There are thousands of ways to make money on the Internet, but one of the most overlooked is mobile and web app testing.
Before an app development team releases their web or mobile app to the public, it needs to be tested. Usability issues need fixing. Bugs need ironing out. To find these issues, development teams often hire a group of beta testers to test drive apps before their public launch.
If you think you’d make a great app tester, read on to learn more about the role, how much you could earn, and the sites you should join to get started.
Who Can Be an App Tester?
To test an app, all you really need is access to an up-to-date smartphone and/or computer, (sometimes) a microphone and webcam, and a list of places you can go to find opportunities. To get paid, you’ll often need a PayPal account, too.
Although you should be comfortable using your phone and computer, you don’t need to be a tech geek. All that’s usually expected is for you to express your experience as you use these apps; to get across what you like, and what you dislike.
What Does an App Test Involve?
What’s required of app testers depends on what the development team wants to achieve from the test. Once you join a team of beta testers for a specific app, you’ll be given a set of instructions. A complete test usually lasts somewhere between 15 minutes and one hour.
These instructions often ask you to perform a set of tasks within the app. As you perform these tasks, your on-screen actions (and sometimes even your eye movements and facial expressions) will be recorded, so developers can understand more about how you experience the application. Some tests will also require you to express your thoughts out loud into a microphone.
In all, you’ll be expected to:
- Explain what you like and dislike about the app
- Explain why you are doing certain things in the app
- Make suggestions on how to make tasks easier
- Explain clearly your thoughts in writing at the end of the test.
All of this information goes toward helping the developers improve the app before its final launch.
How Much Can I Earn?
Taking up app testing is unlikely to become a full-time position. To be selected to test certain apps, you’ll need to fit into a specific demographic. Developers will be looking for testers of a specific sex, age, and with particular interests.
If you fit into the right demographic for the app, you’ll be accepted onto the team of beta testers. The average pay for each completed app test is currently around $10. Some pay upward of $100. Some simply offer you a free app in return for your time. If you keep a close eye on a variety of app testing sites, you could test a few apps per week, netting $100+ per month.
Where Can I Find Paid App Testing Opportunities?
There are a range of sites offering paid app testing opportunities. Some of the most reputable are listed below, though this is far from exhaustive. If you have any other suggestions, please add them in the comments below so we can make this resource as useful as possible!
UserTesting is one of the top players in app and website testing. To be accepted as a tester, you have to complete a quick 5-minute test. If you’re approved, you’ll be paid $10–15 for every 20-minute test you complete, while speaking your thoughts out loud.
To become an app or website tester for Userlytics, there’s no application process. If you have a webcam, microphone, Windows 7 (or later) or Mac OS X Leopard 10.6 (or later), and an up-to-date smartphone, sign up and keep you eye out for any test invites you receive. You’ll earn from $10 per test, with payments being made fortnightly via PayPal.
As a TestBirds tester, you can provide your feedback on apps, websites, video games, and electronics. Most of their tests pay at least $10, some upward of $70. Other tests offer bonuses for every bug you find.
— Testbirds (@Testbirds) March 11, 2016
Payments are made via bank transfer of PayPal once you have an account balance of at least €10EUR.
UserFeel gives you the option the test both apps and websites. For each test completed, you’ll be paid $10. if you turn out to be a good tester, you could earn up to $100–200 per month, with payments being made weekly.
Currently UserFeel is not recruiting any new testers, but check their site every few weeks to find out when applications open again.
Ferpections testers are making up to $100 per month testing both sites and mobile applications. For each test, you’ll need to take screenshots on your phone or tablet, with an accompanying description and feedback of your experience.
Payments are made monthly via PayPal if your balance is above the equivalent of £20.
BetaFamily is specifically for testing Android and iOS apps. Most of their open tests last 45–60 minutes, and pay $10. Each of your tests will be rated. As your rating increases, you’ll be invited to test more apps.
You have to have at least $50 in your account balance before you can withdraw this. The money can take up to 30 days to reach your bank account.
UpWork is a site where freelancers find and apply for work in a huge range of industries, including app testing.
— Satyajit Malugu (@malugu) June 22, 2015
You’ll need to set up a profile and check the site regularly to land these jobs. Once you have a few reviews under your belt, being accepted for tests will become easier.
Pay starts at less than $5 per test, but can go upward of $50 per test.
And There Are Unpaid Tests…
If you want to become a tester not to earn some cash on the side, but instead for early access to apps, there are other options.
Companies releasing larger, more popular apps will often have a group of volunteer testers to call on. In return for feedback, testers get to try out new versions of apps before anyone else.
If there’s a particular app you’d love to become a beta tester for, you should email the development company directly to see if they’d add you to beta team. If you love a certain developer’s apps, you may want to try reaching out to them to be including in tests for future products.
Along a similar line, many interesting beta apps are promoted on sites like betalist and betabound. Through these sites you can apply for early access to apps, leave limited feedback, and use any contact details provided to ask to be a beta tester.
Would You Be a Tester?
App testing will never make you rich. But it could be a fun way for you to earn some cash on the side, and try out some new apps and games before anyone else.
There are plenty of opportunities out there. It’s just a matter of keeping an eye out, and claiming those opportunities before other testers grab them first.
Could you see yourself testing apps in your spare time? And if you already do, which other sites did we miss of the list?
Image Credits: focused businessman by pathdoc via Shutterstock, Close Up of Smartphone in Hand by Japanexperterna.se (Flickr), Encore520_call_center_woman_closeup_22AUG14 by plantronicsgermany (Flickr), ITU’s EBOLA-INFO SHARING MOBILE APP by ITU Pictures (Flickr), mobile worker by Michael Coghlan (Flickr), Mobile Futures by NYS Media Lab (Flickr)