iOS apps for the iPad, iPod and other iDevices is not unlike any manufactured product. They need the services of the beta tester throughout the development cycle before they reach the public. One could not imagine an automaker selling a car without first thoroughly testing the brakes. It’s equally important for an iOS developer to test their app before submitting it to the Apple App store for sale or even free download. Even if it were not a health or safety issue, those one-star ratings can destroy a developer’s reputation.
The focus of this article is not the iOS developer in search of beta testers. Ray Wenderlich has a good post regarding that. We’re looking here at the beta tester in search of a developer.
Why Become a Beta Tester
iOS beta testers are typically volunteers, so money should not be the motivator. However, some people are early adopters of technology. They want to be the first to get their hands on the next new app. Among that group are not just leading-edge technology enthusiasts, but also the bleeding-edge type. If you’re the later and don’t get turned off by some pre-release bugs, then beta testing could be for you.
How To Become a Beta Tester
First, identify your areas of interest. Some people are gamers. Others love science, BOOKS, music, art or social networking. Like the old saying goes, ‘There’s an app for that.’ You can get noticed by a developer who contacts you, or you can contact the developer to get noticed.
- Getting noticed by a developer. If you are contacted by a developer to help them beta test their app, it is likely that they have heard about you and have confidence in you that your input would be valuable to their app. A personal blog where you write about your passion is an excellent way to gain the attention of like-minded developers. There are also forums specific to practically any subject you can imagine. Participate in them. Forums are a great place to find answers and offer your expertise, but don’t be a know-it-all. That’s a turnoff.
Contacting a developer. The first place to look for a developer is on your own I-device. Visit their web sites. You’ll discover that some of them have sign-ups for people interested in beta testing. Also, do a Google search for developers of apps.
In part II of How to Become a Beta Tester for the iPad and iOS Devices, we’ll look at:
- The qualifications of a beta tester
- The work of a beta tester
- Can you keep a secret?
If you have beta tested iOS devices, what has been your experience?