If you're running Android 4.2, odds are pretty good that you have also installed Roman Nurik's popular lock screen widget, DashClock Widget. Now, thanks to the new method of running beta tests in the Play Store, you can also try out the latest features and improvements before they officially launch. By joining this program, test versions pop up as if they were regular updates.

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 5.50.06 AM

The setup process is quick and painless. Simply perform these 3 steps:

  1. Join the DashClock Widget Community on Google+ (note: some people have been having trouble joining communities this weekend as the Join Community button doesn't seem to do anything, but what seems to work is searching for a community name and joining it then). This step is required, and it is also helpful as it is a great place to give feedback about changes to the app.
  2. Open this page and click on the "Become a Tester" button.
  3. Update the DashClock app, either on your device or by visiting the Play Store link.

There are a few things to keep in mind. By using beta versions, you may be exposing yourself to potential instability and crashes, and there is a greater chance of broken extensions. Also, reviews for the app on the Play Store will only be visible to the developer while you are a part of the program. If you choose to return to regular updates, it's as simple as re-visiting the link in Step 2 and clicking "Leave the test", and then uninstalling and re-installing DashClock. And one final note: the Play Store on the web will always show the current officially released version number while the Android client will show the beta version, but you will always get the beta regardless of which place you install from.

become a testertesterScreenshot_2013-05-26-05-17-07

Since the beta testing feature is not yet a part of the developer console, we probably won't see very many projects following this example for a few more months. However, this is a great preview of how it will work once developers have access to open up a proper channel for testing. Update: As several commenters pointed out, the beta functionality is actually live.

If you're ready to try out some new features, go sign up to join the merry band of guinea pigs. Don't forget to be a good Samaritan and report bugs as you find them.

DashClock Wiki - Beta Program

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Mungo

    The beta testing feature is available in my developer console since I/O and I didn't sign up for anything, so I guess it's available to everyone already (or at least rolling out?).

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Thanks, I've updated the post accordingly.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ kover

    The beta testing feature is available to all developers, right now. I just don't think you see too many taking advantage of it because the logistics are still being worked out. It requires a G+ community which most business may not have staff or time to set up yet.

    • MacMan156

      A g+ community takes like 3 seconds to set up

    • CuriousCursor

      It's either a G+ community or a Google group, makes sense really. Testers need to give feedback

  • akshay7394

    Jack Underwood of Now Playing Music Player is also already using the beta testing feature. It's out already.

  • Kartik N

    Accessing the community page via the G+ Android App allows you to join the community and also the page that adds you to the beta testing list.

  • Rami

    The Alpha and Beta are available in my Dev Console account since the second day they were announced at Google IO, but the link to beta test DashClock is not working for me, maybe because I am outside the US? or maybe it reached the limit of beta testing.

    • Thomas

      The entire signup process was weird for me, i couldn't join the G+ page (Solved that by clicking the DashClock Widget link to the left)

      And clicking the signup link didn't work, until i opened it in a new tab.

    • SlenderSniper

      I was just able to sign up for beta testing less that a minute ago. Check the description of the app in the play store. If you have the beta version, it should say Version 1.5 Beta 2

  • Bilal Ahmad

    whats new in the beta? i didnt see any changelog

    • Rami

      I noticed that in the beta there is a new option for DayDream widget.

  • Eric Liou

    A workaround for joining a community is to click on a community section (All posts, etc) and the button will work!

    • Pengwn

      If you're having issues joining a community, just disable your adblock on G+.

  • ElectroGadget

    Anybody care to share the changelog? (if there is one)

  • Could be Anyone

    I would love to be a beta tester but I don't want to join this google plus bullshit that forces you to use your real name and not a username like everywhere else on the internet.

  • AnthonyRyan89

    I couldn't update to the beta it kept on saying this app already exists when I click on update.