s added, but developers using XCode will find that the profile file name is a completely different string.

How do I send an app to a beta tester?
As a beta program manager, once you’ve built an iphone app, you’ll need to send it to your beta testers.  You will have generated a .app file and then zipped it.  However, gmail doesn’t usually allow you to send a .zip with a .app so you’ll have to change the suffix to something other than .zip, such as .doc, if using gmail.  Make sure to tell your beta testers they need to convert the suffix back to .zip.  You’ll need to include the .mobileprovision that you used to generate the app.  See more on problem solving.

About the Author:

Dave Orchard is the Smartphone Games Guru at Ayogo.  Online he is at@DaveO and www.pacificspirit.com/blog.