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TestFlight vs fastlane: What are the differences?


In this article, we will compare the key differences between TestFlight and fastlane.

  1. Deployment Process: TestFlight provides a seamless and simplified process for deploying iOS apps by allowing developers to distribute beta builds to testers. On the other hand, fastlane automates the entire deployment process, including building, signing, and distributing apps across multiple platforms like iOS and Android.

  2. Integration: TestFlight is integrated directly into Apple's developer tools and services, making it the default choice for iOS app testing and distribution. In contrast, fastlane can be easily integrated with various CI/CD tools and third-party services, making it a more flexible option for cross-platform development.

  3. Automation and Customization: While TestFlight offers limited automation capabilities, fastlane is designed specifically for automating repetitive tasks in the app development lifecycle. With fastlane, developers can create custom workflows and automate tasks like screenshots generation, code signing, and uploading the app to app stores.

  4. Code Quality and Testing: TestFlight focuses primarily on beta testing and user feedback, providing tools for gathering feedback and tracking app crashes. In contrast, fastlane puts more emphasis on code quality and testing, offering multiple tools for automating unit tests, UI tests, and code review.

  5. Community and Support: As a part of Apple's ecosystem, TestFlight benefits from the widespread community and official support channels available. Fastlane, though community-driven, has a strong and active community that offers extensive documentation, forums, and plugins for various use cases.

  6. Usability and Learning Curve: TestFlight is relatively easy to use, especially for developers already familiar with Apple's ecosystem. Fastlane, on the other hand, has a steeper learning curve due to its wide range of features and configuration options, but offers more flexibility and control once mastered.

In Summary, TestFlight is a straightforward and integrated solution for iOS app testing and distribution, while fastlane provides automation, customization, and cross-platform support for the app development process.

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Pros of fastlane
Pros of TestFlight
  • 20
    Easy to use
  • 13
    Open Source
  • 13
    Itunes connect deployment
  • 11
    Incredible flexability
  • 9
    Third party integrations
  • 3
    Provisioning profile management
  • 3
    Certificate management
  • 1
    All in one iOS DevOps
  • 1
    Can be used for Android as well
  • 0
    Integrate anything with fastlane
  • 62
    Must have for ios development
  • 49
    Beta testing
  • 20
    Easy setup
  • 10
    Easy way to push out updates for internal testers
  • 7
    In-App Updates
  • 5
    Crash Logging
  • 4
  • 3
    Multiple platforms
  • 2
    Remote Logging
  • 1

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What is fastlane?

fastlane lets you define and run your deployment pipelines for different environments. It helps you unify your app’s release process and automate the whole process. fastlane connects all fastlane tools and third party tools, like CocoaPods.

What is TestFlight?

With TestFlight, developers simply upload a build, and the testers can install it directly from their device, over the air.

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What companies use fastlane?
What companies use TestFlight?
See which teams inside your own company are using fastlane or TestFlight.
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What are some alternatives to fastlane and TestFlight?
HockeyApp is the best way to collect live crash reports, get feedback from your users, distribute your betas, and analyze your test coverage.
It is a Continous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) Platform as a Service (PaaS) with a main focus on mobile app development (iOS, Android). You can automate the testing and deployment of your apps with just a few clicks. When you trigger a build a Virtual Machine is assigned to host your build and your defined Workflow (series of Steps scripts) will be executed, step by step.
In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
Continuous integration and delivery platform helps software teams rapidly release code with confidence by automating the build, test, and deploy process. Offers a modern software development platform that lets teams ramp.
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