What you need to know
- Google is apparently readying a preview program for the Home app.
- The program will allow participants to test out new features ahead of their public release.
- It will allow early testers to opt out any time and switch to the regular version of the Home app.
Google has long allowed some users to preview new features for its smart home family of devices, such as the Home speakers and Nest Hub displays. The accompanying app used to control these devices, on the other hand, has been excluded from the preview program, though this probably won't be the case for long.
As spotted by 9to5Google, the Google Home app may soon have its own spot in the preview program to let participants test out new features before they're made publicly available. New evidence uncovered through an APK teardown has revealed that Google is readying the app's preview program on Android.
Once it is opened, the program will allow brave users to request an invitation to go onboard. This will give them the opportunity to report issues they may detect along the way and give suggestions where needed. Of course, the program is not for the faint of heart: Google is warning that early features may cause the app to act up at some point.
That said, participants will have the option to switch to the regular version of the Home app any time. It's uncertain when the preview program will start. Once it goes live officially, a beta version of the Home app will presumably be available to download from the Play Store.
Nonetheless, you can already sign up to receive an invite this early. Simply tap this link from your Android device in order to access the request page. Since the program is not yet official, you'll have to wait a while before Google sends you confirmation of whether you're accepted or not.
A few weeks ago, Google was also spotted looking for testers to help redesign the Home app experience. The testing was open to anyone who owned any of the best smart home devices, such as the Nest smart speakers, displays, and thermostats, among others.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.