Google has helped to boost app developers’ advertising efforts by providing the tools they need to market and publish their apps. Google’s Play Console makes it easy for appreneurs to test and modify their app to match the market needs. There are various things you can do on the Play Console, but today we want to talk about Google Play Beta Testing. Essentially, this service by the Google Play store provides app developers with an opportunity to test their apps either on specified groups or any play store user. App creators just need to log in to the Google Play Developer Console and upload their APK files to test.
We understand the process can feel confusing. So today, we want to give you tips to help you on your journey through the Google beta testing program and share various ways to find beta testers for your application.
But before we delve into the process, let’s find out why anyone should be interested in beta analysis.
Why Conduct Google Play Beta Testing?
The gains of beta analysis are pretty obvious. Basically, the service comes in handy when you wish to try new features of the app before clearing them for use by the masses. You just allow a handful of target users to use the app and give their feedback. From their response, you can decide whether to release the changes to the world or get back to the drawing board. In fact, their feedback may give a better insight into what you really need to design an outstanding application. For apps that are not published yet, you can figure out what target users may want prior to releasing them. More importantly, it’s easy to identify bugs beforehand and avoid something that could be a deal-breaker for the new market of your app.
Now, jumping from the beta trials to the actual workflow isn’t a walk in the park. It’s crucial to master how to keep tabs on suitable beta test versions and where you are going to find helpful responses to your app. You might also want to manage the feedback to keep your users engaged. But you don’t need to worry since Google has taken care of everything for you.
How Do App Creators Use Google Play Services Beta Testing?
With Google, you enjoy flexibility in the procedure of beta trials. The platform offers three different ways you can set up your trial group.
- Open Beta
With this option, anyone with your link can be your Google play store beta tester. The benefit of conducting open beta trials is that you get the freedom to build your own community of beta testers.
The drawback, however, is that this category of beta testers won’t be able to write a review for your application. So, consider limiting the number of people who can join your program to keep the group manageable.
- Closed Beta (with Email)
This approach is more restricted. Why? You can avail your beta group to select people by inviting them via email. Adding emails is done either manually, or by uploading via a CSV file.
- Closed Beta (with Google+ Communities)
It’s also possible to build your Android Beta program around Google+ community. This approach gives you a private space for you and your team to engage your beta testers.
How can you do it? Go to the Developer Console and just connect your Google+ experimentation community with your account. Then, share the group’s link with your beta testers. Easy eh?
App analysis does not end here, though. It’s crucial to ensure that your beta testers stay engaged or well informed so they will always provide valuable feedback.
Remember, you don’t want to lose their attention especially during the trial process. This is because such a mistake might mean that you’ll hardly find them again. So use the tips below to manage and maximize your beta testing community.
- Alpha Testing
Google allows you to create an alpha test group. Functionally, this works exactly as a beta analysis group. With your alpha group, you get the chance to build an application assessment team that will get your app’s freshest updates first. If your application changes pass alpha testing, you are free to send them to your beta group.
How The Analysis Process Works
For you to try your app, begin by uploading your beta APK to the Developer Console. The system will automatically send notifications to your beta testers to start trying it. If it passes the trial phase, you may click on the Promote to Prod button and that particular version becomes available to all live users within a few hours.
If the application is in the alpha stage, promote the version to beta, by simply hitting the “Move to Beta” button.
When loading up your beta APKs, it’s helpful to beware that the later version of the app will deactivate the previous trial versions and the trial stages. This means will no longer be in a position to send the deactivated trial versions for testing again.
Here’s an example:
If the version you produced has a higher version number than your alpha and beta apps, uploading the new version to the system automatically deactivates the two testing apps. In case the version number of your beta app is higher than that of your alpha version, then uploading the beta version deactivates the alpha from testing.
With Google, you may opt for staged rollouts. This function offers you an opportunity to release your approved beta version to a small percentage of your total user base first, check the response, and proceed to the rest. But if you are confident, it’s still possible to start 100% right off the bat. To get more information about staged rollouts, read the Google documentation here.
Prior to kick-starting the actual beta trials, you probably want to consider running a pre-registration campaign. With this idea, users who join you will receive a notification as soon as your application launches. Setting up a pre-registration campaign is hassle-free. But you should get in touch with a Google business development representative first. You could also run a campaign through various user acquisition tactics such as paid advertisement, social media platforms, or an email list. Use a tactic of your choice to attract users to your pre-registration page.
Now that everything is set up, you can confidently get back to testing.
What’s New In Updated App Beta Testing?
You no longer need to use a live APK to conduct beta testing. Google now allows you to begin analyzing with an alpha group. This can assist you in determining bugs and dealing with them prior to launching your app. You also get a chance to send a better application to your beta testers. Through this process, you will discover that your product will get enough exposure and appraisal from users to make sure everything works well before you publish it.
Testing your application before you distribute it is an important stage of the app creation and marketing process. Any serious developer cannot take this step for granted. Besides, Google makes testing hassle-free with the beta testing program. So, why should you guess what prospective users are looking for when you have a convenient way to simply test your product for free? Register today and see how the insights from real users can boost your idea.
What else would you wish to know about Google Play beta testing? Let us know and we will love to address them.