Our mission at TestingCatalog.com is testing applications, being them in alpha or beta stages. To make your lives easier, our website has been undergoing a plethora of optimizations regarding the simplification of the process of applying for testing programs and we were certainly able to achieve some remarkable results. There are always a couple of steps that you have to follow, depending on the application, plus some problems and workarounds for them we noted down, so without further ado, let’s see what they are in detail.
To enter a testing program you can choose between one of the following four methods listed below:
1. Join a beta testing program from TestinCatalog.com
There are two types of apps here. You may see an app having the Alpha word in its name and there are always special steps included in the description about how to apply for alpha testing for the particular application. Sometimes there is a requirement about joining a dedicated Google Group. Otherwise, these are the common things you have to do:
- Choose an app from our catalog with a wide variety of specially curated Android apps. There are more than a thousand for you to test out.
- Scroll down until you see the blue 📲 Beta test on Google Play button and select it.
- After you get redirected to the application form for testing Android apps on Google Play, you are going to be presented with a similar button named "BECOME A TESTER" that you have to click on. Keep in mind that using the same Google account to apply for an alpha/beta and to sign in to the Google Play Store on your mobile device is mandatory!
- Install/update the desired application. To access its Play Store page on your mobile device or PC, hit ‘install the public version from Google Play’ on the testing form.
2. Join a beta testing program directly from the Google Play Store app
- Open an app description page on the Play Store.
- Scroll down and look for a section named ‘Become a beta tester’.
- Hit the I'm in button and wait for a couple of minutes until you get signed up for testing.
3. Join a beta testing program from TestingCatalog’s Android app
- Install the app from the Play Store either by clicking on Beta TestingCatalog, or searching for “TestingCatalog”.
- Log in with your Google account in the initial setup.
- Search for an app, or select one from our top picks.
- Tap the "OPT-IN" button.
- Log in with your Google account again and select "BECOME A TESTER" from the next screen.
- That is it! Now go ahead and install/update the chosen app.
4. Join a beta testing program outside of TestingCatalog.com
If you know that an app has an ongoing testing program in Google Play and you can’t find the link to its beta application form, here is how you can do that.
- Get the app's package id from its Play Store link.
- Then, add the package id of the app after the URL below:
- At the end it should look like this:
TGPS Browser Extension
Another way is by installing a browser extension called Toolbox for Google Play Store™ made by Android Police. TGPS adds optional APKMirror, Android Police, and Appbrain buttons to all Play Store desktop web pages and additionally, there is a feature that gives the users information about an application offering a beta program and whether they are a part of it.
Toolbox for Google Play Store™ is available for:
Search for apps via TestingCatalog
There is a search functionality, which exists both on our website and in our mobile application. Here is an example of the "Google" search query:
Filter apps in TestingCatalog.com
Filtering applications by category, rating, and date is possible on the website from the left side panel in the Catalog. Here is an example of the "Games" category:
Filter apps inside the TestingCatalog app
Filtering inside the TestingCatalog app for Android works a tad different. To sort apps by dating/rating hit the FAB button, and to see apps by category, just tap on the menu button on the top left and select a desired category from there.
Note: The categories listed on our website / mobile app do not 100% match the ones on the Play Store. Also, we do only have one section for games, because they are not our priority.
Try unreleased apps through early access on Google Play
Early access apps are apps which have not been released yet. To find and join an early access app:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
- At the end of the row where you see ‘Top charts’, select ‘Early access’.
- Choose an app and install it.
Note: If you install an unreleased application, you may be automatically enrolled in the beta program when it launches.
Limits in early access and beta programs
Some app developers set a limit on the number of users in early access and beta programs. If there’s no more space left, you will see a message saying that it is full. More space may open later if the current testers leave or if the developer decides to allow more users to join. If you do not want to wait, you can personally ask the app developer to open up more slots.
Waiting after joining a beta testing program
Sometimes users will not be able to install/update an app immediately after signing up for testing. In some cases, it may take even up to 4 hours for the install button to be available again. To overcome this tricky situation, you can use the ‘Install’ option in Google Play on the web.
See your installed early access and beta apps
To see a list of apps that you are an early adopter of / beta tester:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- Tap on the menu button on the top left.
- Then select ‘My apps and games’, and then ‘Beta’.
Note: There is an issue where the Play Store may not always show all of your installed apps in beta.
Give feedback to developers
The simplest way of giving feedback is by using the Play Store’s direct feedback option, listed in every app page in testing. To access it:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
- Find the app that you want to provide feedback for.
- Tap the app icon to open the details page for it.
- Scroll down to the ‘Enter feedback about the app’ section of the page.
- Leave your feedback for the developer.
- Hit ‘Submit’.
Frequently asked questions
For extra information about beta testing on the Play Store: Official FAQ about testing on Google Play
Types of feature releases
There are two common types of feature releases being favored by all popular developers/companies:
Client-side releases - With an app update you get all of the baked in features and changes. For example, Telegram releases only these types of updates for its Telegram and Telegram X apps, where everything new comes with the installation of an update, no matter if it is downloaded from the Play Store or other sources.
Server-side releases - This is indeed a different approach, where feature releases go live in batches, being it for a specific device model, OS, region, or a combination of all. They get enabled through a server-side switch and this is the most favored type of releases across the board. Some of the big companies that prefer this method are Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
Here are some examples of the server-side releases for some of the most popular Android apps right now that may grab your attention:
Leave Play Store beta testing programs
Leaving a testing program is just like entering one. The difference is that you have to select ‘Leave the program’ or ‘Leave’ on the web form and in the Play Store app respectively. After that, you may need to reinstall the particular application to remove its experimental version from your device.
The role of Google+
There are four different scenarios where Google+ comes into play:
- The alpha/beta app does not have a community in Google+ - the Join button is going to be disabled/hidden.
- The alpha/beta app has an open Google+ community, but testing is open for everyone - joining the community is not mandatory to get access to the testing program.
- The alpha/beta app has an open Google+ community and it is mandatory to join it before getting access to the testing program.
- The alpha/beta app has a closed Google+ community - you need to send a membership request first, which needs to be approved for you to be able to join the testing program.
Note: This may take a while.
Transitioning away from Google+
After Google announced Google+'s demise coming in 2019, many communities started shifting towards other platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and Discord. We are constantly updating a special spread sheet on Google Sheets, containing information about communities switching to other platforms, and Telegram in particular.
How to join guides on TestingCatalog.com
These are the currently available guides from our “How to join…“ series:
- Facebook alpha
- Fortnite beta
- Gboard beta
- Google App beta
- Google Play services beta
- Snapchat alpha
- Snapchat beta
- Spotify beta
- Twitter beta
- WhatsApp Business beta
- WhatsApp Messenger beta
TestingCatalog on social media
Please, go ahead and follow us on our social media accounts. Testing Catalog has a/an:
If you have any other questions, please, do not hesitate to ask. Happy Testing!
Editor: Eray Rafet