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

play store notifications google
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.

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.

Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Gaming

Achievements unlocked: Xbox Live is coming to mobile devices

Microsoft officially announced that Xbox Live features, including Achievements and friends lists, will be coming to iOS and Android games. Developers will be able to pick and choose which features to use.
Mobile

Here are our favorite features in Google’s first Android Q beta

Google has released the first beta for Android Q, and with it a number of great new features -- including faster sharing, better control over permissions like location, and more. Here are our top five favorite new features in Android Q.
Computing

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Mobile

Latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone will pop up on April 10

Samsung will show at least one new Galaxy phone off on April 10, it has confirmed in a teaser tweet. The Galaxy A90 may make its first appearance, and it's rumored to have a pop-up camera and a notch-less screen.
Mobile

Leaked ZTE concept phones are crazy, possibly fake, and totally worth seeing

Renders of what may be ZTE concept phones may show how the manufacturer could avoid using the notch on future devices. They're crazy -- and maybe not even real -- but they're definitely worth looking at.
Mobile

The iPad Mini, Apple’s tiny tablet, makes a return with powerful specs

Apple has finally revealed the iPad Mini. With all-new and upgraded specs, support for the Apple Pencil, and a fantastically inclusive price, here's everything you need to know about the iPad Mini.
Mobile

The Apple iPad Air is the power-packed tablet for everyone

The iPad Air is the less serious cousin to Apple's iPad Pro range, and it's the perfect addition to your coffee table. But it's no less powerful. Here's everything you need to know about the iPad Air.
Mobile

Get excited for your Sony Xperia 10 or 10 Plus by getting it set up just right

If you've picked up one of the Sony's more affordable smartphones, you may be be wondering what hidden depths lie within. We've got some handy Sony Xperia 10 tips for you here to help you get to grips with your new phone.
Deals

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…
Mobile

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.