Facebook launches Android beta program

Remember when Facebook got their wrists slapped by Google for offering APK files of their Android apps to users instead of distributing them via the Play Store? It’s not that Facebook was trying to be “evil”, they just wanted to get people to test new features out.

Last month, at Google I/O, one of the things the search giant unveiled was this new “Beta Testing” capability that developers could use to give a certain number of users access to pre-release software. Google never really detailed how the program works, but now, ironically thanks to Facebook, we have more information.

To get access to a beta version of Facebook for you Android phone, you need to join a Google Group. That’s it. Once that’s done, Facebook says they’ll be pushing updates once a month. They provide the obvious disclaimer, that the software isn’t stable, and that if you see a bug you should report it immediately.

Expect to see future app makers using this system to test out their work.

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  • Graham Cameron

    Other app makers are already using this. Moves (http://www.moves-app.com/), which is currently iPhone only, have been making the Android beta available via the Play Store. Access has been linked to being a member of a Google group.

  • Graham Cameron

    Other App authors are already using this. Moves (http://www.moves-app.com/), which is currently iOS only, is currently testing their Android app. The beta test versions are being distributed from the Play Store, but linked to a Google group.