If you love to live on the bleeding edge, then you’ll want to grab the new, beta edition of the Google app.
Google didn’t offer any details about what new goodies are coming, but you’ll eventually get to experiment with features before they go mainstream. To jump on board, go to the Google app beta page and sign up to be a tester.
Unlike other beta programs, you don’t need to download a separate app after you sign up. Google says you’ll get an invisible update to the latest edition.
My phone saw the Google app jump to version 5.4 from 5.3, but there’s nothing new and exciting yet. Presumably Google will wait a while to get enough testers on board before sending out new features. If the app gets too wonky, you can leave by uninstalling it and then getting the stable edition through the Play Store.
If the beta life suits you, perhaps you also may want to get Google’s Chrome Beta. You can run the beta side-by-side with the stable edition of the browser on your Android device.
The impact on you: Android makes it pretty easy to try out beta apps, especially since Google dropped the requirement to have a Google+ account. If you’re comfortable with prerelease software and are willing to live with a few bugs, it’s well worth taking advantage of these opportunities. Google is constantly tweaking its apps, so it makes for an interesting experience to sample what’s next.