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Google wants your help to beta test the latest version of Chrome for Android

Google wants your help to beta test the latest version of Chrome for Android
Chrome Beta logo

Chrome Beta logo

Google is asking Android users to help test its experimental (and hidden) version of its Chrome browser, the company announced in a blog post yesterday.

Google has launched a beta version of its Chrome for Android app, which will include the latest developments and upgrades to the app before they are officially released to the public on the Google Play Store.

The company is adamant that this version of the app is very much in beta (i.e. it’s definitely not the finished product) and so has hidden the app from search engines on the Play Store. The app is also only available for users of Android 4.0+.

You can download the app on the Play Store’s hidden page here (but before you do, read below).

This is probably one for Google diehards rather than casual users of the Android platform as the price for getting the very latest edition of the Android Chrome app will be the large number of errors and bugs that you’re going to encounter.

Indeed, Google warns that “the new features may be a little rough around the edges” but you should see better rendering and speed updates before anyone else.  Here’s how Google describes it;

“Chrome 25 on Android brings a slew of updates and improvements over our current Chrome 18 based stable channel, including better HTML5 support and JavaScript performance. That said, non-Stable channel releases can sometimes be bumpy, and our new Beta release is no exception.”

The reason for the release (and for hiding it from users on the Play Store) is to help Google iron out any bugs before they reach the mass market.  With thousands of devices running dozens of versions of the Android OS Google needs as much help as it can get to make sure that the browser that carries its brand operates as it should across all of them.

Already Google has identified some significant bugs in its experimental version of the browser.  These include bad driver support, slow performance on some Google Nexus devices and even broken links on Yahoo.com and issues with YouTube.

With that said, you can always just install the beta Chrome app alongside the regular Chrome app.

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@pdscott

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

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