Google is now offering a beta testing program for its Maps app.
Any Android user can now sign up as a beta tester to explore what’s in store in the next version of Google’s mapping app. Of course, the central idea of the program revolves around identifying and reporting bugs. In case, you regret your decision, Google has provided an option to opt out at any point. All you need to do is uninstall the test version and download the stable public version from the Play Store.
Currently, the beta version is 9.27. That does sound like a fairly big upgrade considering that the last stable build for Google Maps is 9.26.1. Still, if you want to help the maker of Android build better apps, you can sign up using this link. You might want to avoid signing up if you have a long trip lined up though. The last thing you want in a busy intersection is an error message.
Before this initiative, Google’s beta programs were limited to rather closed Google Groups. The company recently announced it would make it easier for users to sign up and manage beta programs right from the mobile Play Store client. Beta releases will receive frequent updates, just like regular apps. They will also show up in search results.