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play store beta

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Google Play Improvements: Better Beta Access, App Collections, Pre-Launch Report, Review And Acquisition Benchmarks, And More

It was only a couple of days ago that the Play Store got updated to version 6.7 with several new features including better access to betas and beta feedback, features that were soon reverted through a sever-side switch probably because they were revealed a little prematurely. Now we have official word from Google about those new betas as well as plenty of other goodies for Google Play that are in store for users and developers alike.

Better Beta Access

You'll no longer need to scour Google+ or read Android Police to find out about app betas. Wait, come back, please keep reading Android Police so I can get paid.

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Minecraft Pocket Edition Beta Adds A Metric Brick-Ton Of New Features Including Skins, Fishing, And Baby Zombies

Are you still playing the mobile version of Minecraft? Good, because just like the original PC version, developer Mojang is still adding new features. The beta version of the .11 release is now available via the Play Store/Google+ community method. (Previously it wasn't available to the public.) It has more additions and improvements than you can shake a pickaxe at, including some features that have been hotly anticipated by the large player community. Here's a breakdown of all the new stuff from the Google+ news post:

New features
- Skins
- Added boats rideable by 2 mobs!
- New World edit screen
+ Rename worlds
+ Change gamemode
+ Lock/unlock day cycle
+ Make old worlds infinite
- Localization!

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XBMC/Kodi Remote App Yatse Gets A Visual Makeover In Version 5.0 Beta

Kodi (formerly the Xbox Media Center) isn't the only piece of software attempting to find a new image. One of the most popular Android remote control apps for the media manager, Yatse, is getting a major visual overhaul. Version 5.0, now available in a Google+ beta, is showing off a shiny new interface that takes more than a few pages out of the Material Design playbook. Check out some comparison shots below.

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New above, old below.

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In addition to the new dark grey color scheme with mint accents, the various menus, action bars, and sliding elements have been Materialized.

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Wear Mini Launcher 2.0 Now Available In A Play Store Beta, Offers Customizable Launch Position And Volume Toggle

Good grief, the developer behind the Wear Mini Launcher is certainly setting a rapid pace. The app has only been available for a couple of weeks and already it's seen a major update. Today you can download the Play Store beta version (after you've joined the Google+ community, bah) to try out the 2.0 release. The 2.0 update includes options for moving the swipe-in activation gesture to other screen positions. You know, in case your tiny watch-based app launcher needs more customization.

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Developer Nicolas Pomepuy has posted three alpha updates in rapid succession, also adding phone volume toggles to the Wear Mini Launcher quick settings menu.

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Pebble Launches Official Beta Channel For Its Companion App And Rolls Out First Beta Update

Pebble fans have been faithfully following each step of the breakout smartwatch since it set almost every Kickstarter record ever. While most of the big news has died down, that doesn't mean the development team is on a break. To speed up the process of getting new features and bug fixes out to eager users, Pebble is opening up an official beta channel through the Play Store. These betas are technically for the Pebble companion app, but since the app also installs firmware updates on the watch, it's likely that you'll be able to get in on all of the new features.

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Pushbullet Adds A Google Play Beta Program And Pushes An Update To The Desktop App With Mirroring Support

Do you like Pushbullet? As an Android user, you are required to like it. Sorry, we don't make the laws, we just enforce them... with extreme prejudice. The news you are henceforth required to celebrate is that the Pushbullet devs have created a Play Store beta program. Just a few clicks and you'll get the new stuff first. Plus, there's an update coming to the desktop app that takes some of the weight off the browser extensions.

2014-06-02 07.16.03

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Bleeding Edge Facebook App Updates Now Available Through Alpha Testing Program, Not For The Faint Of Heart

For a very long time, the Facebook app on Android was atrocious, and it's still not great. The folks at Facebook are trying, though. After starting a Play Store beta program not long ago, the social network is now setting up an alpha channel to test the newest (and potentially most unstable) features. Want in?

2013-10-13 23_45_14-Facebook for Android Alpha Testers - Google Groups

The alpha program will be run in a very similar way to the beta program. You'll have to sign up for the Play Store testing program and the app will update as new builds are released. According to Facebook, the alpha version of the app will be getting multiple new builds each week, and not all of them will work correctly.

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Dolphin Browser Begins Play Store Beta Program, Join Now To Gain Access To Early Updates

We've seen Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat all turn to the Play Store to manage their beta programs, and while this is a great mechanism for handling unpolished software releases, most of us use our phones for more than making status updates, tweeting, and sending private pictures. There are other apps out there that it would be fun to have early access to, and web browsers rank high among them. For us Android users, the Dolphin browser is perhaps second to no one in terms of rolling out new features, and now developer Mobotap has introduced a means to test out the beta version of the app through Google Play.

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