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 warns that beta builds of Google Maps may be buggy or unstable. On the up side, beta testers will get to use new Maps features before most others. Google hopes beta testers will provide feedback about new features and any bugs they may discover.
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.
Google Play to Improve Beta App Discovery
Google plans to make it easier for people to find and test beta applications in the Google Play Store. Google said it will begin to surface beta apps within search results in order to improve visibility.
Google Pushes Second Beta of Android 7.1.2
Google has released a second beta update for Android 7.1.2. Build NPG47I is rolling out to the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus Player devices, as long as those devices are enrolled in the public beta program.
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.
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.