Android users who love to test the newest features before Google rolls them out to everyone will be pleased to hear that the company is opening a beta testing program for the Android version of its main Search app. Reddit users were the first to discover a Google Now card asking for users interested in testing new features. Those who want to participate can visit this Google Play page to directly opt-in for the program.
Once signed up, Android users will continue to notified of updates to the Google Search app with new features, just like always, however they’re getting said features before most everyone else. Users will find a new version of the Google app available right after agreeing to be a tester (or at least a few minutes after), however it seems there’s nothing new at this point.
The experience is expected to be similar to how Google handles the beta channel for Chrome, testing features that are still in development, as well as possible bug fixes. But it also has the potential to include much bigger changes, as the Google app is actually much more than just Search, but also the home screen, voice recognition and commands, the app drawer, and Google Now.
The trade-off, of course, is that because it’s beta software, some features may not work properly at all times, or updates may include feature that are eventually just cut and not made for final release. That could be a problem when it comes to something as fundamental to the phone as the home screen or voice commands.