Confused about Apple’s provisioning profiles? you are not alone
First of all – dev and ad-hoc profiles are not the same. An ad-hoc install more closely replicates a store install.
There are 4 different profiles that can be generated:
- Development Profile: Used to install an app on a registered device in debug mode
- App Store Profile: A profile that is used to distribute a completed app to the App Store for sale
- In-house Distribution Profile: Only available with the Enterprise developer account type, and is used for distributing apps to non-registered devices outside of the App Store. (Example: A company would use this profile type to distribute internal apps to their employees).
- Ad-hoc Profile: A distribution profile for distributing an app to devices registered in the developer account
Which one you use may depend on what it is you need to test with a given user. If you’re trying to solve an issue with a store app, try ad-hoc. If you just want that user to provide general feedback, consider using TestFlight (dev/debug mode).