On Thursday Facebook announced its plans to begin letting Android users test unreleased builds of its app. The testing will allow Facebook to gain more insight on how its app behaves across a wide range of carriers, devices, and operating systems. The best part is that it's an opt-in program, so only users who want to deal with issues and bugs typically found in beta builds of an app will sign up.
Are you willing to deal with some issues in order to make the Facebook Android app better for everyone? If so, make sure you use the same Google account you use for the Google Play Store to sign up for the the beta and follow the directions below:
- Visit this Google Group page and log into your Google account if prompted. After you're logged in, click on the "Join Group" button.
- You'll be prompted to enter personal information and link the group to your Google Plus account. None of this really matters since Facebook has created a (you guessed it) Facebook group for users to provide feedback. The Google Group is simply a means to the end of distributing the beta builds through the Play Store.
- After filling out your info (or skipping the personal details), you'll need to visit this page and click on the big blue "Become a Tester" button in the middle of the screen.
- Launch the Play Store on your Android device and view your apps. You should see that Facebook now has an update waiting for you. If it's not appearing right away, give it a few minutes and try to view updates again. Once you download the update, you'll be on the latest beta build of Facebook for Android and able to provide feedback.
- Lastly, to stay up on any news and interact with fellow beta testers, join this Facebook Group.
To submit feedback directly in the app, tap the menu button in the bottom-right corner of the app and select "Report a Bug," then select a category. You'll then see a screenshot of your current view in the Facebook app and a text field for comments on the issue you're experiencing. Make sure to be as detailed as possible when filing bug reports; the developers will love you for it.
You can find more details about the program and its intent directly from Facebook here.