Google adds new features to its popular app beta test system


Google’s beta test feature for app developers has been available for two years, and according to the company, 80% of its developers regularly send out beta apps for testing. Due to its popularity, Google has added several new features, which make it easier to manage these beta apps.

Announced on its official Developer blog, Google has two primary new features to announce, along with a revision to an existing option. These are:

  • Open Beta. Developers can provide a single URL to a beta app, where a user can join the program and download the app with a single click. It’s promoted as a tool to rapidly and easily increase the number of users, but still with the option of setting a fixed user limit.
  • Closed Beta. This allows developers to invite users to a beta test program using email addresses as authentication, which can either be added individually, or uploaded as a .csv file. It’s a one-click process for users once they receive the invitation email.
  • Community Beta Testing. Beta tests carried out using Google+ or Google Groups can be moved to an Open Beta program without affecting the existing group.

Google has been running its app beta program for two years. In this promo video, developer Wooga talks about its benefits

The current restrictions on beta test app users, such as not being able to leave reviews or ratings on it in Google Play, all remain. There’s extensive documentation on how to set up and run beta programs on Google Play here.