Beta test your app with users to get invaluable early feedback
Use the Google Play Console to release early versions of your app to trusted users for alpha and beta testing, and get feedback to make improvements before full release.
Why it works
Testing your app with users gives you the opportunity to fix any technical or user experience issues before you release it widely. You can then be confident about releasing the best version of your app to the rest of your users. Feedback from your test users won't affect your app's public rating. Targeting specific countries also allows you to, for example, beta test in a country you're about to launch in, while users in other countries receive your production app.
- Make sure users can join the tests. Your testers will need to have a Google account (@gmail.com) or a G Suite account to join a test.
- Choose the appropriate testing type. An alpha testing group should be small and test the least stable, experimental versions of your app. Use beta testing with a larger group to test stable versions of your app that are near release.
- Run closed tests for targeted user feedback. If you want to run a test with a smaller group (such as within your company or team) or when you know which users you want to test your app, run a closed test using individual email addresses, a Google+ community, or Google Groups.
- Add scale to your tests. Open betas can be joined by any user with a link in just one click, this means you can scale the number of users you reach. You can also choose a maximum limit to the number of users that join.
- Check your APK version numbers. For an APK to be available to alpha testers it must have a higher version number than your beta or production version. For beta testing the APK must have a higher version number than your production version.
- Provide a channel for testers to send you feedback. For closed betas, offer them the ability to provide feedback by email, at a website, in a message forum, or through another suitable mechanism.
- Make sure that your app is ready to be made visible on the Play Store before running open alpha or beta tests. Users join open tests from your app’s Play Store listings. However, it also means anyone can find your app, for example, it appears in Play search results. So your store listing should be as complete and final as possible.
- Plan carefully when you make any changes to your app's Pricing & Distribution page. Changes here will affect your app's current and future production, alpha, and beta versions.
- Run concurrent tests on the same app. You can run a closed alpha and an open beta test on your app concurrently. If you run an open alpha test, you can't use the open or closed beta track. Keep in mind the version code rules when using different tracks.
- Use the pre-launch report to spot issues. Opt-in to the pre-launch report to discover any issues found for your alpha and beta APKs while running on real devices powered by Firebase Test Lab.