Google+ is no longer required for beta testing Android apps

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Android developers now have several new options for how they roll out pre-release apps to test groups.


Google is giving Android developers more freedom in how they beta test apps. Among the new capabilities is an open beta, whereby anyone just needs a link to join the test group.

Previously, you had to ask to join a Google+ community and wait for an invitation before you could try out a pre-release application. The change is one of several app testing enhancements Google announced Thursday on its Android Developers Blog.

Developers can also go the other direction with a closed beta that can be restricted by email address, membership in a Google+ community, or a Google group.

Along with the blog post developers can also get details in their Android Developer Console.

The impact on you: This gives you (and developers) a lot more freedom in trying out unfinished versions of Android apps. It’s a great way to get your hands on an app that you’ve been waiting to come to Android while all your iPhone-using friends already have it. The other upside is that when it leaves beta, there may be far less bugs thanks to the more extensive testing this offers.

It's also yet another example of how Google is "refocusing" Google+, cutting the ties between it and the company's other products and services.

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