Archive | July, 2015

Testing with Testflight

10 Jul

Testing with Testflight

After Apple purchased Testflight, the service has been integrated into the workflow when publishing apps. Any app with a distribution profile can be sent to users for testing and the process is actually quite smooth compared to the old version. First your build is vetted by Application Loader (or XCode) and then you turn on testing for that specific build. I did however run into an issue worth publishing in case others run into it.

Normally, you'll just flick a switch to turn on Testflight Beta Testing and the app is ready to be tested by all internal to the team. In my case, I could flick the switch but nothing happened. I called Apple Developer support, but the guy I talked with completely failed at understanding what my issue was and he insisted on sending me something I knew was incorrect. He just wouldn't listen when I tried to tell him that something was wrong:

I eventually understood that the first of the two warnings (... must contain the correct beta entitlement) did not have anything to do with my certificate or provisioning file, but rather a missing directive in my app descriptor. Some googling led me to this article that explained how one had to add the beta-reports-active key to the Entitlements part of the descriptor. I now got an error when uploading the 

Build 168 does not contain the correct beta entitlement.

After reading all the replies to this thread I realised that I should not set the mobileProvision-file to be for AdHoc distribution. It should just be a Distribution profile for App Store. That's it.

I also had another issue getting my AIR app published this time. After updating to the latest XCode, I got the following error when uploading the app:

Invalid Bundle: The bundle does not support the minimum version os specified in info.plist

Turns out one have to add a bit about MinimumOSVersion to the InfoAdditions-section of the descriptor file as well. My entire iPhone descriptor settings are now like this:

<iPhone>
<InfoAdditions><![CDATA[
  <key>UIDeviceFamily</key>
  <array>
   <string>1</string>
   <string>2</string>
  </array>
  <key>UIApplicationExitsOnSuspend</key>
     <false/>
     <key>MinimumOSVersion</key>
  <string>6.1</string>
]]></InfoAdditions>
<requestedDisplayResolution>high</requestedDisplayResolution>
<Entitlements>
        <![CDATA[
   <key>aps-environment</key>
   <string>production</string>
   <key>application-identifier</key>
   <string>XXXXXXX.com.myapp.appname</string>
   <key>keychain-access-groups</key>
   <array>
    <string>XXXXXXX.*</string>
   </array>
   <key>get-task-allow</key>
   <false/>
   <key>beta-reports-active</key>
   <true/>
        ]]>
</Entitlements>
</iPhone>

Popcorn Time!

06 Jul

Popcorn Time!

Just a little summer sigh... I keep reading articles like this one (translated to English) about the famed Popcorn Time software that let's anyone view pretty much any movie when they want. In this article, the word "strømming" means "streaming" and the headline is that streaming of pirated movies has more than doubled the last year.

Nobody but the movie industry is surprised! We all want to stream movies like we've been able to for music for quite some time now.

In my opinion, Popcorn Time is Netflix done right, but without any legal issues holding them back. Suing Popcorn Time or it's users will not solve the problem. Just as with music - new distribution models will pop up and they'll be your competition in the future. The longer you wait, the worse you basically make it for yourself.

How NOT to attack this

The obvious way to attack this is what the movie industry is currently doing. They slam the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the face of those pirating instead of removing stick (or even forest) in their eye. They drag kids and parents to court for illegally watching movies. I wonder why one have to work in IT / Web to understand that this will not solve a single problem? Why can't they just understand once and for all, the old distribution model is gone and they have to solve this with software & licensing?

What the movie industry SHOULD do

First of all, they should read this 7 year old review from the EFF of what happened when the RIAA sued more than 30.000 individuals. They gained nothing, but rather lost their public reputation as a watch dog for the industry. People don't pirate movies or make services like Popcorn Time to be evil. They are solving what the industry does not do itself - the obvious way to distribute movies.

There is no practical reason not to distribute movies digitally. There may be legal / monetary issues regarding the licensing of each film, but that is irrelevant to the end users. When the music service WiMP (now part of Tidal) started here in Oslo, they had 1 programmer and 8 lawyers. That's how clumsy these things are in music. I don't expect it to be easier with films, but that's no reason to hold on to an antiquated system? The first studio to clear legalities and make their ENTIRE back catalog of movies available will be the winner.

For several years, record labels report about increased purchase and use of music - thanks to the streaming services. As soon as Hollywood understands that they can activate their massive back catalog of assets, they will make the illegal streaming services will disappear - just as the P2P music pirating disappeared. The first company to make a Spotify for movies (offering movies from most or all studios) will be filthy rich.

Nobody really wants to pirate movies. It just happens to be easier than getting them legally.

Image by Tim Cowley, CC By-SA 4.0