Almost all the major apps on Android like Facebook, WhatsApp maintain a beta channel on the Play Store which acts as a test playground for their apps’ upcoming releases with new features and developments. Take the WhatsApp feature of Voice Mail recording example, which was launched a few days ago and can only be accessed if you have the latest beta version of the app. This way, the company can test their new releases with a closed group without the fear of releasing a version which might be broken and bring negative reviews. On the other hand, tech enthusiasts like us get early access to exclusive features before it’s available to everyone else.
So if like me, you too want to get early access to these beta apps, I’ll show you how you can get it on any Android. However, one thing you must be aware of is that these beta builds might have bugs and might even crash on devices and that’s the reason they call it a test playground. So while you get all the awesomeness before everyone else, there is a chance of things going south on a few devices.
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Finding Apps that Have Beta Channel
A few months back, finding apps that have a beta channel was the talk of the (tech) town. A person would have to visit an official website or Google+ page to know about the beta version of the app. However, recently a website called Testing Catalogue was made available where a user can easily find the apps that have a beta channel and opt-in to get the updates. There is no search option on the website, but you can use the Google Site: Search technique to find the app’s beta page easily.
Once you are on the app description page, click on the option that says Get Opt-in which will open up the testing programmer page on the Play Store. Here click on the button that says Become a Tester. That’s all. Within next 30 mins, you will get the beta app from the Play Store with the new features.
Beta Apps: How they Differ from Normal Apps
These beta apps might be completely different from what you were using and can even get completely revamped interface. For apps that are only available in the Beta Channel, it might take the time to search for them on the Play Store after you join the testing community. As I already mentioned these beta apps might crash on some of the devices and if this is the case, you will have to opt out of the beta testing using the same Play Store invite page. Once that’s done, uninstall the app and reinstall it from the Play Store after a few hours.
Managing Beta Apps on Play Store
You can also use the Play Store App Apps page on your Android device to keep track of these beta apps. Recently the Play Store app was updated to include the Beta section which lists all the beta apps you have subscribed to. This way, it’s easier to find out which beta apps you have signed up for.
If you scroll down on the page, you will also get the option to leave the Beta Program using the app itself.
So that was how you can search and try beta apps on your Android device and get exclusive features before your friends. A good way to show off I would say! Still, if you have any doubts, please ask us in the comment section.