I have been collecting Beta apps on Google Play for two years and this is what I learned.
- About TestingCatalog Research
- What I did?
- TestingCatalog Database Overview
- Best Android Beta Apps charts
- TestingCatalog Community Surveys
I am running the biggest collection of Android apps for beta testing called TestingCatalog (source link at the end of post) with a community of more than 20,000 beta testers behind.
I collected some data during the last year and I want to share it with the community including some comments from my side. I hope that you will enjoy it.
This is a short version of beta tester's handbook for TestingCatalog.
TestingCatalog is a community of Android apps beta testers. The main goal of this community is to improve a beta testing process and make it more optimised and useful for developers and for beta testers. The main goal of most beta testing programs is to gather some useful data. Beta testers feedback is the most important part of it.
TestingCatalog has a reporting functionality for beta testers which allows you to contribute to the beta testing community and Android apps development.
There was an official announcement from the Instagram team that Alpha program is open to everyone. Source
Quick summary: How to join Instagram Alpha
- Open Instagram Alpha & Beta TestingCatalog page.
- Press JOIN button.
- Join an Alpha Google Group.
- Go back to the Instagram Alpha & Beta TestingCatalog page.
- Press OPT-IN button.
- Press BECOME A TESTER button.
- Press Download Instagram link below.
Please check the full article for more details!
"Now you can receive a daily changelogs summary email from TestengCatalog for your favorited apps."
Table of Content
- Google Play: 47 pending updates... pfff... Update All
- Why Google or Facebook doesn't update changelogs?
- TestingCatalog changelogs emails
- How does it work?
- How to manage favorite apps list
- How to disable changelogs notifications
Google Play: 47 pending updates... pfff... Update All
"What was changed in this update?" Every beta tester was asking this question to himself at least once. Some apps have detailed changelogs, some apps don't update changelogs at all and some rolling changes gradually and you will have no idea what to expect and when.
My favorite changelog is "Fixed some bugs, introduced a couple of new bugs to fix them later" :D I don't remember where it from but I like it a lot.
The simplest solution is hitting "Update All" and hoping to discover something cool later on. I am trying to be aware of important changes for apps I am using but even in this case I am hitting "Update All" too often without checking the content.
For the average user, it is probably a good solution. But I am not a part of this group, I am a beta tester and I care about changelogs a lot more than other. Why?
- As a beta tester, I want to bring valuable feedback. Smaller scope requires a lower amount of time to verify a test case. Clear changelog limits testing scope. Basically, the detailed and focused question leads to the detailed and focused answer.
- Bugs are living together. Architecture complexity is one of the reasons for bug existence. Solving small issues without fixing a root cause may introduce new bugs in close areas. By knowing what was exactly fixed I can verify if nearby areas were affected.
- Changelogs could be treated as short test cases for regression testing.
2017 is almost over and in December I did a couple of updates on the TC and I want to keep them here.
Marketplace vs Media Company
Before that, I also did a poll about TC future - Media Company vs Marketplace https://plus.google.com/+Testingcatalog/posts/ipTjqqmLwWs
I did a lot of experiments in different areas. Next year will be a time to focus. Before focusing, we have to choose our path. In two words, I want you to help me to choose between Marketplace Company and Media Company.
Why is it needed? The community is growing and I have a lot of things to add and improve. Unfortunately, my capacity is limited and I have to choose where to invest my time and money to. With time it is clear, but to be able to invest money I have to set up a working monetisation solution.
Please check the context below!
Since I introduced a search functionality in the TestingCatalog, I was able to track what people are looking for. This was not a surprise that most of the search requests were about different Google apps, starting from Google Play to YouTube and Gboard. I want to list all available Android Google apps in beta in this post and answer several frequently asked questions.
A complete list of all Google apps in beta for Android
- Google Play Services
- Google Webview
- Google Search
- Google Maps
- YouTube Go
- Google Cast Receiver
- Google Chrome
- Playbook for Developers
- Files Go
Do you want to become a beta tester for Google Apps?...
We are getting a lot of interest from our visitors around this topic so I want to share a small FAQ here.
The Walking Dead Road to Survival is the definitive Walking Dead strategy RPG game, brought to you by Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead comic series.
Project details: WD: RTS on the TestingCatalog
This game uses a closed beta testing model and it uses closed Google Plus community to manage beta access. It also has a very high position in the TestingCatalog (currently TOP 3). This high position means that it has a lot of likes from our testers and it also has frequent updates with detailed changelogs.
However, it is not that easy to get an access to the beta app. Google+ community is closed, which means that you have to ask for the access first and wait until your request will be accepted by the google+ community moderator....
Before you start, you should decide for yourself the following
What is the goal which you are trying to achieve with your beta test?
Android Developers Console for beta testing purpose
Beta Access Management
Depending on your goal, you can run an Open beta test or a Closed beta test
- Open beta test is the easiest way to go. It will make your app discoverable on the Google Play and everyone who has a link will be able to get a beta version.
- Closed beta test. There are always reasons why you may want to run a closed beta test. Your app can be a very popular and you don’t want to receive a lot of spam reviews. You may want to run a targeted research for a limited amount of users. It is possible to submit a list of emails and distribute the app only through pre-selected testers. Another way is to use Google+ community or a Google Group. Community or group can be closed or open and in the meantime, you will need to take some effort on moderation.
Beta App Distribution
You have a link to the Google Play and you can do your best on marketing to promote your app to the users.
Users can submit their feedback via Google Play as usual except a possibility to rate your app.
Early Access Promotion
You also can apply to the Google Play Early Access program via this form - Early Access Form if you want your app to be listed in the Early Access section....
Unlike other Android apps, telegram distributes its beta updates through their app itself. It means that if you installed the beta app once, you will start receiving in-app messages as soon as a new beta update will become available.
Download a standalone *.APK file from the hockeyapp website.
It can be used as an alternative way to distribute Android apps. You will get an *.APK file which you will need to install manually. Telegram beta is a standalone app and you can install it separately....
Greetings beta testers and developers!
I decided to start publishing TestingCatalog changelogs and updates in the blog section also to make it accessible for all our beta testers.
Sometimes those posts will be small and sometimes big, but I will always try to have them focused around some topic.
So here we go, Changelog from 20.03.17:
- User rating (beta points) was introduced, check an explanation below
- Beta testers list ranking by rating
- A/B testing pages (feedback, surveys) removed
- Minor fixes
- Updates from Closed Google Plus communities, https://www.testingcatalog.com/update/
- User profile badges (beta points + joined at), see them here https://www.testingcatalog.com/project/410/testers