What Is Early Access and Beta on Google Play?

Joel Lee 21-11-2016

Over the past few months, you may have noticed something strange when browsing the Play Store app on your phone: some apps marked as Early Access. What exactly does this mean? And how does it affect you?


It turns out that it’s pretty mundane.

There’s nothing new about developers letting users download and install software before that software is stable and ready for everyday use. This used to be called “alpha” and “beta” software, but nowadays “early access” is more chic.


In short, an early access app is one that hasn’t been properly tested for bugs, crashes, glitches, etc. Some features may not work properly, the app may drain your battery like crazy, or might even freeze your device. But if you can’t wait to try out a new app, early access lets you.

Do not use early access apps when important data is involved, such as documents or images. A crash could make you lose it all!


Similarly, Google Play also allows separate beta builds of currently existing apps. A beta build may grant you access to experimental new features, but again, there’s a greater risk of running into bugs and issues.

Note that some developers may put a cap on how many users can install their apps when marked as early access or beta. If full, you’ll have to wait until some users uninstall or until the developer raises the limit.

Are you interested in trying early access and beta apps? Or is it too risky for you? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. anon
    November 27, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    at this premium price, lack of waterproofing, SD card, and lower RAM compared to other phones is serious a deal breaker.