Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Google is slowly rolling out a new version of its Play Store app that will make it easier for users to become voluntary beta testers for apps. Android app developers will now be able to invite users to test their beta versions easily, before commercially rolling out the app.
Just like Google's development team builds new versions of Android every year and releases preview updates for testing purposes, app developers also test their apps or new versions before making it live to everyone. All the users who opt for beta testing will be able to try unreleased apps and new versions before everyone else, and even give feedback for it.
Apps in beta stage tend to be unstable, and are more prone to crashing frequently.
Google had introduced improved beta testing tools for app developers last year that enabled users to sign up for beta testing - after being guided to the relevant Google Play page via link from the developer. With the new Play Store app (v6.7), Google has made the sign-in and sign-out processes for beta testers much simpler.
With Play Store v6.7, users can join and leave betas from the app listing page, leave beta feedback, see beta testing status right at the top of the app listing, and also be notified if app hasn't yet been released publicly yet. Users may still be required to join the relevant Google+ community before signing up, but it's up to the developer to make this mandatory. The beta feedback goes directly to the developer and is not made public for everyone to see.The latest version of the Play Store is currently rolling out slowly across the world, however,if you want to try out the app you can sideload the Google-signed apk from APK Mirror via Android Police.