Facebook have launched an Android Beta testing programme, using the official Google Play Store testing mechanism, something of an inevitability after Google outlawed out-of-store updating.
The Beta programme is designed to allow Facebook to gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices than they have to date. Just by using the app and reporting issues, Beta testers will be able to help Facebook improve performance on a wide variety of Android devices they may have otherwise been unable to test at scale.
Full details can be found in this Facebook engineering blog post, but the signup process is as follows:
- Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers Google group
- Allow beta downloads by clicking Become a Tester in the Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester)
- Download Facebook from the Play Store to update your app
- Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers group on Facebook to tell us what you think
The first Beta release is already available adding:
- Share News Feed stories in a private message
- Swipe left and right to open chat and bookmarks
- Based on feedback, you can now store the app on your phone's SD card (Android 2.3.7 and lower)
- Stability improvements