Apple's TestFlight finally comes to the Mac - but what is it?

TestFlight Mac
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple’s method of allowing developers to roll out pre-release versions of their apps is now available on the newly-announced macOS Monterrey, after only being available on iOS for the last seven years.

There was a plethora of features announced at WWDC for macOS Monterrey, focusing more on refinements across the board after last year’s huge redesign in Big Sur. However, developers were excited by the improvements in how they can create and improve their apps, with TestFlight being the highlight for many.

This is an app that developers have been wanting for years, ever since it appeared on iOS in September of 2014. Before, they would have to create their own methods of distributing test versions of their apps to users on the Mac, but now it’s about to be much easier.

What is TestFlight?

This is Apple’s application for allowing developers to release test versions of their apps. In iOS, you could open a TestFlight link, and by using the app found in the App Store, you can register your place for a test version of a certain app.

It overwrites the existing version of the app on your device if it’s installed, and you can then try out the latest features and send feedback to the developer.

Since the iOS version was released back in 2014, many were waiting for a macOS version to arrive - it looked like the next obvious feature for TestFlight to appear on the Mac, but it never did, until this week.

With developers clamouring for the same easy method to come to the Mac, it’s now a reality in macOS Monterey, where they can send invites to testers and easily approve or decline requests.

When is it coming?

It’s part of Apple’s new macOS Monterrey, coming to Macs in the fall. It’s more of a refinement year this time, with small features across the board, adding up to a substantial set of improvements in many areas.

While there were rumors of a new MacBook Pro arriving this week, they were not a reality, with Apple focusing on software and software only at their keynote.

However, with Monterrey’s release later this year, developers can access TestFlight for Mac right now by testing the developer beta that was released last night.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.