Facebook Launches Beta Program for Android App
Facebook today made available a new program that will let Android device users test beta versions of the main Facebook application before they are released. To start, Facebook will use feedback from the beta testers to root out bugs and other problems in pre-release versions of the app. Facebook may one day use the beta program to test new features before they are released to all users. The program requires that interested testers opt into a specific Google Group, which is required by Google, to become a beta tester. The first beta version of Facebook for Android will be available today. Facebook runs a similar program with Windows Phone, and lets beta testers sample the app before it is pushed to a wider batch of users.
Android Users Can Now Beta Test Google Maps
Google has rolled out a program that allows people to test beta versions of Google Maps. The betas will be published via the Google Play Store, similar to how Google distributes other a few other beta apps.
Google Opens Up Beta Testing for Search App
Google is inviting some Android users to join a new beta program for testing the Google Search app. Google did not call out any specific new features in the first beta release, but warned testers it may be unstable or buggy.
Samsung Rolls Out Nougat Test Program for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Samsung is allowing owners of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge to experience an early look at its Nougat builds through the Galaxy Beta Program. The program is meant more for Samsung's benefit than that of end users, as it will use feedback generated by beta users to improve the experience and reliability for all users.
Microsoft Releases Cortana for Android in Beta Form
Microsoft today made its Cortana voice-activated personal assistant available to Android users via the Google Play Store beta channel. The app had previously only been available through a closed beta, but is now accessible through an open beta program.
Nextbit Rolls Out Beta Program
Nextbit has opened the Nexbit Beta Tester Program to allow Robin owners to check out experimental features before they released to everyone. Nextbit says users who sign up for the beta program will be expected to provide feedback on their experience with test software.