We are happy to announce the first public release of Hockey, our open source framework. Hockey provides support for Ad Hoc OTA beta installations with iOS 4.
We showed a sneak peek video last week of what is coming, and here we are, one week later with the release! Hockey helps every iOS developer improve the distribution of beta versions of their apps, whether a first time installation or providing updates. We had the idea for this framework after reading this blog post: http://jeffreysambells.com/posts/2010/06/22/ios-wireless-app-distribution/ where Jeffrey Sambells wrote about the mechanisms required and being available for developers to use.
To create awesome apps, developers need awesome beta testers. So anything that helps make life easier in the process will help making beta testing much easier. :) One problem in this process is installing new beta versions via iTunes. Before Hockey, developers needed to inform the testers, give them a link to download the binary, instruct them how to add the files to iTunes, connect the device, sync, and if it didn't work, start all over again. After reading the blog post above, it became clear that there is now a way to make everything easier... much easier!
With Hockey, this is all history, as long as the beta tester has iOS 4 installed on the device. The beta application can be installed by clicking on a link on a webpage and the application will notify the user automatically when it starts, if there is an update available and the user can install it from within the application. Wherever they are and whenever they want. No iTunes required, in fact, not even a computer is required any more! All that is required, is a webserver and some simple code to be integrated.
Developers, get the source at GitHub: http://github.com/TheRealKerni/HockeyKit
Take it, use it, enhance it, and enjoy having it. :) Beta testers of the upcoming version 2 of WorldView have been using this new mechanism reliably over the last week and it's never been easier or quicker to send out new builds to the designer or the testers.