Testing in-app purchases on iOS

Testing in-app purchases on iOS is considered to be relatively easy: there is no need to upload a build before testing, no need to enter credit card information, no real account etc. However, it’s still possible to make a mistake. Even more, from my personal experience almost all clients, who were sent a test build with in-app purchases did a mistake. As a result, they were complaining about not working in-apps, despite the fact that I was sending a todo list every time and they just skipped a point or two from it. So, what are those needed steps and possible mistakes?

Steps for testing In-App Purchases

  1. Add a test account in iTunes Connect. It can be done under the “Manage Users” section in iTunes Connect. Beware that such a test account is entirely fake, however its e-mail should be unique. Test accounts don’t ask any credit card information. Birthday should be entered during the account creation. The important part is the territory selection – if you wish to test the app in multiple territories, you have to add a test account for each territory. If you test your in-app purchase and iOS asks anything but username and password, then you have a problem. You did something wrong and need to create a new account.
  2. Clear any account information from the App Store settings. It can be done in Settings app under the App Store section. Just log out from your current account. Don’t enter you test account information in the App Store settings as it can invalidate your test account and you’ll need to create a new one.
  3. Open your app and start the purchase process by entering your test account information and confirming the purchase.

Common errors

  1. Verification Required. Before you can make purchases, you must tap Continue to verify your payment info.

Possibly you didn’t clear the real account information from the App Store settings or entered your test account information instead? Go to iOS Settings and log out of any accounts under the App Store section. After that you can go to your app and try again. Tapping Continue and entering your credit account information won’t help and will be just a waste of time.

  1. You are not authorized to make purchases of this InApp in Sandbox at this time.

Possible problems:

–       You are trying to purchase with a real account.

–       The app and test account belong to different developers.

–       Your app is not available in the country that was selected for the test account. For example, your app is available only in UK, but you selected US as the territory for the test account.

  1. This is not a Test User account. Please create a new account in the Sandbox environment.

Obvious – you are trying to purchase with the real account. However, it can sometimes also happen on jailbroken devices, so it’s not recommended to test in-apps on jailbroken iphones.

  1. Cannot connect to iTunes Store.

Sandbox servers are not available, there’s nothing to do but wait. Happens sometimes during holidays or system maintenance.

To conclude, for a person testing in-apps for the very first time, the process can be quite error-prone. There is also a big probability that a client, who gets any of those errors, will claim it to be the code error, without even thinking that he could do something wrong. Be calm and guide him through this easy process!

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