Android users: become a Google Maps beta tester to try out preview versions of the app


Google is a company that's well-known for its beta products -- there is a long-running joke about so many of its services being in permanent beta. Beta testing on Android has tended to be limited to a select few, but with the Google Maps app the beta programme is being opened up to everyone.

After signing up to take part, you will be able to download a newer version of Google Maps than is currently available in the Play Store. At the moment there is a fairly insignificant version number difference, and no notable changes, but this should all change as beta testing progresses.

If you like the idea of trying out a pre-release version of Maps, head over to the sign up page and indicate that you'd like to become a tester. Despite the wording of the page ("Google Inc. has invited you to a testing programme for an unreleased version of the Maps app") there's no need to be officially invited; anyone can take part.

In all likelihood, you will already have Google Maps installed on your smartphone, and you'll just have to wait a short while for the first beta to be pushed to you in the form of an app update. If you don't, you can install the regular version of the app from the Play Store and then await the arrival of the update. In either scenario, Google says: "It can take a few hours for the update to arrive".

So what are you waiting for? Click through to the Google Maps beta sign up page and join the programme!

Photo credit: Roman Pyshchyk / Shutterstock

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