Distributing pre-release applications outside of official delivery channels isn't exactly easy. That's why Applivery, a Spanish startup, launched its new, free distribution system today for both Android and iOS beta apps. The service promises to ease the pains of testing still-in-development enterprise applications.
Applivery was founded by Cesar Trigo and is based in Madrid, Spain. The company's goal is to connect businesses, developers, and customers through a single platform. Applivery supports the distribution of Android and iOS apps to beta testers outside of official channels.
The idea behind Applivery is to make it easy for developers to create and distribute their apps; for consumers to access and test those apps; and for consumers to provide feedback of those apps so developers can make improvements. The company claims to offer "a simple tool that allows exchanging test versions in a controlled way, and receive feedback from the testers."
While feedback is surely key for developers, making their apps available outside the walls erected by iTunes and the Play Store is a bit trickier. Android device owners are allowed to circumvent the rules and install non-Play Store apps, but iOS users need to jailbreak (i.e., hack) their device in order to do the same. Jailbreaking, which circumvents Apple's controls, is generally regarded as a bad idea from a security standpoint. The same also applies to Android users who choose to install apps from outside the Play Store. There's a reason for this.
Apps that hail from sources other than the official ditribution points offered by Apple and Google don't have the same quality controls. They aren't (necessarily) scanned for malware, and carry a greater chance of causing harm to end-user devices. This is exactly the conundrum Applivery is hoping to solve.
Applivery says its model "provides a flexible method to distribute applications outside the scope of the official Apple and Google Play Stores, facilitating the download without complex registration processes, certificates, etc. Just click and install." In other words, it powers white-label distribution web sites for downloading apps while protecting the application via passwords and other methods.
Developers can use Applivery to track a wide range of statistics, such as who, how, and when apps were downloaded, as well as which versions of those apps were tested. It also makes identifying and facilitating bugs much easier. User management tools give developers greater control over who can see the builds and apps, as well as spell out the difference between admins, devs, and clients. It works with devices large and small, ranging from the most diminutive handsets to the largest tablets.
Applivery's core pitch is that it was create by and for developers. To that end, it has a large, public RESTful API that it hopes developer will use to their advantage.
Applivery's service is free and open to use, though beta invites are required