Sunday 2 August 2015

Google Opens Beta Testing Capabilities For Android

Open and closed beta testing now offered in the Google Play Developer Console
Google is expanding how app developers can test their apps among Android users.
Google launched app alpha and beta testing through the Google Play Developer Console out of its Google I/O conference in 2013. Developers could ship alpha and beta tests to employees and select users through Google+ Communities and Google Groups. At the time, Google also announced staged rollouts for testing, allowing users to test different versions of an app and provide feedback directly to the programmers.
This week Google announced that it is extending the functionality of its beta testing capabilities for Android in the Google Play Developer Console. The ability to perform closed beta tests with Google+ and Groups will remain and Google is adding two new features:
  • Open beta testing: Any user that has the link will be able to join a beta test group with one click. This allows developers to roll out betas on a larger scale to lots of testers around the world. Developers will be able to set a maximum number of testers in open beta groups.
  • Closed beta testing with an email address: Restrict which users can access the beta testing by sending the app version via email. Users can be added individually or in a group through a .csv file.
Google beta practices with Android have been well ahead of Apple’s with iOS. Apple acquired beta testing management platform TestFlight (through a broader acquisition of a company called Burstly) in early 2014. TestFlight capability from Apple came as part of iOS 8 and Apple later closed TestFlight itself to restrict it to just iOS apps built and shipped through iTunes Connect.
Google has had various forms of beta testing functionality for Android developers since 2013. Google also does not let users of beta versions of apps or early versions of new Android builds (such as the forthcoming Android M) leave public reviews of an app. Rather, beta testers send their feedback straight to the developer instead of as a comment in the Google Play store.

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