Getting manifest in development environment

I have a task to let user know when new version is published to expo sites.
Beside of over the air update which we already have I am planning to get
manifest with Updates.checkForUpdateAsync and check the release version and compare it with currently active on device.

Is there any way to test in in development environment.
I tried to run in simulator in produciton mode with production version of app.json
but call to Updates.checkForUpdateAsync still fails with error signalling that no environment specified
for release_channel underfined.

Is there a way to fetch manifest from expo sites using rest client just to see what is there or anyways to simulate running production device to log some info of manifest from published on expo sites production release?

Thank you

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