Sharing test builds

[This article is for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x developers writing Windows Runtime apps. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation]

Here is how to share versions of your app for beta testing, equivalent to Ad Hoc builds in iOS.

During the development process there will come a time when you want to run your app on a computer other than your development machine. Although the simulator lets you try different screen configurations, testing on multiple computers is always a good idea. You can use Remote Debugging to test it on a connected device, but having other people use your app to test for usability and other bugs is definitely recommended.

In iOS development, you can share apps by adding any secondary device’s UDID to your development portal (up to a certain limit), and creating a special Ad Hoc build. The process for Windows Store apps is a little different.

Note The person with whom you are sharing your app must have a Windows 8 developer license installed on their computer. This license must be regularly renewed. Once the license expires, the app will no longer run. You should not distribute completed apps in this way. The Windows Store is the correct way to distribute apps.

Here is how to share your app for testing:

  • Right-click on the project in Solution Explorer, and select Store and Create App Packages..
  • Select No to the question Do you want to build packages to upload to the Windows Store?
  • Confirm the location and architecture to use. A USB drive is a convenient location.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio will create a folder with a name based on the app name, version and architecture.
  • Remove the USB drive (or copy the folder) and access it from the secondary computer.
  • Open the folder, and launch the Add-AppDevPackage script by right-clicking it, and selecting Run with PowerShell
  • During the installation process, answer the prompts and the app will be installed.

Note To share a Windows Phone 8.1 app, use the Application Deployment tool. See How to deploy and run an app for Windows Phone 8 for more info.

Topics for iOS devs

Resources for iOS devs

Windows 8 controls for iOS devs

Windows 8 cookbook for iOS devs

App sharing topics

Sharing an app package locally (Windows Store apps)

Creating an app package (Windows Store apps)