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Google swings wide the gates of its Early Access program

Google's Early Access program lets developers launch beta versions of their apps for user feedback, and now anyone can apply to use it.

Published onSeptember 1, 2016


Previously, Google’s Early Access program has been pretty heavily restricted. It was originally only available to 29 launch partners, but as time went on, Google slowly began allowing a handful of additional developers into the fold. Now essentially anyone can apply to let users beta test their developing apps by filling out a simple form.

The form is pretty straightforward and can be found here. Google says that in order to be eligible, the apps being proposed must be running in open beta and fit a number of other standards. This is an excellent opportunity for developers, especially considering how diverse the Android ecosystem is continuing to become.

Google IO 2016 keynote video now available - watch it here

It’s difficult to develop stable apps for such a wide array of products. Although it can be helpful to try out your work in progress on the devices you have on hand, emulators, and your friends’ devices, you’ll never get the full benefit that comes from mass usage and public feedback. That means that your app launch could fail in a variety of unforeseeable ways.

Opening up the Early Access program will help developers across the board bring their users a better experience when they launch their apps in their mature form. A relatively recent program, we first saw Early Access go live back at Google IO in June, and already more than a million apps under its umbrella have been downloaded and tried out by users.

What are your thoughts regarding Google widening developer access to the Early Access program? Are you a developer who will be giving the application form a whirl? Let us know in the comments below!