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Google Play devs getting better pre-launch reports, so they can fix bugs early

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Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

Android developers are set to get a slew of new goodies from Google Play when it comes to app analytics and pre-launch tools. The update to Play services largely focuses on giving them insight into their apps before they launch them.

Previously, developers were able to run an open beta test for their apps, however now developers can include a button to enroll users in beta tests straight from the app’s Google Play page.

Related: Hidden code in the Google Play Music app points to fully featured voice control

Not only will developers be able to recruit beta testers more easily, but developers who don’t yet have active communities will also now have a chance to get featured in a new “early access” section on the Google Play Store. This section will specifically feature apps hand-picked by the Google Play team, which is on the lookout for the best apps to include.

Once a user enrolls in an app’s beta test, their ratings for the app won’t end up counting toward the app’s overall rating on Google Play. Instead of rating the app, however, users will be able to give feedback to developers through the Google Play store without there being any exchange of emails or phone numbers.

Of course, beta tests aren’t the only improvement in Google Play. Developers will also now get access to pre-launch reports, which gives results of the app’s performance in Google’s Firebase Test Lab. That means developers will be able to see which devices their app does or does not work on before even releasing it. The reports will include screenshots from different Android devices, helping developers find any issues with their app’s layout.

User feedback is super important for developers, and Google is offering a few tools to improve how developers get feedback. Instead of simply getting a list of user comments and reviews, Google will summarize reviews, highlighting what’s important.

For a full list of the changes made to Google Play for developers, check out Google’s blog post.