Testing Your App

Testing your app is a very useful method of previewing your app to see how it will appear on users' phones. The testing process will let you use your app exactly how it will be displayed when uploaded to the App Stores. 

Note - When testing, ensure your app is built in a way that you can navigate to all the screens you want to test.


Before Testing

Before you begin testing your app, ensure you have completed the following things:

  1. Set a designated Home Screen in the general settings of your app 
    1. This is important as it will be the first screen that you load into while using your app. If you want to test any newer screens, ensure to add links on your Home Screen or Submenu to be able to navigate to those screens while testing.
    2. To learn how to set the home screen of your app, click here: https://support.22apps.com/article/245-setting-your-home-page
  2. Upload your app's logo
    1. To learn how to upload your app's logo, click here: https://support.22apps.com/article/240-navigating-the-logo
  3. Upload your app's splash screen
    1. To learn about uploading the splash screen, click here: https://support.22apps.com/article/241-navigating-the-splash-screen


Download the Testing App & Create your Expo Account

In order to test your app, you must download a separate testing app to your phone. If you haven’t downloaded the app and created an account yet, follow these steps:

  • Install the free Expo app to your Android or iOS phone. You can do this by searching "Expo Go" in Apple's App Store or the Google Play Store on your phone. Or, if you're reading this on your phone, click the corresponding link below to download Expo app:

Once downloaded, open the Expo app and log in, or create a new free Expo account if you don't already have one.

IMPORTANT: You MAY have to verify your expo account with your email in order for it to work (Otherwise you may get an error saying "invalid-expo-credentials" when trying to login

Note - ensure to create a login you will remember, as you will need to enter the email and password of your Expo account into 22apps in order to test and to upload your app later on.


How to Preview Your App

To test your app to see how it currently functions on a phone, save your progress, then click the Test button in the upper right of any app screen.

This will open the “Preview Your App” window.

Next, enter your Expo login details into the "Preview Your App" window, and click Build.

After clicking Build, your app will begin building inside of Expo. This process typically takes 1-3 minutes, and it will continue building even if you close the window to resume working on your app.

  • Note - any edits made AFTER clicking Build will NOT show while testing. In order to test new edits, you will need to submit a new test Build the same way as before.

Once your app is finished building, You will get a notification in the top right in the app builder stating "Your app preview was successfully built!" 

Additionally, you will see this appear in the "Preview Your App" window:

Now that your app build is ready, go on your phone and go into the Expo app.

  • Ensure you are logged into the same account that you submitted to test with in 22apps.

Once in the Expo app, navigate to the Profile tab in the bottom right. 

Here, you will see your app listed under "Recent Projects". Tap on the project, and click default. This will load the latest test build of your app that you've submitted.

Now you can fully test your app within Expo!

  • Note - make sure you have set your Home Screen in the General settings in order for testing to function properly.

Re-Testing Your App

Now that you've tested your app in Expo, you may want to change some things or add new bits to your app and test it again. To test again, simply follow a similar process as before. Make the changes to your app in 22apps, click Save and then click Test, and follow the same steps of generating your build in Expo. 

After generating a new build, you can go on the Expo app and test your new app again.

IMPORTANT NOTE - in order to test your app's latest test build in Expo, you must ensure that your Expo app has reloaded your most recent build. To ensure you're on the latest build, you can do one of the following:

  1. Fully close and reopen the Expo app. After reopening Expo, select your test app the same way as before.
    1. On most Apple and Android devices, to close an app, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause in the middle of the screen. Then, swipe up on the app's preview to close the app.
    2. If this doesn't work for your phone device, we suggest searching online how to close an app using your specific phone device.
  2. While inside Expo testing your app, open the developer menu and click "Reload". You can open the menu using one of the following Developer Menu Gestures:
    1. Shake Device
      1. lightly shake your phone once or twice to get the menu to pop up.
    2. Three-finger long press
      1. To do this, press 3 fingers down on the screen simultaneously for a second. The menu should pop up if done correctly.

Note - if you are having trouble getting the menu to open, close the Expo app, and reopen it. Go to the Profile tab and click " Options" in the top corner. Underneath "Developer Menu Gestures", you will see the available options to use to open the menu while testing. Ensure to select at least one of the options that works for you.

  • Also, keep in mind that this developer menu does not exist when actually using your uploaded app. It is only used within the Expo app for testing purposes.

Even after reloading your build in Expo, make sure when testing to look specifically at your new edits to make sure that you're reviewing the correct test build. Another way to tell if your app is on the latest version is that after you reload your app and the test build is ready, you'll notice on the bottom of your phone screen when loading the app on your splash screen, it will say "New update available, downloading..." - as a way to confirm that you're loading a new build of your app compared to the last one used on Expo.

If you have any questions about this article, feel free to reach out to our support team! We're happy to help.