UPDATE: this was an Android excellence program rollout for Germany. Thanks to @Dr. Rita El Khoury for the info!

Some users now can see a different type of cards on the Google Play homepage. Google started highlighting pages collections. What is the apps collection? It is a page with a list of 5 apps combined on the same topic.

Currently, I saw the following examples:

  • 5 offline games
  • 5 runner games
  • 5 new apps in September
  • 5 apps for productivity

The collection page has a topic description and updated date. All apps in the collection list have 3 points of "Why we love this", screenshots o video and the short description section.

This feature is not personalized because it also shows apps on the list if they are already installed.

Did you get this feature too?

I just updated my Pixel XL2 to Android 9 and I was experiencing new UI designs almost everywhere. After navigating to Digital Wellbeing Beta which works only on Android 9, I recognized that Google Play beta opt-in page got a new Material UI. It looks fine on desktop but it doesn't have proper padding on mobile.

The link to the google play was moved from the bottom. Additionally, the link for the opt-out became a proper button and now it will be easier for newcomers to find it.

In order to see this change, you don't need to install anything - it should be available for everyone. You can try it with any app from our catalog of Android apps for beta testing.

Did you fi find any other changes in the Beta testing process?

Subscribe using the opt-in URL

  1. First, you have to open the Android App Testing for Google Play services page.
  2. Then you have to click on the blue colored 'BECOME A TESTER' button.
  3. Don't forget to like Google Play Services beta on TestingCatalog.

Alternatively, you can also use the TestingCatalog Android app to become a beta tester for the Google Play services app.

Subscribe using the Play Store

  1. Go to the Google settings menu on your Android device. You can do this by going to Settings - Google.
  2. Click on the overflow menu in the top right corner of the screen, and then select 'Help & feedback'. 3 Click on the overflow menu in the top right corner of the screen, and then select 'View in Google Play Store'.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen to the 'Become a beta tester' section, and then tap on the 'I'm In' button.

The Google Play services are a set of apps and services (libraries) giving access to third-party apps to use Google's proprietary APIs for Maps. Google+, YouTube and more. It consists of two parts: The Google Play services client library and The Google Play services apk.

The Google Play Services client library

The client library allows apps to get user authorization for individual Google services and it contains the UI elements needed for these actions. It also integrates APIs for error correction at runtime, such as missing, disabled, or out-of-date Google Play services APK.

It is also upgradable and can be integrated with apps that want to use Google's APIs. Updating isn't necessary, but sometimes new features are being added. So devs, be on the lookout!

The Google Play Services APK

It contains all the individual Google services and runs as a background service in the Android OS. You interact with it when signing in with your credentials. It supports devices running Android 2.3 (API level 9) or later and is available on the Play Store. The idea behind it is to make updating it independent from OEMs or carriers. Also, these devices receive regular updates to the app and get all the latest new features and bug fixes provided by Google.

To leave the beta program, you have to hit the Leave the program button on the web sign up page, or the Leave button within the Play Store.

Check this link if you need an additional help regarding "How to become a beta tester for ANY Android app" 📲

The Google Play services have a huge role in improving our smartphone user experience. If you want to stay in touch with latest updates for Google Play Services beta, you can always check our Latest changelog updates for Google Play Services beta where you can keep up with recent app versions and changes. Are you going to subscribe to the beta and get the latest features from Google? Please, let us know in comments!

This Update came on 07.02.2018. Apart from other fixes, it solves the issue with beta OPT-INs which was introduced around a month ago.

Here is the issue description

Since the last week, many people started to see this message "To view this content install and set up a web browsing app"

This issue is happening when somebody is clicking on the link like "https://play.google.com/apps/testing/..." on his mobile device.

Google Play has a mechanism to OPT-IN to the beta/alpha release channel for some Android apps which is done via these links. Looks like it happens because Google Play now intercepts all BROWSE Android intents to URL with play.google.com domain.

Now, it finally works as expected. All "testing" URI intents are now opening in the web browser.

However, there are still some other small bugs related to beta testing flow.

  • Beta tab in Google Play doesn't show all installed beta apps. In my case, it shows only four out of 15. Screenshot.
  • Some apps in beta tab have an "Update" status while there is no update available for this app. Screenshot.

And as usual, you can see the list of your installed apps in beta with TestingCatalog Android App

Happy Testing!