Last week, the Play Store rolled up some beta testing features in its version 6.7 update, but they quickly disappeared as Google reverted them back in a server-side change. The company later announced these features at I/O as part of a series of improvements to Google Play that also include lots of developer console changes.
Now it seems that the beta testing options have started showing up again for users on version 6.7.12 of the Play Store. To be clear, neither Artem nor Cody nor I am seeing it on our devices, even after clearing the Play Store's data. So it looks to be a staggered server switch with very few devices let in on the action. The screenshots here were provided by other users who are seeing a new Beta tab under the My apps & games section of the Play Store. Read More
There are only a few months left (probably) before the young and young at heart will be able to live out their Pokémon fantasies in glorious augmented reality with the upcoming Pokémon GO game. But a select few will get an early ticket to Kanto (or wherever you set a Pokémon game with an entire planet's worth of playing surface). Today The Pokémon Company announced that it was looking for participants for the game's "Field Test," and registration is open on the US site. (It may be open to others, but we can't verify that.) Read More
If you're around the same age as me, you fondly remember playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG for short) for hours in middle school. Or more accurately, you remember watching all the other kids play it because your parents couldn't afford to buy 10,000 licensed pieces of cardboard just so you could get a shiny Blastoise. (It's OK, I played the Game Boy Color version for vicarious thrills.) As it turns out, the Pokemon card game is still rolling along with a huge following, and now there's even an online digital version. Yes, that's a video game based on a card game based on a video game - try to keep up. Read More
Google is always making little tweaks to its apps, and now you can get an early look at some of those tweaks by beta testing the Google app. That's the one that powers the Now Launcher, Google Now cards, Now On Tap, and more. Just a few clicks and you're in the exclusive beta testing club. There's not much to see yet, but who knows what the future holds? Read More
Following VLC on Android over the last couple of months has felt a little bit like a shell game. It all started in December when VideoLAN declared VLC was finally leaving behind its Beta status. The app retained the same package name, org.videolan.vlc.betav7neon, but was to be considered stable. Earlier this month, a brand new version 1.0 VLC app appeared in the Play Store with a package name and title devoid of the word 'beta.' This new app was to become the channel for stable releases, while the original listing was again repurposed for beta releases. This only lasted a few days before the new version vanished from the Play Store on devices and ceased to be installable from the web, at least for many of us. Read More
Beta tests for new software releases aren't anything new for Android phones or tablets - they're often referred to as "soak tests," especially when manufacturers and carriers are involved. According to an anonymous tipster, Motorola is instituting a new confidential test program, giving at least some users access to much earlier updated builds for Android phones. Our source says that he or she was invited to test out a KitKat 4.4.2 build for the DROID RAZR M.
What follows is (allegedly) a forum post outlining the new Test Drive program, giving users instructions on preparation and flashing and delineating the difference between the new program and the more typical soak tests. Read More
Despite the excitement of the newly-announced sequels, Star Wars remains one of the most stale and stubbornly unchanging franchises in science fiction. So clearly what Star Wars needs to get people excited again is... a mobile trading card game.
The new game comes from LucasArts and... hey, wait a minute, don't we already have a Star Wars card game on Android? Indeed, Konami released Star Wars Force Collection, a shameless rip-off of other free-to-play card games, back in September. The new Assault Team doesn't appear to have anything to do with the previous game, aside from the standard turn-based combat and collection elements found in all of these games. Read More
Ever since Google launched the ability for developers to offer public beta testing directly through the Play Store, we've seen quite a few devs take this route and offer the hottest thing off the press for users to try out. The latest high-profiler to take advantage of this system is IMDb, which recently launched its first beta app through its Google+ Community.
It doesn't appear that there's a lot of new features packed under the hood of the first beta release, likely because the company is still working towards getting the community set up before launching anything game-changing. To get in on the action now, the normal steps are required: you must first join the Google+ community here, then opt-in to beta test the application here, and then you're free to grab the latest download. Read More
We're not the first to observe this: plug an Android tablet into a charge (or even better, a wireless charger or dock) and it becomes a pretty splendid digital photo frame, like the one you gave your Grandma three Christmases ago that's still in the box. Cloud.TV, the developer behind the excellent HD Widgets, would like to offer you a more powerful alternative. Meet Dayframe, a connected and continuously-updating photo frame app.
The idea behind Dayframe is admirably simple: it gathers photos from some well-liked public streams on Flickr, Instagram, 500px, and others, plus your own social media and local photos, and displays them in a simple and pleasing slideshow. Read More