We have an application in which version 1.0 is live on the Apple/iTunes app store and we are currently developing and testing version 1.1.

One of our requirements is that user credentials and error log information from version 1.0 will remain after the user upgrades to version 1.1.

Normally when testing, we delete the application from our device, connect to iTunes, and sync the device to install the new version.

I assume that when version 1.1 is live on the App Store, the user will see it under "Updates" in the App Store app. The user will then be able to tap the button to install the upgrade.

If when we are testing, we don't delete the application from the phone, connect to iTunes, and sync, would this be an accurate representation of a user upgrading through the App Store?

If not, how to go about testing upgrades?

3 Answers 3


Apple recommends that you first install the current app version from App Store. Then install an ad hoc build of the updated app through iTunes. (Do not use Xcode to install or run updates to your app for quality assurance testing.)

Reference: Testing iOS App Updates

  • I usually overwrite an existing installation with an ad-hoc build via the xcode organizer window. Is that the same thing as what you describe?
    – Roni Yaniv
    Feb 14, 2013 at 20:35
  • Overwrite earlier version with new (ad-hoc) build using iTunes (device sync), not via xcode. Feb 15, 2013 at 4:21
  • I'm not using xcode to put a compiled build on the device. I'm using the xcode organizer to put an ad-hoc .ipa archive on the device. I can take the same ipa and use it through itunes or the iPhone configuration utility. So why not xcode (which is more convenient)?
    – Roni Yaniv
    Feb 21, 2013 at 9:22
  • I think xcode organizer would work too. I haven't tried that though. Feb 21, 2013 at 9:27

Device or simulator to test updates: of course device because simulator does not support some features (f.e. push notifications, camera, …)

How to test, simple but important steps:

1) Install version 1

2) Do some actions: open levels, buy something (levels, things, clothes, money, …), pass some turns if it is game or guess something)

3) Install a new version on the old (usually old version installs from the AppStore and the new version (as in our company and I prefer it) - from the TestFlifgt (or iTunes, as you want and as you know)

4) Test a new version. Note: We test update in 3 ways (!): A) all new features should work properly B) all actions made by user in the old build should be actual for the new build (passed levels should be passed, all turns, money, score, purchases, open levels, ... should be opened, bought, ... (as they were in the old version) C) Test the interaction of the old and new version. Especially it refers to pushes (sometimes pushes from the old version do not come to the device with a new), sending games, presents, messages, … from the device with old version to the device with a new version and vice versa

Do not forget to test a new version with a clean installation. A lot of users will install a new version when they won't have the old one.

Hope, this little article will be useful for you. Thnx))


The main idea here is install the new one over the old one and still your credentials and error log must work. It need not be only from App store and itunes, you can configure the device to get the updates from your local server also.. assumed it can be connected from outside. Otherwise what you doing is right.. update from itunes. But be sure the update can be installed by simultaneous Users from different devices.

  • Thank you, Balaji. Can you share any resource about how to configure the device to get updates from the local server? Is this the method you are referring to: hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20071009082248452. Also, does it matter if the .ipa is located on an FTP server or HTTP server? Lastly, if we are installing from iTunes, does your recommendation to test simultaneous users still hold? I understand that we should test different devices, but I don't think that we can update multiple devices at the same time with iTunes. Oct 12, 2011 at 14:35

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