Google announced improved beta testing for Android apps on Google Play with new features like open beta and closed beta using email addresses.
Google first launched beta testing two years ago, and has been gathering feedback from developers ever since. The Google Play Developer Console lets developers release early versions of their app to select users an an alpha or beta test with the select user group downloading the app on Google Play as normal. They can't review or rate it on the store, however.
With the new open beta feature, developers can let any user with the right link join with a click. As Google notes, this is helpful for scaling up to larger numbers of testers. You can also limit the max number of users if you wish.
"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," says Google Play product manager Ellie Powers. "These users will be able to join your beta via a one-click opt-in link."
There's a third option for closed beta with Google+ community or Google Group. This is what was already available. Consider today's new features another way Google is expanding non-Google+ options across its products. Developers using this option will be able to move to an open beta while maintaining existing users.
According to Google, 80% of developers with popular apps regularly run beta tests as part of their workflow.
According to a recent report from App Annie, Google Play downloads are 85% higher than those from Apple's App Store.
Image via Google