End of TestFlight

I know, TestFlight is now part of Apple and you can do beta testing on 1000 devices with TestFlight.  But these are what I miss about testflight.

Testflight API - the API is what helped continuous integration of iOS project - from check-in to build to deploy for test.  Not only did the TestFlight api helped in uploading the app to TestFlight, it also notified relevant testers, based on the configuration.

Testflight sign-up/sign in - it was very simple.  Just open the recruitment url from Safari on the apple device, follow the instructions and you were set.

Post Apple acquisition, things are different now.  There are now "internal testers" and "beta testers".  Internal testers need to have iTunes Connect account.   I believe you now need to have TestFlight iOS app on your phone.

I saw this feedback for the TestFlight iOS app...

You cannot add testers who already have iConnect accounts, builds only last for 30 days (so if you need to compare against and old build-tough luck), for external testers you have to pass a submission test (really?? This is TESTING!), and the new TestFlight requires iOS 8 (oh you want to test multiple versions of the OS--tough cookies!). These restrictions make the new TestFlight useless for all but the simplest testing systems.

Now, what about alternatives?  Many of them like HockeyApp are paid.  A Free alternative that we have been playing with is Fabric Crashlytics Beta by Twitter.  But this is tightly integrated with the IDE (XCode or Android Studio).  While the sign-up and notification mechanism is quite good, I miss the lack of API to upload build.