beta

Sony looks to the crowd to beta test next PS4 system update

Sony looks to the crowd to beta test next PS4 system update

There was a time when software development was such a closely guarded process that almost everything happened behind extremely closed doors. Even beta tests were handed off only to accredited QA companies under heavy NDAs. Things have change these past years, with some of the responsibility of testing software falling on the shoulders of volunteers, most of them just end users themselves, but very passionate ones at that. Sony seems to have wisdom, not to mention practicality, of that setup and is now looking for more PS4 beta testers to join its army.

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Pocket Beta Channel offers early-access features

Pocket Beta Channel offers early-access features

Pocket, the service that lets you save content from around the web for reading later on, has announced its new Public Beta Channel through which you’ll get early access to upcoming features. Pocket touts Recommendations as one of the more notable early features Beta Channel users will get access to, but it isn’t limited to that. The public beta channel will be available on the web, Android, and iOS, and Pocket is encouraging its users to get onboard with it.

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iOS beta users can no longer leave App Store reviews

iOS beta users can no longer leave App Store reviews

Apple just implemented a small, but important change to its App Store policies that is likely to have app developers crying out with joy. Simply put, users with devices running pre-release versions of the iOS software, such as the recent versions of the iOS 9 beta, can no longer leave reviews for apps. This may seem harsh, or anti-consumer, but it's actually to protect developers' apps from having their reputation trashed by negative reviews based on bugs and crashes — things to expect from a beta anyway.

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Nokia HERE for Android public beta launched

Nokia HERE for Android public beta launched

Nokia has announced its HERE for Android public beta, allowing Android users (most of them, anyway) to join its public beta group for access to the mapping app’s newest features. As with other public betas, this new arrival is to help the company gather feedback and performance data from across many Android devices and users, and to subsequently iron out any problems before releasing the update to the public in general. There are some requirements to get onboard with it, though.

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Trying the iOS 9 public beta is easier than you think

Trying the iOS 9 public beta is easier than you think

Apple isn't releasing iOS 9 until this fall, but if you can't wait for a taste of the new iPhone and iPad software, the public beta holds an easy sneak-preview. Announced back at WWDC 2015, and launched this past week, the iOS 9 public beta software may not be quite final but it's certainly ready for a broader audience to try out, not to mention an opportunity for iPhone users to flag up any final bugs to Apple. Trying the public beta needn't be a headache, though, as long as you take a few precautions.

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OS X El Capitan public beta is out: Here’s what you get

OS X El Capitan public beta is out: Here’s what you get

Mac developers have already had a taste of OS X El Capitan, and today Apple is releasing the public beta. The brave and the curious can as of today install a pre-final version of El Capitan onto their Mac to get an early glimpse of what the updated platform brings, complete with things like split-view multitasking, supercharged search in a much-improved Spotlight, and big changes in Mail and other apps.

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iOS 9, Watch OS 2, OS X 10.11 El Capitan updated to Beta 3 for developers

iOS 9, Watch OS 2, OS X 10.11 El Capitan updated to Beta 3 for developers

Apple's third beta software has been delivered to developers for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac computers with iOS 9, Watch OS 2, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan. This is the third wave of software updates to developers working with the software suite for all Apple developers before full release later this year. This update brings the iOS 9 to software build 13A4293f, El Capitan to software build 15A216g, and WatchOS 2 to software build 13S5293e. Developers will get these updates as early as this afternoon - ie immediately over the air.

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Use Skype straight from the web–beta goes worldwide

Use Skype straight from the web–beta goes worldwide

Skype just became easier to access, around the world. As an alternative to downloading the Skype app or program, users can turn to their browsers for their communication needs using Skype for Web (beta). The web version isn't just for checking instant messages. It's designed to provide the same video and phone calls associated with the full app. As we noted when the beta first launched stateside, users will still have to install a plug-in before initially using the site, but that seems to be only a small hurdle.

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Pinterest opens Developer platform to take over social

Pinterest opens Developer platform to take over social

Pinterest, the upstart social network centered around imagery rather than words, is trying to become even bigger. Today, Pinterest is announcing details of a Developer platform, a suite of APIs engineered to “bring pins to life”. Developers can now leverage user pins in their own apps, where Pinterest envisions apps that use what people pin to encourage real-life shopping, “like apps for ordering ingredients from a recipe Pin or booking trips based on travel Pins.” The program is still in beta form, but Pinterest already has the underpinnings of a winner.

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Apple’s (beta) App Analytics tool is now rolling out

Apple’s (beta) App Analytics tool is now rolling out

Developers looking to get insight on why their apps may or may not be making it onto iPhones and iPads now have a new diagnostics tool. Simply called “App Analytics”, the tool is Apple’s way for Developers to discover all kinds of info about their apps, even how many page visit their app received in the App Store. The service is still in beta, and is being seeded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re a Developer not on the list, it’s not too late to sign up.

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Push notifications via Chrome are great, but complicate things a bit

Push notifications via Chrome are great, but complicate things a bit

Last week, Google updated Chrome to version 42 (beta). In that update, there was a small (possibly overlooked) feature that brings push notifications to your phone for websites than enable the feature. The update is part of Google’s Fizz initiative, which aims to bridge the wide gap between native mobile apps and web apps for mobile. That same update is creating a bit of buzz, but also confusing the matter of apps a bit, as push notifications for mobile websites are now available — just like native apps.

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Meerkat pops it’s head up on Android with public beta

Meerkat pops it’s head up on Android with public beta

When Meerkat was soft-launched earlier this year, it caught the Twittersphere’s attention in a big way. Then Twitter cut Meerkat off from its social graph for a hot minute, which came just ahead of Periscope landing on the scene. With Twitter taking the live-streaming reigns, many figured Meerkat was going to be a ‘fun fact’ in the history of streaming apps. Instead, Meerkat is branching out, and has announced a public beta for Android, which is wide open for anyone who is interested in trying Meerkat out.

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