I need to better understand the flow of an ios app development and beta testing

I have Visual Studio 2019 on my Windows PC and am building cross platform apps using xamarin forms. I have no Mac available.
So, I set myself up as an Apple Developer. I also signed up for a Macincloud access to a Mac to do building for me.
My setup is working to the point where I can get my simulators to work on Android simulator and iOS simulator. Now what I want to do is some beta testing. I want to set up beta testing with my fellow engineer so he can see how it looks as we progress in adding features. I have found info on using TestFlight on his or my iPhone to check it out.
Here is where I am totally lost and confused…
One general youtube tutorial indicates that I need to upload my beta version and then send an email to my fellow engineer (and myself) to allow us to run TestFlight to check it out.
HOWEVER, every tutorial that I have found so far takes the next step of logging on to the Mac and downloading xCode and then proceeds to develop the app on that mac in xCode. Why?
I thought the whole point of using my VS 2019 was that the development was done on my PC.
So at this point, I don’t understand how to proceed.
How do I send a beta version to (wherever) to allow us to access it with TestFlight? For a beta version, do I still need to do all of the setup for uploading and getting an app approved and ready to go into the appstore even to just do a beta test?
So, if there is a tutorial showing the steps to set up a beta test somehow, please point me there.
Thanks for any assistance to my long question.

Hi @rtemen

The only way to get a project to Apple and onto Test Flight is via Xcode which only runs on a Mac.

You might look for a used Mac mini. The is the least expensive way to enter the system.


Hmmm. Thanks for your response.
I am still pretty lost on a few levels.

  1. How do I set up a beta version only for the two of us to test using something like TestFlight?
    I do not see any instructions besides those to set up the app in the store. Is there a way to upload it
    to the Apple Store such that no one out there in the world can see it? After all, it is beta and not

  2. What is the point of Microsoft’s Xamarin Forms on their Visual Studio 2019 if I need to build it on a
    Mac anyway? I don’t get it.

Can you point me to some high level tutorial that will be able to clear this up for me?


Rich yes beta testing you deploy it on iTunes connect and it can be shared only between people you invite

The point of Microsoft Xamarin Forms is to develop the app for both Android and iOS with one code base, you’ll have to research exactly how to make the proper file to upload to iTunes connect. I’ve never use Xamarin Forms.

I’d begin looking at “beta test Xamarin iOS”

Good info. Thanks.
I will try to find that.

I cannot find an up to date tutorial on how to get my app ready to send to iTunes Connect for beta testing with my fellow designer.
Secondly, I know what you mean with your response to what is the point of Xamarin Forms.
What I meant was why does Microsoft have Visual Studio 2019 for Windows, and every tutorial I have found or been directed to indicates that I need a Mac. The blurb from Microsoft indicates that windows developers can do this. So why the constant need for a Mac?
Additionally, Microsoft says that you can beta test an iOS app using iTunes Connect. However, any tutorial I found on this seems to be out of date, since they say to select something and then you should see another screen so that you can take the next step. HOWEVER, when I follow the step, the subsequent step is not there.

I know it is a long message, but I am super frustrated.
Any help would be appreciated.



You can build the app with Xamarin forms, to have one code base for multiple apps (iOS and Android)

The reason you still need a Mac is because windows can’t compile an app, only Macs can

Also in general Xamarin isn’t super popular which is why you’re finding out dated tutorials.

Many people are using React Native or Flutter for cross platform development instead.

Not to say you can’t use Xamarin, it’s just not as popular