New beta programs for YouTube Music, Google Clock, and others will help you try bleeding-edge features before anybody else

Here’s how you can sign up for them

Unlike most other Android developers, Google likes to test the bleeding edge stuff on its apps on an A / B basis, meaning users are randomly bucketed into different groups with each being shown a different experience. While this may help speed up decisions in the update process, it also leads to quite a mess sometimes. Many users say they’re often forced to play Russian Roulette of sorts with new features: some changes lead to unclear intents and actions, others just aren’t desirable, and when they are, they sometimes just go away without explanation. In a possible bid to streamline this, Google’s now offering dedicated betas through the Play Store for a bunch of its own apps.


New beta invites are appearing for Google Clock, Google News, Google Play Books, YouTube Music, YouTube TV, and Carrier Services on the Play Store. As a tester, you’ll mostly be a version ahead of the average user and will therefore have the opportunity to try out features before they’re made widely available. If you haven’t received an invitation, then you can hop on by opening any of those apps’ Play Store pages and scrolling down to the “Join the beta” section.

Not many Google apps had offered separate beta versions before this, with the notable ones being the Google app itself, Messages, and Phone – but it’s clear that the list is being expanded. Joining the YouTube Music beta immediately grants you an update to version 5.06, which is newer than the current latest stable 5.05 version, but we are yet to see new beta builds for any of the other apps as of the time of writing.

Users on the stable release path of these apps may still see a few A / B tweaks here and there, but at least with the beta programs now up, there will be a subset that know what they’ve signed up for.

Thanks: Moshe, Anthony, Johny

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