Deploying internal builds to Ship - Is Apple validation step required?


I’m new to Bitrise and found that Ship beta feature. Does it offer the ability to generate iOS artifact and expose it to a set of internal beta-testers without having to pass by Apple verification step ?
Or is the Apple verification always a mandatory step before publishing the artifact on / ship ?

If yes, does it depends on the ipa export method selected ?
If not, what are the different ipa export method for ?

  • app-store .
  • ad-hoc .
  • enterprise .
  • development
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Hello and welcome to Bitrise!

I’m not sure I know exactly what you mean by “Apple validation step”. If you are asking if code signing applies, it does. The ipa must be properly signed according to Apple’s specification to be installed on devices to test.

The export method are defined and required by Apple. You can find information on the different types and which to use at:

Or this thread in the Apple Developer forum is a bit more straight-forward:

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Hi Cathy,

Thank you for your answer.
My question was probably not very clear due to my incomplete knowledge on iOS world.

Code signing is fine, i wanted to know if we also need Apple to verify and accept our application code to be able to deploy development / internal builds on test devices via Ship? (that same validation step when you publish to the Apple Store)

So thanks to your links on Apple doc, i understand a bit better and here is my understanding:

  • With Ship & i can build development / internal app builds and distribute it to internal beta testers / test devices. This of course need code signing and to define the target test device in both bitrise & my Apple dev account, but it would not require any code review / approval from Apple.
  • in a later stage, i can then use testFlight with my Apple dev account to build real beta version and distribute it to external beta testers. This would require code review / approval from Apple.
  • then i can distribute the final version from the beta version to the apple store. This would require code review / approval again from Apple only in case the build changed from the beta version.

Is that correct ?

No problem! Glad the links helped.

For TestFlight, a review is required when you submit an app with a new version number.

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