App Developers Circumvent Apple’s 100-Device Testing Cap

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, prominent iOS developers are encountering significant challenges due to Apple’s device limitation for app testing. The App Store’s guidelines allow developers to test their applications on only 100 devices through ad-hoc distribution. While this restriction may be manageable for smaller developers, it poses a considerable obstacle for larger operations or extensive beta testing phases.

For instance, Instagram has reportedly had to purchase an additional developer account to circumvent this limit and secure another 100 device slots for testing purposes.

However, there are some workarounds available. TestFlight offers a platform for developers to distribute and update test apps dynamically. Another option is Pieceable, which utilizes the iOS simulator in Xcode to provide web-based access to app betas, although not all features are fully functional in this environment.

Apple also offers an enterprise developer program that diverges from these restrictions by allowing an unlimited number of company employees to download and use applications.

This program is specifically designed for internal enterprise use, and Apple mandates that only company employees can use these enterprise apps.

The question remains whether Apple will adjust these testing limitations in response to the growing need for broader beta testing capabilities. While expanding the ad-hoc rules could potentially allow developers to bypass the App Store and avoid Apple’s 30% revenue cut, it seems more likely that developers will adapt their strategies. This might include utilizing the initial post-release period for additional testing and refinements.


Ryan is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful and engaging content to Apple enthusiasts around the world. With a deep understanding of Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, Ryan offers readers a unique perspective on the latest news, updates, and trends. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex topics accessible to all. When he’s not writing, Ryan enjoys exploring new tech and staying ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of Apple.