In a perfect world there are perfect developers who write perfect code and publish their perfect applications in app stores at first try. Of course, their application succeeds. Too perfect to be true, isn’t it?
Unfortunately we live in an imperfect world, where one can not be 100% sure about his application idea and create it without any bugs or glitches. Well, except for the simplest ones (still, it’s really hard to come up with brilliant and simple idea). In all other cases you have to test your native mobile application and organize focus groups. Well, everything is pretty clear with focus group itself, but with its organizing? Not so much. Let’s talk about one little but very useful Google Play’s feature – alpha- and beta-testing of your native Android application.
In 2013 Google provided developers with an opportunity to beta-test their Android applications. Before that developers had to use various (and often quite inconvenient) methods to provide their QA-team or focus groups with the latest application build – downloading their applications to external file hostings, using third-party solutions, or even creating their own Google Play alternatives. Those methods can only make things more complicated than they already are – user has to perform many additional actions.
With that being said, now Google provides developers with three different options to test their native Android apps:
All three options are available for any Android developer in Google Play Developer Console. Your development team can switch between testing stages at any point of development process if you need to increase or decrease the size of focus group. Also, keep in mind that you have to code your application builds correctly. If production build has higher version code than alpha (or even beta) build, those versions will be unavailable for QA-team.
Aside from types of testing, Google also allows you to set tester’s type. With that being said, alpha-testers will be granted access to all of application’s builds, while beta-testers will only have access to beta and production builds.
Google does not force anyone to use these features while developing an Android application. But you definitely should use all of them – quality assurance can drain a lot of money and resources from your budget. Easy-to-use method for providing your focus group with latest application’s builds can easily cut your expenses on testing just because it’s much less time consuming. It does not matter, whether you are a client or a developer – you should always give high priority to testing of your application.
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