In-App Bug Reporting for iOS Applications: How It Works

Posted in: Bug reports, Product news by: Simon on:

Apple iOS Swift

Whenever I talk about Lean Testing with a user, they always mention how much they love our browser extensions. Much like Lean Testing itself, the browser extensions were built with simplicity and ease-of-use in mind. Moreover, today we’re announcing that this same method of bug reporting is coming to iOS, thanks to our friends at Digital Krikits.

In-app bug reporting for iOS: installation process

When you create a new project in Lean Testing, you will now be asked what type of project it is. If you specify that your project is a mobile app, a new option will appear in the upper right corner of your screen:

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Your development team will need to follow the simple instructions provided on this page to add the SDK to your iOS app. It is a simple matter of drag and drop and copy pasting one line of code into your app. You then compile a new build and send it to your test team.

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In-app bug reporting for iOS: reporting bugs

Once your testers have received the new version of the app, they can trigger the bug reporting process by taking a screenshot inside the application.

Read How to take a screenshot on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch on Apple’s website.

We decided that this was the best starting point for the bug reporting process. Since testers almost always take a screenshot to go along with their bug report, it made sense to start this way.

The next step of the process is identical to that of the browser extension. Testers can annotate their screenshots. Once this is done, they move on to the bug report form, which is the exact same form you’re used to seeing in Lean Testing.

The only difference is that the user does not need to specify the device information. It is instead automatically collected from the device.

The case for the iOS in-app bug reporting SDK

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There was much debate internally as to the intended use of the in-app bug reporting SDK. Some of our team members felt it was intended to be used by professional testers in the context of private beta versions. Others felt that it was an interesting tool to enable real-world users to provide feedback once the app was live.

The bottom line is that it can be used for both, but it is probably better-suited for professional testers.

When building Lean Testing, first and foremost, we asked ourselves how to make it a useful tool for testers. “By testers, for testers,” as Eric likes to say.

While they definitely can use it to provide feedback and bug reports, I personally feel it might be a little tricky for “normal” users to use the SDK.

However, there is an obvious benefit for developers in that they will receive clean, organized feedback directly in their bug tracker as opposed to disorganized bits of information via email.

Where do we go from here?

As we were developing this exciting new feature, everyone involved contributed tons of ideas as to how we can make it even more useful for mobile development teams.

While we’d love start adding new features right away, we are first going to wait to hear from our users. Would you like to see an Android version? A more generic feedback form? Video recording? Automatic crash log submission? Please tell us in our forum.

Thank you and happy testing!



Simon is the founder of Crowdsourced Testing. After 10 years in interactive software development, he set his sights on building a world-class crowdsourcing platform to facilitate the software testing process for developers.