Google Play expands the early access beta program to all Android devs

You'll soon get an opportunity to play around with more new apps before they hit the mainstream.

Google is throwing open the doors to the Play Store’s Early Access section, which allows the brave souls who crave the latest apps the chance to try them out before a stable release.

The program was initially launched shortly after Google I/O in partnership with a specific, hand-picked batch of developers. But now, Google says any developer will be able to apply for a place on stage.

Ellie Powers, the lead product manager for Google Play, told Greenbot that when it comes to evaluating developer interest, the focus will be on a diversity of application types and good development principles.

“What we’re looking for is apps that are very high quality, but this is also balanced with the fact they’re pre-released and won’t be polished,” she said. “We want them to be interesting concepts that others might find also interesting. It’s also about balancing out the collection. The idea is to turn over the featured apps regularly so there’s a constant, fresh supply of content.”

The section features unreleased apps and games, with a caveat about them being potentially unstable. However if you’re the type who sideloads APKs and always wants what’s new, this probably won’t deter you.

early access app downloads

You can browse apps and games that are still being touched up in the factory.

According to Powers, the Early Access section has seen one million downloads, all coming from a group of 29 launch partners.

Powers says the popularity spurned the team to push for more devs to participate, as they’ll get valuable data and feedback. For Android users hungry for the next big thing, it’s another way to feast on fresh apps.

“I think we want to make sure those users come back and there’s always something exciting for them to try out,” she said. “And for developers it gives them feedback, and an important piece to think about is this allows them to get exposure to a much wider range of users.”

It should be a little while before these new apps pop up, but you can check out the Early Access section now to see what’s there you may have missed.

The impact on you: The end result will be more titles to play with in Google’s not-quite-ready showcase. The main target behind the move is to help the Play Store be more developer friendly as this will allow devs to get feedback and identify bugs from their apps before a more general release. Stable, quality apps are the ones that are easier to monetize and gain wider traction among Android users.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags GoogleGoogle Play

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Derek Walter

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?