Google Improves Beta Testing For Android
Written by Lucy Black   
Tuesday, 04 August 2015

Google Play has added new options to its beta testing facilities, making it easier for you to get feedback about the Android apps you are developing.


Google Play launched beta testing two years ago as part of the update announced at I/O 2013 and it has proved to be popular. In her post announcing the latest improvements on the Android Developer's blog Ellie Powers, the Product Manager for Google Play notes that 80 percent of developers with popular apps routinely run beta tests as part of their workflow.

Using Google Play Developer Console developers release early versions of their apps to selected users, in an alpha or beta version, prior to its general availability. The alpha/beta testers can download the app from Google Play as normal, but can’t review or rate it on the store, but can provide feedback to their developers enabling them to address bugs and other issues without negatively impacting their reputation.

The way that beta testing has worked to date is as closed betas using a Google Group or Google+ community. Now testing has been widened making it easier for testers to join in and for developers to manage beta testing more effectively. 

The two new options are:

  • Open beta – Use an open beta when you want any user who has the link to be able to join your beta with just one click. One of the advantages of an open beta is that it allows you to scale to a large number of testers. However, you can also limit the maximum number of users who can join.

  • Closed beta using email addresses – If you want to restrict which users can access your beta, you have a new option: you can now set up a closed beta using lists of individual email addresses which you can add individually or upload as a .csv file. These users will be able to join your beta via a one-click opt-in link.

You can continue to use the existing option, Closed beta with Google+ community or Google Group and will also be able to move to an open beta while maintaining your existing testers. 

It goes without saying that beta testing is a good idea and this move to give developers the ability to invite individuals or open the doors to all comers does seem to be a real improvement - and if you like the existing model you can stick with it.



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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 August 2015 )